In June 2020, Periscope announced four major initiatives to improve our performance in diversity, equity and inclusion. Responding to both a racial reckoning that began in Minneapolis with the murder of George Floyd and to the #CommitToChange challenge issued to the advertising community by 600 & Rising, we shared detailed data about representation of people of color at Periscope and across the portfolio of Quad Agency Solutions (QAS). The numbers showed we had work to do, and we’ve continued publishing them annually to hold ourselves and our industry accountable as we strive to build a more inclusive and equitable future.
Over the past year, we have continued our journey together with our parent company, Quad, to create a more diverse and inclusive environment that allows people from all backgrounds the opportunity to succeed. Below are updates on our four initiatives, as well as the latest data on Periscope and QAS staffing breakdown. We are still not where we want to be with our agency reflecting the diversity of the communities and customers we serve, but we continue to make progress and we remain committed to getting there.
1. Recruit for diverse talent, provide unconscious bias training to managers, and improve representation in applicant pools.
- We have continued our partnership with Do What Matters, which has facilitated all-agency and leadership-specific inclusion workshops. Director-level and above leaders received targeted training on creating inclusive job descriptions in efforts to broaden applicant pools.
- Periscope has also participated in new inclusion-focused initiatives for Quad people leaders, like the How to Be an Ally learning sessions rolled out to 1,500+ managers across the organization.
- Periscope and QAS participate in Quad’s DEI Task Force, which is focused on building a more comprehensive and sustainable DEI strategy across the entire Quad platform. The team has built an action agenda that includes initiatives to retain talent, expand recruiting and onboarding efforts, and promote a culture of inclusion.
- In 2021, we finished rolling out a new inclusive hiring process that relies on skills-based criteria, structured interview questions and scorecards led by a panel to help reduce potential bias in recruiting.
2. Share our progress toward a more diverse workforce.
- From last year to now, the percentage of employees who identify as people of color increased from 9% to 10% at Periscope and increased from 18% to 19% at QAS.
- 15% of senior positions at Periscope (director level and above) are held by people of color (up from 11% last year) and 39% by women (up from 33% last year). We attribute these improvements both to a more inclusive hiring process and a commitment to talent development for current employees.
- Senior positions at QAS (director level and above) remained at 10% held by people of color and 45% held by women (same as last year).
- Promotions and attrition have left a gap in people of color at the manager level, which we intend to address with a combination of recruitment, talent development and our mentoring program.
3. Increase investment in developing talented people of color through partnership, outreach and mentorship.
- Periscope continues to provide development opportunities to high school and college students through our partnership with The BrandLab, whose goal is changing the face and voice of the marketing industry. This year, we hosted four high school students and one college student as summer interns through their program.
- Quad, together with the Quadracci family’s Windhover Foundation, is also supporting The BrandLab through a three-year financial commitment that provides a foundation for the organization’s expansion into the Milwaukee area, and Quad hosted high school and college students as summer interns.
- Periscope introduced “stay interviews” to get feedback from current staff about how their needs are being supported and how we can continue to make our work environment and processes more inclusive.
- Periscope provided managers with a structured format for career conversations to engage with employees about their development goals year-round. We also invested in professional coaching sessions through Strong Training and Coaching available to all levels of the organization.
- Periscope is in our second year of a mentorship program that allows employees across the agency to collaborate with and learn from one another. After year one, 100% of mentees reported they were helped with their career progression, and 70% said the program gave them another reason to stay at Periscope.
4. Commit to providing pro bono campaign work to organizations that have a mission to combat racial inequality.
- Periscope is proud to be partnering on connections planning and awareness campaign work with TurnSignl, an app that provides real-time, on-demand access to an attorney to drivers interacting with law enforcement.
- We will continue to seek out and pursue opportunities to use our creative skills and resources for good.
The work continues, and we’ll keep making strides to build a better agency and industry. We are committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive culture. And we are confident that commitment is shared across our organization and deeply embedded in our values.
Note: Periscope’s parent company, Quad, updates and publishes employment representation data for Quad Management, Quad Employees and Quad Agency Solutions Employees annually in its ESG report. Quad’s next update to its ESG report will be published in fall 2022. Beginning in 2023, Periscope’s progress on its DEI performance will be shared in Quad’s ESG report.