Pledge for Change



Rochester Advertising Federation

Pledge for Greater Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Rochester Advertising Community

The marketing, advertising and communications professions have a severe diversity, equity and inclusion problem.

This should be no surprise to any of us. All you have to do is look at the attendance at our events and award ceremonies, our board and our collective membership. The Rochester advertising and communications professions are not diverse, equitable or inclusive. This problem is pervasive throughout our community, throughout the country, and across all communication professions.

According to a 2018 study by the Association of National Advertisers, 74% of those working in advertising/marketing are white, 8% Hispanic/Latinx, 10% Asian, 6% Black. And the diversity only gets worse as you climb higher up the organizational chart. The PR industry in the U.S. is 87.9% white, 8.3% African-American, 5.7% Hispanic-American, and 2.6% Asian-American.

This is a crisis.

This crisis is damaging to our companies, our collective development and growth, and our community as a whole. And while national associations have dedicated resources to addressing diversity, inclusion and equity in our industries, we must also act now at a local level if we are to fix this and be the welcoming, supportive community we claim to be. Inclusivity is a core value of the RAF and it is time for us to live up to this value.

This is why the Rochester Advertising Federal is asking its members—agencies, corporations, colleges, freelancers, sole proprietors, or nonprofits—to take the pledge below.

Sign up and make a promise to be a voice and force for change in our communities. By filling out this form, you promise to take action for the betterment of our professions, our professionals and our community. Maybe your organization has already completed or implemented some of the actions we are asking. This is not a one-and-done occasion. This is a promise that you are committing to positive, equitable change in our community now, and long into the future.

By signing this pledge, you and/or your company commit to:

  1. Our Organizations: Create a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee/team/initiative at your office that is dedicated to building a diverse and inclusive workforce across all levels of your organization, where equitable opportunities and development are available for all employees.
  2. Our Organizations: Document a focus on diversity, equity and inclusion into your organization’s business strategy.
  3. Our Organizations: Commit to the sharing and discussion of resources that expand our knowledge around fostering diversity, equity and inclusion in our offices, our work and our networks.
  4. Our People – Recruitment: Recruit outside of personal networks and reach out to different business associations, affinity groups and diverse professional networks
  5. Our People – Hiring: Develop and document a structured hiring process that is equitable and inclusive to all applicants
  6. Our People Hiring: Write and post inclusive job descriptions that are focused on the competencies, knowledge and skills required for each position.
  7. Our People – Mentorship: Work with local high schools and colleges to mentor students about the advertising and creative communication fields, with a focus on students with diverse backgrounds.
  8. Our Work: Dedicate charitable giving/pro-bono work to organizations that are dedicated to taking anti-racist actions in our community that work to build equity for all.
  9. Our Work: Commit to working with diverse vendors
  10. Our Work: Attend the RAF’s Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Summit that will take place June 2021 where we will discuss:
    1. Results
    2. Key learnings
    3. Areas for improvement

The Rochester Advertising Federation is officially signing up to take this pledge. We will, and we must, hold ourselves accountable if this change is to become a reality.

Pledge for Greater Diversity, Inclusion and Equity in Advertising

Please read and complete the form below to pledge.