Why we need This Is The Job

by | Thought Leadership

I was very fortunate to grow up in a creative environment. My father, Jerry Pinkney, was a children’s book illustrator who exposed me daily to the almost boundless world of creativity. He continuously encouraged me to follow my passion for the arts if that’s what brought me joy. At the time, I didn’t recognize what a gift it was to have someone in my life who knew the true potential of a career in the arts. Not only would it bring incredible satisfaction, but it would go on to bring me so many amazing opportunities.

After graduating from New York’s Pratt Institute with a bachelor’s degree of Fine Arts with a major in Advertising & Design, I had a choice of joining either a design firm or Ogilvy & Mather Direct. I chose O&MD after meeting Leslie Singer, who not only saw something in me but also passionately lobbied for me. She gave me my first opportunity in an industry that was far from diverse. In a matter of weeks, I started my first job as an Assistant Art Director.

I think back to those times and now see how fortunate I was to have such an important mentor in my life; someone who was living proof that you could have a stable, well-paying career while also doing what you love.

Today there are so many young people who are from racialized groups and who possess incredible gifts, passions and talents that could be used in the hundreds of roles in the world of advertising. Unfortunately, for many, this world is invisible to them. If you are a member of a racialized group, the odds of you discovering and breaking into this industry are frighteningly low.

In 2020, when diversity and inclusion became a major focus for companies across the world, we saw companies looking for ways to make real the message that change and progress were needed and would be made. Our industry was no different. The challenge facing so many companies – with an issue so big – is how to do it.

That’s where we saw a window of opportunity. We knew the talent was there. We knew that young people from all backgrounds have passions.  And we know that many of them struggle to understand how they can turn their passions into a career.

Enter This Is The Job, and the idea that whatever your passion, there is a job for you in advertising. The objective was simple – to expose and educate young people, specifically those who are racialized, to all the incredible jobs that exist in advertising. Simply tell us about your passions and we’ll show you the roles that fit you best. We’ll tell you what they involve, what an average day is like, and the skills the job demands.

Over the course of the last 9 months, a dedicated team of over 50 Publicis employees planned, created, wrote, built, and launched a platform that we hope – in time – will change the complexion of the Canadian advertising industry and bring new opportunities to people who might not otherwise have had them.

We need This is The Job because we are currently missing out on great talent from all backgrounds. We need This is The Job because we need everyone to be invited to the table, to have their voice heard, and to be a part of an industry built on inclusivity. And finally, we need This is The Job because equity isn’t just a good idea…it’s a mission. And it’s one we can achieve together, one step forward at a time.

I am excited to announce that thisthejob.org has officially launched. We are now in talks with a number of school boards and associations to help get the message out, and the reception we’ve received so far has been incredible. Our site has launched with 25 job roles, and we will be adding more over the next six months, with even more content to help students understand just how rewarding a career in advertising can be.

While we still have much work to do as an industry, we think this is a good start that will drive real change.

I invite you to visit the site and spread the message that we are looking for the next generation of advertising professionals to join the party, change the face of advertising, and help it look more like the country we all call home.

Whatever your passion, This Is The Job:

This Is The Job

We would like to thank all the incredibly talented individuals from Publicis companies who helped us make the passion project a reality: Stephanie McRae, Raymond Smith, Jessica Carnegie, Josephine Grant, Erin Wright, Ben Jones, Ryan Cottrell, Nikita Pigalov, Matty Rivera, Juanita Kwarteng, Ani Artinian, Carly Duffy, Alicia Boatto, Fabio Nagarano, Oma Nwigwe, and Anita Gilliam.