A little over a year ago, in the wake of the civil unrest and protests sparked by the murder of Minneapolis resident George Floyd, more than 600 Black advertising professionals called for industry leaders to take real steps to diversify their companies. Shortly after, Intouch answered the call. In July 2020, our director of inclusion, Antonio Rivera, sent out a company-wide email stating that Intouch would rise to the challenge:
“In early June last year, the 600 & Rising campaign inspired fellow ad agencies, partners, and even some Intouchers to sign up to take public action and #CommitToChange by sharing their diversity data … We want to make it clear that we are committed to increasing the representation of Black Intouchers across the board and ensuring that they thrive. Participating in this campaign and sharing our stats so openly is our public jumpstart to do better. To change the face and voice of our industry, we agreed with the call from Black marketing professionals: Start by looking in the mirror.”
So, a year later, how are we doing? What does the mirror show? In a follow-up company-wide email, Intouch founder and CEO Faruk Capan stated, “As you can see, our percentages of both white and Black employees decreased, while the percentage of Hispanic/Latinx employees increased.”
“It’s important to remember this journey is a marathon, not a sprint,” said Capan, “and while we would have liked for these numbers to look different, we remain committed to the cause and focused on the fact that we have more work to do.”
“With respect to increasing the number of Black employees at Intouch, we are exploring targeted recruiting efforts from historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), talking about the need for – and value of – a diverse workforce, amplifying diverse voices, supporting and partnering with organizations like The BrandLab – both monetarily and through Intouch internships for underrepresented communities each summer – and more,” said Rivera.
Robert Johnson, the founder of BET, has noted that in order to be trusted, companies that make pledges need to be transparent about how it’s going. “Long-term pledges require long-term commitments.” At Intouch, we’re here for it.