Minority Hiring Goals Are Quite Lofty

12 Jan

Agencies pledge to increase minority hiring. Of the 15 cited in the article, around 20% of hired professionals will be minorities. Good luck with keeping them around.

In my short life, I’ve been the poster child for diversity in several jobs, including the National Park Service. And I can tell you being hired based on your race makes you feel like shit. And it also puts more pressure on individuals to succeeed. I remember while at the NPS, I jumped on scaffolds, hung off ledges, picked up heavy shit and helped restore a greenhouse. I had to do more, because they told me I was being hired due to a mandate from the government telling them they had to hire minorities. It really sucked. And it made me feel different and to some degree, like I was some kind if charity case.

So when I look at the ad industry, I’m not sure how they will handle the minority issue. I think ad agencies will be able to hire minorities fairly easy, but retaining them will be really hard work and it will require a serious commitment from the agency.

Having graduated with a B.S. in Mass Communication with a concentration in Advertising, I can tell you that had I not gone to a portfolio school after graduation, I would have no idea how to get into advertising, let alone survive it. Kids without specialized training will have to fight harder. And if the agency doesn’t have people willing to train and nurture them and genuinely want to help them succeed, it seems like a waste of time.

I think all young people need a mentor. And the mentor doesn’t have to be a minority. Mine wasn’t. I know that’s probably not a breakthrough answer, but I can tell you it’s what kept me in advertising. I’ve had the same mentor for over 6 years. She’s been amazing. Without her support and guidance, who knows what would have happened to me?

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