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The Influencers

Blue Thinking: Diversity - Do We Really Care About It?

INFLUENCER: JCDecaux's Anto Chioccarelli talks diversity and what we’re (not) doing about it. Speaking from the heart of an Italian woman in advertising

Blue Thinking: Diversity - Do We Really Care About It?

It’s my turn now…

So much is being discussed about diversity at the BAFTAs, Oscars, in Campaign, on Twitter.

Today, Time Out revealed that men are being paid £46 a day more than women. Disgusting!

Every day I bump into an article about diversity. Gender diversity, sexual diversity, race diversity, diversity of opinion, background diversity, cultural diversity, neurodiversity, age diversity. We are in AD-iversity era.

Bla bla bla.

Do we really care about it?

Do you even know how it feels to feel different?

It’s bloody awful! To be laughed at, to feel embarrassed, dismissed, not taken seriously just because you are a woman or have a funny accent.

I am an immigrant and a woman. I work in the advertising industry, where the gaps are still huge.

But I am optimistic and positive this will change.

But the change has to come from us. From you. You there sitting quietly at that desk. Reading this article and not saying or doing anything because you’d better hide. Don’t be passive.

You have to stand up for yourself. You are the only one who can really change the game. People have to treat you with respect regardless of your gender or cultural background.

I know it takes up a lot of energy…God I know it. And I also know that you are afraid of what might happen if you spoke up.

The only way to break down this fear is to do what we're afraid of. This allows you to discover that you can actually handle the consequences, and not only will that make you stronger, but invincible.

Don’t be afraid. Diversity is a strength. It’s your power.

Your accent, the colour of your skin but also the passion, the excitement, willingness and the capability, the drive, the things that you and only you can do will make the difference.

You being you, authentically you is extremely attractive and the winning formula.

When I first moved to London, I couldn’t speak English at all, I couldn’t communicate the basics, and it was a struggle to survive let alone to find a job.

I have been close to giving up so many times but I never did.

I never did because I had a dream and the energy to make it happen. And that’s me. My unique, ’diverse’ passion, the energy, the determination and perseverance. That won over my funny accent and my gender. That made the difference.

I moved to London seven years ago. London. Let me tell you what I have always thought about you.

The city with the strongest creative heritage, full of talents, diverse talents. The place where everybody gets given an opportunity.

A complex place. In fact I don't think you will find a city anywhere in the world as complex and diverse as London. But London is also full of potential and life. Rich in complexity and diversity, a place of enormous, almost unlimited, creativity and fecundity.

It's the old thought from Dr Johnson "who is tired of London is tired of life".

London has been a transformative experience for me. So many connections and connections are what make life, and connections change us.

We need more cities as rich in diversity as London.

This is what I think about you LONDON and like me thousands of people around the Globe. Don’t disappoint us. You have got to lead this!

Be the place where diverse people dream and believe they can make it. Be the place where diverse dreams become diverse realities.

Diversity is a damn great thing! And you know it.



Anto Chioccarelli is Lead of Creative Partnerships at JCDecaux

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