The ‘IN for 13’ Progress Report

June 21st, 2022

Los Angeles-based Black creative collective, Three’s a Crowd launched the initiative IN FOR 13%, two-years ago (June 2020). The goal of IN FOR 13 was to have agencies commit to increasing its leadership team to 13% black leadership by 2023. 

Two-years into IN FOR 13, what’s changed? What progress have each individual agency made? What progress has the IN agencies made as a collective? We’re all wondering…

Check out this video and In FOR 13’s Year in Review infographic on the website, which will have a full update on its progress. 

As you can see from the video, collectively the IN agencies are halfway there to the 13% goal. 6% black leadership as of 2022. Increase from 3% in 2020. IN agencies are hiring more black talent. Up 34% from 2020 (at 6.7%). NET- NET 2022 looks like 2021 but better than 2020. 

Why wasn’t there significant change in 2022? Well, agencies are starting to go deeper. Starting to see the work isn’t that transactional.  It requires more depth. 

Originally it was all about the data.  Showing the representation numbers are moving. But that’s hard to do with retention, recruiting, promotions are moving but not at the pace we’d all like. And retention, recruiting and promotions only move when employees trust and are connected to the agency they work for OR are considering working for. 

So, IN agencies are starting to see… 

How do we build trust and connection with employees and possible talent? You know, the stuff that’s a human element and hard to see. IN agencies are eager to develop clear actionable programming that builds trust and connection. Cleaning up their houses for existing employees and possible talent.

But knowing that’s the focus, how do the agencies continue to show progress internally and externally? We all know this type of progress takes time. The 3% Conference went from 3% to 29% in female leadership in ten years. And gender is so different from race / ethnicity. 

How can IN agencies manage this progress behind the scenes when it’s not going to look like significant changes? How is trust truly built in our fast-pace and results driven industry? And how is trust really built with an underrepresented group who historically don’t trust the advertising industry? 

IN FOR 13 wants the IN agencies to use their client problem solving skills to explore how-to build trust and connection with Black talent. The IN agencies are now in specific ‘pitch teams’ to uncover insights for practical planning to improve retention, recruiting, on-boarding and promotion.

More to come in 2023 on what’s revealed from the IN agencies findings.