The Association of Independent Commercial Producers has launched an Equity & Inclusion Committee “to help the industry cast a wider net for talent, create opportunities for mentorship and advancement for people of color, and establish hiring practices that more easily facilitate a means of entry to the industry.”
The committee is chaired by Tabitha Mason-Elliott, who is head of production and a partner at the Bark Bark commercial production company in Atlanta. She is also president of the AICP’s southeast chapter and a national board member of AICP, which says it represents producers of 85% of all domestic commercials aired nationally.
During its first meeting, the committee says it identified and structured itself to address areas of access, mentorship and hiring practices, and established subcommittees to examine each area, along with one to develop a set of Best Practices for Agencies. The Equity & Inclusion Committee and its subcommittees are also working to develop recommendations and tools for production and post-production companies.
Among the committtee members is Chelsea Owner/ President Lisa Mehling
The committee said that its goal is “to deliver to AICP members, and to the benefit of the industry as a whole, a set of resources and tools that will help them address issues of ingrained bias and to remove barriers.” Mason-Elliot said that this extends to the ad agency side of the business as well. “We need our partners there to align with us so that we can help each other,” she said. “That’s why we’re holding these roundtable events. We want everyone involved in the awarding of jobs to play a role in addressing these problems.”
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