- Seventy-five percent of members of the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) have plans to hire suppliers with diverse backgrounds for their organizations, according to a new report shared with Marketing Dive.
- While the majority of members have diversity plans, only 40% apply these strategies to marketing and advertising divisions, per ANA’s “The Power of Supplier Diversity” report. Additionally, 62% of companies cited identifying opportunities for diverse suppliers as a hurdle to their program while 54% reported difficulties in finding diverse suppliers.
- Among members, 98% hope to diversify by working with women-owned businesses, 95% with ethnic/minority-owned companies, 90% with veteran-owned, 88% with LGBTQ-owned and 80% from disability-owned companies. The survey was fielded in February of this year and had 105 respondents.
Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, companies had been aiming to ramp up their diversity initiatives for everything from suppliers to advertising creative in order to attract a mix of customers and meet their expectations at a time when they are more diverse than ever. However, diversity initiatives could take a hit from the health crisis, as many companies are decreasing their marketing and advertising spend due to the bleak economic outlook.
If suppliers are hurt by marketers’ cutbacks, this could make it even more challenging than it already is for marketers to work with a diverse group of partners in the months ahead. Already, the United Nations has raised concerns about the coronavirus increasing gender inequalities while U.S. Department of Labor data shows unemployment is rising fastest for women and people of color.
The good news is that the ANA report suggests that brands are taking diversity seriously, with the majority committing to working with suppliers with diverse backgrounds. Doing so creates community empowerment and positive social impact, according to 84% of responding companies, which in turn can appeal to consumers.
It remains to be seen if industry efforts to be more diverse will be moved to the back burner or are undercut until the economy turns around.