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Strength in Diversity, Rooted in Our Values

For the past few weeks, BNO colleagues have been engaged in meaningful, important conversation in the aftermath of the tragic death of George Floyd, amid the nationwide dialogue on black community pain. We feel it’s important to share with our BNO colleagues where we stand on this matter. In our business, words are important. On this issue, actions are important. We need to get both as right as we can in this moment, though we will certainly make mistakes as we learn and grow in our understanding.

As everyone knows, for almost 40 years BNO has endeavored to steer clear of personal politics and to be a place where progressive and conservative ideals, along with fiercely independent thinking, can thrive. However, these issues in our view are not matters of personal politics or political ideology, but of essential human rights. For that reason, we want to be clear that, as a company, we strongly oppose racial discrimination and inequality of any kind and that black lives matter.

We recognize that while many of us have experienced discrimination in various forms – gender, sexual orientation, belief, and various forms of racial discrimination – we have limited perspective on the injustices and real dangers the black community has faced and is currently facing. At the same time, we stand united with our black industry colleagues, clients, family members and friends in the fight against inequality of any kind, in any form.

While the lowercase i’s in our 3i values have always stood for innovate, inspire, and involve, the capital “I” that underscores all that we are, and all that we do, is INCLUSION. We greatly value our diverse culture and welcome passionate, creative thinkers of all stripes. These values will continue to guide our actions. Big hat thinking. Being smart, staying smart. Knowing how you impact the world around you. Being the person you would fight for. Bias for action. Listening. Honoring commitments. And most of all, being and holding one another accountable.

Guided by these values, we pledge to continue to listen, to learn and to make an impact. As a woman-owned agency, we are acutely aware that commitment is nothing without action. Therefore, we intend to do as much as we can to meet caring with action. We have always aspired to be a “whole greater than the sum of its parts,” therefore, our planned actions are designed to create a multiplier effect. We welcome your feedback on these steps:

  1. A $500 bonus for any BNO colleague that demonstrates meaningful action, including volunteerism and/or mentorship focused on diversity and inclusion in 2020.
  2. A review of our hiring process, including ensuring we are directly asking recruiters and staffing agencies to source a diverse pool of candidates for BNO roles.
  3. Addition of content on to clearly and publicly share our commitment to diversity, inclusion, and equality.
  4. Adoption of the ideals expressed in the ANA’s Commitment to Equality, Inclusion, and Systemic Change.

We are also grateful for the opportunity to work with clients that are recognized innovators and leaders in equality, diversity, and inclusion. Many of our clients have publicly pledged their support and committed to action to accelerate progress on these issues. Knowing that our work enables their important work toward these mutual goals is another way we can make a difference.

Lastly, moments such as this are an important time to remind all colleagues to speak up for themselves and others if you feel you are witnessing discrimination (including unconscious bias) in the workplace of any kind, sort, variety, or level. Your voice will be heard.

We welcome and encourage ongoing dialogue at BNO. We are deeply grateful to each of you for the unique gifts, perspectives, and life experiences you bring to make BNO a diverse and inclusive place to work.