McCann Central makes diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) a strategic priority

McCann Central is a creative agency employing more than 500 people across offices in Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, London and Milton Keynes.

Diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) is a strategic priority for the organisation. Ruepal Aujla, group DE&I lead and Bimingham’s head of media, says: “We have a responsibility to create the conditions for equality to thrive and be a place where all employees feel a sense of connection, belonging and shared purpose. It delivers better work and increased employee engagement.”

To build this inclusive workplace, the organisation runs a variety of initiatives through the year. These include running bespoke DE&I training and events, encouraging people to share their lived experiences and marking key observances.

As McCann Central is part of the McCann Worldgroup network, it also participates in an annual event, Day For Meaning. “The entire organisation worldwide downs tools for the day and splits into small working groups to look at how it can push inclusion further,” explains Aujla. This generates a wide range of initiatives, policy changes and events that are then voted upon by the local team, with the top three implemented during the following year.

For example, at the fifth annual Day for Meaning in 2023, McCann Central’s employees voted: to develop 12 acts of culture and kindness designed to help bring the team together while also making a positive impact on the local community; to create an apprenticeship scheme to attract new talent and further diversity; and to launch an all-agency virtual chat space so employees can connect with one another.

Also helping to improve DE&I, each McCann Central office has its own Conscious Inclusion Council. Set up in 2020, members are responsible for implementing initiatives and ideas that create a more inclusive environment. Examples include marking significant cultural moments across the year and encouraging individuals to share personal stories on topics that are important to them.

Aujla is proud of the breadth and scope of the DE&I work that has taken place across the agency. “By fostering this sense of belonging it has enabled the team to feel more comfortable showcasing their brilliant ideas and talents, more connected with each other, and more valued,” she adds. “It plays an integral part in driving the business forward.”