2018 ADCOLOR FUTURES
Surrounded by palm trees and lots of sunshine, the ADCOLOR Conference in Los Angeles this past week featured thousands of professionals from all levels who gathered together to talk about what we’re all passionately working towards: diversity. This year, I was selected as an ADCOLOR Future, a program that highlights the next generation of leaders in the advertising, marketing, media, tech, and PR industries. I spent a week with 39 other talented Futures, who came from places like Google, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Wieden+Kennedy, 72andSunny, McCann, and many more. We each had our own unique stories, especially as individuals coming from the POC, non-binary, and/or LGBTQ communities.
The week was packed with events and training sessions, so every second was a learning experience. Improv training, panels with distinguished leaders (from Apple, Beats by Dre., Microsoft, Google, and more), a hackathon on the importance of mental health in the workplace, singing to Drake on a bus on the way to a seminar in Playa Vista (a true bonding experience), and ending with the awards show reception, which was an emotional night filled with inspiring speeches – and desserts. I definitely cried.
And while it was a fun time, most importantly, it was a safe space where we could unapologetically be ourselves and really reflect on the change we wanted to bring to the industry. As a creative woman of color, I constantly notice there’s not much representation, especially in senior roles. Industry-wide, women only make up 11% of creative directors, and of those, only a tiny percentage are women of color (luckily, it’s been going up – slowly but surely). The reason for this is that POC and other underrepresented groups are not given as many opportunities as other groups of people, making it challenging to get their foot in the door in the first place. That’s why the ADCOLOR Futures program is essential. Not only does it provide that much-needed support, but it also gives us a voice and acknowledges the importance of the different perspectives we’re bringing to our workplaces.
Having a diverse work environment is essential for success. So we’re here to spice things up.
If anyone is interested in applying to be an ADCOLOR Future, or even just learning more about ADCOLOR in general, my email firstname.lastname@example.org or you can go to http://adcolor.org/ and follow them on Twitter and Instagram.