Diversity Discussed, Careers Found
Yesterday's Advertising Industry Diversity Job Fair and Leadership Conference held at NYU's Kimmel Center had 300 conference attendees and 500 job fair attendees. In on of the panel discussions Deutsch Art Director Carlos Fernandez put things in perspective when he informed the audience advertising ranks 356 on a list of 357 or so industries ranked by diversity and comically wondered if industry number 357 involved wearing sheets. Although he didn't quite mean it literally, Draft/FCB EVP Director of Integrated Marketing Larry Evans spoke about the industry's chemistry and how those considering joining the industry must learn the ropes or risk having "the white cells spit you out."
The conference opened up a much needed dialog on diversity in advertising, a touchy subject no mater how you slice it or camouflage it. There were many fascinatingly eager students in attendance and several experienced industry insiders willing to answer attendees questions and offer advice on how to crack the ad industry. It was encouraging to see the throngs of students who took the rare opportunity to speak face to face with successful advertising people who very willingly answered the endless list of questions asked. Business cards were handed to students. Interviews were set up and, hopefully, jobs will ensue.
We were pleased to be part of this event and to enable the conversation. We hope to host more conferences on the topic in the future as well as, perhaps, in different cities across the country.