Omnicom and the New York City Council Agree on Groundbreaking Diversity Initiatives
Agreement creates a Diversity Development Advisory Committee and an advertising, marketing skills and media industry readiness curriculum at Medgar Evers College
NEW YORK, Sept 08, 2006 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX News Network/ — New York City Councilmember Larry Seabrook, Chair of the Civil Rights Committee of the New York City Council, and Omnicom Group Inc. reached an agreement today to develop innovative new diversity programs that are proactive and constructive over the long term.
The agreement between Omnicom and Councilmember Seabrook creates the Diversity Development Advisory Committee, which will be comprised of leading executives and human resource professionals of various Omnicom agencies and members appointed by the Civil Rights Committee of the New York City Council, with input from members of respected civil rights organizations. The committee, which will solicit membership and financial support throughout the advertising industry in New York, will meet on a regular basis to discuss and implement programs to aid diversity. The objectives of the committee will be:
- to improve the advertising industry’s ability to identify and attract minority talent for its agencies
- to develop outreach programs aimed at increasing the profile of the advertising and marketing communications industry within minority communities
- to work with institutes of higher learning to create a deeper talent pool of minority individuals interested in working in the advertising and marketing communications industry.
Omnicom and Councilmember Seabrook believe that the committee will assist Omnicom in increasing the effectiveness of its diversity initiatives, such as participation in industry job fairs, high school programs, and college/scholarship programs. The committee also will promote workplace diversity in various ways including minority vendor utilization; media buying from minority media; and promoting diversity among creative talent in music and television production and photography. To show its commitment to the committee and to diversity, Omnicom has agreed to fund initiatives recommended by the committee in the amount of $1,250,000.
“While many agencies have agreed to discuss these types of diversity initiatives with us in the past, Omnicom is the only advertising holding company to put their money where their mouth is and show their commitment to diversity,” says Councilmember Seabrook. “I believe that the programs created by the committee, including the educational programs, recruitment programs, and supplier diversity programs, will go a long way not only to increase the diversity of Omnicom’s agencies, but also to help the African American and other minority communities of New York City. I do not think that a politically expedient agreement covering only workplace hiring and retention would have had as great an impact as this committee will. I really commend Omnicom for stepping up to the plate and working with the Civil Rights Committee of the Council.”
Omnicom’s Chief Executive Officer John Wren said, “Omnicom is committed to diversity, which is shown by our agencies’ long history of developing diversity initiatives. We are thrilled to be working with Councilmember Seabrook and the New York City Council to advance the cause of diversity.”
Omnicom and Councilmember Seabrook intend the committee’s first initiative to be to establish an advertising, marketing skills and media industry readiness curriculum at Medgar Evers College to be named the Omnicom Institute. Executives at Omnicom agencies will work with the college, the head of the School of Business and/or leading professors as needed. Omnicom believes that the real world experiences of its executives can greatly enhance the curriculum and educational experience of the students. In addition to resources committed from its agencies to support the program, Omnicom will fund the Institute in the amount of $1,000,000. The City Council has agreed to match Omnicom’s financial support. The goal of the Omnicom Institute will be to recruit and train minority candidates from throughout the colleges of the City University of New York who wish to pursue careers in advertising, marketing and related industries, so that these individuals will have the skills and talent necessary to enter the industry upon college graduation. Complementing its financial and staff support of the program, Omnicom agencies have committed to hire five top graduates each year.
“I think the Medgar Evers program will be a cornerstone of the committee’s initiatives,” said Councilmember Seabrook, “because it will prepare generations of students to work in an industry, whether at Omnicom or elsewhere, that, for whatever reason, minority students right now aren’t focusing on. In addition, I hope that graduates of the Omnicom Institute will one day be able to start their own agencies and reap the benefits of ownership, multiplying the positive effect on minority communities.”
About Larry Seabrook
Larry Seabrook is a member of the New York City Council, representing the 12th district, and is Chair of the Council’s Civil Rights Committee. Councilmember Seabrook is a former Democratic State Senator who represented the 33rd District. Seabrook is an instructor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. He holds an associate’s degree from Kingsborough Community College, a bachelor’s degree from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, a master’s degree from Long Island University, and a law degree from CUNY Law School at Queens College.