Our Voices

COMMITTING TO CHANGE

Senior Writer and Editor
Patricia Murphy joined Havas Group in October 2019 as a Senior Editor and Writer. She has a background in digital journalism and content creation.
Havas Group’s Chief Talent Officer Patti Clarke tells Dare! about the evolution of Havas All In (Havas Group’s DE&I programme), Havas NA’s Commit to Change, and how the Group is fulfilling its commitment to people, one of Havas Positive Impact’s three main pillars of focus.

How has All In, Havas Group’s global Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) programme evolved since its inception and over the course of the last 12 months?

We’ve seen a steady increase in the number of All In initiatives taking place globally—from 100 in 2019 to over 150 in 2020. There is more commonality in what agencies are focusing on including gender, mental health and wellness, diverse representation, and parental support. We’ve also seen a lot of collaboration between Villages and agencies who are coming together on initiatives in order to make a bigger impact.

This past May, Havas and GAY TIMES Group joined forces for an educational “Pre-Pride” campaign to enable learning and awareness ahead of Global Pride month in June. Powered by Havas All In and Havas Media’s Meaningful Media initiative, the campaign provided Havas Group’s employees with GAY TIMES’ answers to their questions about the LGBTQ+ community so they could become more aware and informed allies.

“This year we are launching FF On Air, which will deliver all the learning, inspiration and community of Femmes Forward in a virtual setting, allowing us to continue growing more of our talented women around the world.”

Femmes Forward, our career advancement programme for senior manager and director level women, continues to evolve with over 150 women from 57 different agencies having taken part in the programme. This year we are launching FF On Air, which will deliver all the learning, inspiration and community of Femmes Forward in a virtual setting, allowing us to continue growing more of our talented women around the world.

We have remained focused on communicating our All In mission through employee content and storytelling. One key way is through the All In Blog which shares local initiatives, employee spotlights, thought leadership pieces, educational resources, event recaps, and more. This year we are excited to evolve the blog into a full All In Microsite that will house all our global DEI information and resources. The Life@Havas newsletter and the @havas Instagram are also key channels where we amplify news and employee perspectives.

This year, Havas NA’s Commit to Change was developed to support, invest in, and grow its BIPOC talent. Explain some of the plan’s initiatives and how they are beginning to roll out across our NA offices?

In August 2020, we launched our comprehensive Commit to Change plan which outlines seven pillars focused on how we support our employees who are Black, Indigenous, People of Colour (BIPOC), how our business operates, as well as both long-term and short-term plans aimed at improving our representation. We are making progress.

“We’ve been meeting with our agency CEOs to review how they are enacting to improve representation and integrate DEI as an organic part of how their agencies do business.”

To date, we have launched an Education & Awareness training series for all employees and are now launching specialised education sessions for about 900 people leaders. We have designed and launched Havas Emerge, a new management development programme focused on accelerating the careers of our BIPOC talent and increasing representation in management roles across Havas. We are implementing a specialised talent assessment process that is specifically designed to help facilitate focused conversations regarding the next role for our diverse talent. In our creative business, all recruiting has been centralised to better support diversity in our hiring practices.  In addition, we’ve been meeting with our agency CEOs to review how they are enacting to improve representation and integrate DEI as an organic part of how their agencies do business. Other markets are making progress as well, with the UK reaffirming its commitment to DEI with a DEI executive committee, a 10-point charter outlining their commitments over the next five years, and a new DEI plan in the works in France.  We’ll also be expanding our DEI plans into other markets over the course of the year. 

Can you tell us about the findings of the recent Havas Group gender report and how research like this informs and is utilised by your team?

We love data and use it to inform where we should focus our global programming as well as how to measure the impact of initiatives. The recent gender report conducted by our CSR department was important because it confirmed that women remain the majority within the group at 56.7% and that all regions have at least 50% women. Women hold 53.9% of our management roles and 41% of our CEO, President and Managing Director roles. As we look at professions, we have an opportunity in IT and Creative, where men hold 84% and 58% of the positions, respectively.

What are some of the core global and regional initiatives and programmes developed by your team and how have they have evolved, even as we continue to work from home in many of our Villages?

While we were quite busy with developing the programmes for Commit to Change, we also launched some new global initiatives. We tried to look at the challenges of the pandemic as opportunities to create new programmes and experiences. With that we saw the birth of Havas from Home, a twice-weekly global communication platform and social campaign (#havasfromhome). We focused on three core pillars—Connect, Learn, and Be Well, and the design was to keep the spirit of the Havas community energised, encourage employees to continue their professional development, and help them prioritise personal wellness. As time went on, the content in each issue became increasingly informed by employees around the world who sent in their own resources, articles, and personal stories—making it a truly global collaboration. Havas from Home has now fully evolved into Life@Havas, a weekly communication with the same spirit of positivity, community, and employee wellbeing (#lifeathavas).

“Our main objective is to create meaningful work experiences for the employees of Havas.”

We had a great time putting together a special virtual learning series called ChatRooms, which brings together leaders and experts for discussions on the latest industry topics. Sessions have ranged from Multi-Cultural Marketing, to deep dive leadership conversations, to CCO’s perspectives on Creativity in the time of COVID-19. To date, ChatRooms sessions have gathered upwards of 1,000+ global employees per session.

In addition, we launched several self-directed courses on Havas University including:  Managing Anxiety, Unleash your Extraordinary, Motivating Your Team, Innovating the Way we Work, and Leading Through Change.

Our employee survey, HAVASay, continues to be a great indicator of employee engagement for us and we took advantage of the time to overhaul the survey by improving the user experience and adding new questions on Remote Work, Work Life Blend, and DEI.

Finally, our global programmes that were already underway such as NextGen (leadership development) and Femmes Forward FRIDA (women creative advancement) were adapted virtually to the extent that it made sense. I think it goes without saying they are all looking forward to continuing with an in-person talent experience one day in the future! #ZoomFatigue

People is one of Havas Positive Impact’s three pillars. What are the goals beneath this pillar?

Our main objective is to create meaningful work experiences for the employees of Havas. We do this through a global and local approach, meaning developing initiatives that span all three networks as well as supporting local programming taking place in agencies. We are currently analysing the results of our HAVASay employee survey which gives us great insight as to areas of focus. That said, there are a couple of key goals: determine the future of the Havas work environment (post-pandemic), expand our learning and development offerings to impact more employees, make progress in our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion areas of focus globally, and improve our career development approach.

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