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On Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020, CEO Jon Cook participated in a panel, “How TF will agency leaders be allies?” at the Allyship & Action Summit 2.0. Jon joined Gary Vaynerchuk, VaynerMedia, and Laura Maness, Havas, on the panel, which was moderated by Walter Geer, a future VMLY&R employee. The summit was a source of information on allyship and providing tangible next steps for all on antiracism in ad land. 

Adweek published a recap of the panel, with two action steps from Jon, including: 

Integrate inclusion into everything you do: Jon promised that instead of being addressed as a standalone topic, diversity and inclusion will be embedded into his agency’s three pillars: business, work, and culture. “Too often, people just jam diversity objectives into the cultural bucket,” he said. “It can’t just be seen as a softer, side cultural topic, but rather a core part of the way the entire business operates.

Recognize when your efforts aren’t working: While diversity programming is important, Jon acknowledged that executives don’t turn to a committee when they want to accomplish something. They get it done themselves. “If you’re hiding only behind programming and committees and checklists, you’re not doing enough,” said Jon. “You need to use the skills that got you where you are as a leader — like bold decisions and taking risks — if you want real change to happen.”

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