Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) have been a topic in the industry since at least the 1970’s. Typically, this topic has risen to industry wide attention roughly every decade since then. Perhaps this coincides with US Census activity, but the fact remains; while we have clearly made progress over those decades it falls precipitously short of where we should be as an industry in 2023. And while this has been an on-going issue for the marketing and advertising industry, other sectors of industry have not done markedly better either – which underlies a greater societal issue with respect and access and ascension for people of diverse backgrounds. Whether you are a woman, person of color, abled differently, LGBTQ+, or a faith other than Christian, you will experience bias not only in your greater community, but in your place of work.

In 2023, we are at the proverbial “tipping point” between race/ethnicity and other “elements of difference” - we now tilt the scales on “majority” of the US population (solely on race, Non-Hispanic Whites make up 57.8% of the US population – US Census 2020), and “difference” certainly overwhelms that same perspective on a global basis (60% of the world’s population lives in Asia, and Islam & Hindu together, rival Christianity – Wikipedia, 2023). The optics are changing in real, global time.

This special section on DEI is intended to help you expand your perspective(s) on difference, help you put difference in a more informed context, help you think about the importance of DEI from a business perspective (inside your company and in the marketplace), and be a source where you can find information that will assist you along your DEI journey. There are no clear answers, as everyone is at a different stage in their journey with respect to who they are today as organization, and what they aspire to be. We wish you a fruitful journey!