One year after Diego Scotti, Chief Marketing Officer for Verizon, sent a letter to 11 of the company’s marketing agencies telling them to diversify or risk loosing business, Verizon launched its own marketing fellowship.
The Verizon AdFellows program is a first of its kind, fully immersive program providing participants with a paid fellowship, inclusive of housing expenses, and places diverse talent directly in regular contact with Verizon’s marketing executives and the agencies with which they work.
“AdFellows is founded on the knowledge that our industry needs diverse voices and perspectives to be successful,” said Scotti.
“In order to deliver on our promise of a digital world, we have an important role to play in creating more diversity and inclusion within the advertising and marketing industry,” said Scotti. “It is important for both our customers and employees. AdFellows helps address a core issue by positively influencing the recruitment pipeline.”
With a goal of 90% job placement at the completion of the fellowship, AdFellows can play an important role in diversifying the marketing industry. As Fast Company recently reported, “according to a 2014 Bureau of Labor Statistics report, of the 582,000 people employed in advertising and communications in the U.S., less than half were women, 10.5% Hispanic, 6.6% were black, and 5.7% Asian.”
Increasingly, major brands are taking note of how important it is to have diverse talent actively involved in marketing their products and services. Verizon looks to be a leader in this field, and is already making meaningful strides in the right direction.