How Advertising Can Tackle its Disability Deficit

While “diversity” has become a household word, the advertising industry still has a long way to go when it comes to hiring people with disabilities. “Employers are missing out on an incredible pool of talent as a result,” says Tim Cecere, the Chief Global Talent Officer for Group M, the largest advertising agency in the world.

According to Mr. Cecere, the leading reason for the under-representation of people with disabilities in the advertising industry is “employers’ failure to appropriately engage and accommodate this population.”

Organizations can and should do more than accommodate, says Mr. Cecere. They can actively attract people with disabilities, and draw upon their talents and perspectives. The perspectives of people with disabilities can only enrich the advertiser’s ability to reach a bigger cross section of the population.

He advises organizations provide HR staff and recruiting team members with specific training, and establish concrete hiring targets for persons with disabilities. 

He also says not to assume people with disabilities won’t fit in. “We have found our employees overwhelmingly support coworkers with other needs. This empathy and willingness to help has been most notable among our younger workers, who proactively retool their approach and ensure their new teammates are comfortable and engaged.”  

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