Wunderman Thompson UK partners with Stonewall for LGBTQ+ diversity initiative

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by Mark Johnson

Wunderman Thompson UK is launching a new diversity initiative in partnership with LGBTQ+ charity, Stonewall. 

The new strategy will see the business embark upon an ambitious programme of reviewing culture, policies and infrastructure to best support the needs of LGBTQ+ employees.

Wunderman Thompson UK said it also hopes to be named as the first agency on the Stonewall Top 100 Employers list. 

LGBTQ+ audit

To help the business achieve this goal, the charity will complete an audit of workplace practices to identify where the ad agency can build on its current provision.

“Although we already consider ourselves to be inclusive, it’s important to step back and be entirely objective”, said Pip Hulbert, CEO at Wunderman Thompson UK. 

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“Like any business, we know we can always do better. We’ve begun working with Stonewall because we want to use its specialist knowledge to empower positive change.”

“The partnership with Stonewall is one part of our company-wide focus on diversity and inclusivity. 

“However, LGBTQ+ issues shouldn’t be something you pay lip service to once a year around Pride Month. 

“We want to ensure each and every one of our employees feels valued and included every day, and regardless of their background, gender or sexuality.”

Although Stonewall’s audit recommendations are not binding, Wunderman Thompson has signalled its commitment to listen and learn by implementing six agency-wide pledges covering culture and employee satisfaction by:

  1. Conducting an internal policy review in conjunction with Stonewall
  2. Ensuring that it has an inclusive environment for everyone so that they feel valued and comfortable to be themselves
  3. Providing diverse and inclusive learning opportunities for everyone
  4. Conducting an employee survey, and this will be managed, confidentially, by Stonewall so that everyone can be completely open and anonymous
  5. Completing Stonewall’s Workplace Index. WT will use the results as a gap analysis to make changes and improvements and work hard to feature on Stonewall’s Top 100 employer’s index in 2020
  6. Supporting the creation of a new Wunderman Thompson network group, open to LGBTQ+ employees and allies

Molly Byrne, Client Account Director at Stonewall, said: “We’re very excited to be working with Wunderman Thompson through our Diversity Champions programme. 

“We’ll be supporting Wunderman Thompson to make changes that will positively impact their employees and clients and work with them to embed LGBT inclusivity across their organisation. 

“We know that people perform better at work when they can be themselves and that diverse teams lead to more creative and productive environments. The advertising sector is gathering steam with its LGBT inclusive work and we are thrilled that Wunderman Thompson is making it a priority.”

Pip concluded: “It’s disappointing that no ad agency has yet featured on the Stonewall Top 100 Employers list, but we want to be the first to change that. 

We appreciate it’s a lofty ambition, but it would be well worth the hard work. We want to inspire more businesses in the sector to think about how they can better support the LGBTQ+ community, both through their work and in their internal cultures.

“This isn’t a box-ticking exercise for us and it’s much more than putting a logo on our website. We want to embed Stonewall’s recommendations into every aspect of the agency. 

“The new LGBTQ+ network group will play a key role in helping us to build an open and accepting working environment for everyone.”