July 6th, 2018
The second annual Diversity in Marketing (DIMA) summit took place in London this month at BBC Broadcasting House. A panel of top brand and agency leaders, entrepreneurs and creatives from across media and marketing came together to compile a list of 50 men who have shown that they are advocates for Equality in Marketing & Media.
The DIMA Summit is the only event of its kind in Europe, bringing together the entire marketing and media ecosystem under one roof in order to foster inclusion and diversity in the industry.
Userfarm’s CMO Jeffrey Lee was on the selected list, amongst other men such as Vogue UK’s Editor in Chief Edward Enniful and Marc Pritchard, Chief Brand Officer of P&G. We asked Jeffrey a couple of questions about not only the honour of being on this list but the work we’re doing at Userfarm that promotes equality in film and advertising.
-What have you been doing here at Userfarm that has put you on this list?
It’s not so much about what I’m doing, as about what the new creative paradigm does. Crowdsourcing creativity means tearing down barriers and enabling anybody, of any ethnicity, gender, (dis)ability, age or social background, to have the same opportunity to have their talent seen, recognised and rewarded on a world stage. Our ‘workplace’ is global and it is naturally, utterly diverse.
– This is about gender equality in the workplace, but what have you taken from this movement in relation to your “outside work” life?
The crowd is instructive in this regard. It is a pure meritocracy and it suffers no excuses and needs no “affirmative action”. If you are good, your content will shine, whoever you are, wherever you are from. That is how we should approach any relationship – on the merits of the individual, whether man or woman.
– What message or advice do you have for other men in similar professional positions and industries to you?
Do unto others…
– What focuses on gender equality do you see here at Userfarm with the campaigns and projects that we do?
Userfarm’s very existence is bringing women into the heart of marketing creativity and production, and we are actively boosting the careers of young women creatives. In our latest Nespresso Talents contest for instance, the 400 entrants from 50 countries were split 50/50 male/female. The winners, whose films were showcased in major festivals like Cannes and Tribeca, were mostly young women.
Userfarm also works often on briefs in this area; a project with Barilla reflected the kaledioscopic diversity of modern families, and we ran a contest with the film co-operative Shorts On Tap, on “Transcending Gender”.
We also ran a remarkable project recently with Action Aid to combat violence against women. We received 80 powerful videos (by men and women) from all over the world, including this top selection from Italy and this inspirational film by a brilliant young Mexican woman filmmaker, shot in the Yucatan jungle.
– Working in advertising, branding, and film being at Userfarm, is it hard to come across brands, themes, and ideologies that are conscious of gender equality? Have you seen a change over the years?