Zeno For Everyone: Act Together Progress Update 2022
By Andréa Richardson, Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Cultivating a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace at Zeno Group is more than what we do. It is carefully woven into the fabric of who we are - essential to how we operate across all aspects of our business. From the vendors we partner with, to the strategic counsel we provide to our clients, to the internal initiatives we implement and so much more.
As Zeno’s head of DE&I for the past year and a half, it has been my mission, along with the tireless efforts of our Executive team, to ensure that Zeno continues to be a place where employees of all backgrounds are seen and heard, part of an agency that is dedicated to helping them thrive in their careers.
Two years ago, following the murder of George Floyd and the social unrest that swept the globe, we were moved to take action toward making true impact in the fight against systemic racism. After many conversations with Zeno employees, colleagues, and friends, we understood that not only were marginalized communities and allies deeply hurting, but major changes needed to take effect before the healing process could begin.
We quickly determined a course of action for how Zeno would be part of the much-needed change in our industry, and Act Together was born. The detailed commitments and initiatives focused on moving the pendulum forward within our agency and the industry as a whole.
Below are a few data points to underscore the work we have done over the past year – where we have seen growth and where we can continue to improve. You can find a comprehensive list of results in our full 2022 Act Together Progress Report.
- We made a capital investment in EGAMI Group — the award-winning, multicultural communications firm that began its own courageous journey over 15 years ago, advocating for greater cultural competency, equity, and inclusion. This strategic partnership is an important manifestation of Zeno's Act Together commitments and purpose.
- We implemented DE&I goals as a part of annual performance reviews for 100% of Zeno employees, holding us all accountable for progress.
- We expanded the agency’s DE&I Council to 60+ members across North America, adding 20 new members from 2021 to 2022.
- We welcomed Zeno’s first DE&I Engagement Manager to forge new relationships with diverse talent through partnerships with industry associations and academic institutions.
- We devoted nearly 4,000 hours of pro-bono time, a $960,000+ investment, to support The DuSable Black History Museum and Education Center, including creative leadership and execution of their re-branding, and handling social and earned media for the Equiano film and exhibit.
- We provided counsel to dozens of clients around societal issues including human rights, racial injustice, acts of violence and hate crimes against the AAPI and BIPOC communities.
- 28% of our U.S. workforce identifies as racially or ethnically diverse, compared to 24% in 2021.
This is just the beginning of our journey. We fully understand that there is still work to be done. And we are up for it.
Above all, we are dedicated to ensuring that Zeno remains a safe space for all our employees, across every walk of life and geography.