I was heartened to realize, that, like Dan Wieden, I am with an
organization that is making strides on diversity in our industry.
For the past 13 years, the Boston Ad Club has recognized
workplace diversity via the Rosoff Awards. This year we upped the ante.
Partnering with corporations and universities, we gave $100,000 worth
of scholarships to Boston high-school students. We don't just write a
check and send them on their way. By capturing their interest in
advertising at a young age (high school vs. college) and assigning them
a mentor in the industry to keep them on track, we are working to
cultivate diversity. Marketing mentors from agencies and the client
side will check in throughout a scholarship recipient's college career
to help him navigate the world of internships and, hopefully, the first
job of many in our field.
While attendance is down at many industry events because of the
economy, we had double the attendance at this year's Rosoff Awards. We
also have a commitment from a major corporation to help fund our effort
and implement a training program.
As Arnold Rosoff (the founder of Arnold) said at the Rosoff Awards this
year to Kathy Kiely (president of the Ad Club) -- and I'm paraphrasing
-- it is too bad that we still need to do this.
But we do.