Monday 30 October 2023

Create Space case study: Publicis Groupe

Publicis Groupe is the first ACA member agency to have achieved recognition as an AWEI-certified Employer. Head of DE&I, Jess Farrell, shares what’s required to earn recognition as a top employer for LGBTQ people in Australia.


Why did Publicis Groupe decide to tackle the LGBTQ+ action and become an AWEI-certified workplace?

Egalite is our Employee Resource Group dedicated to employees and their allies in the rainbow community. 

As members of Pride in Diversity, we decided to become AWEI-certified because we wanted to ensure we were focused on meaningful impact and change in this space. 

The Create Space Census indicated that our industry is not as open and inclusive as it thinks it is in regard to queer talent.

Our workplaces lack queer representation at senior levels (9% of agency leadership) despite over a quarter of junior talent identifying as LGBTQIA+. What’s more, 32% choose to hide their sexuality at work. 

At Publicis Groupe, we want to hold ourselves accountable to the definitive national benchmark on LGBTQ workplace inclusion and ensure we’re meeting the standards held by many of Australia’s largest and most prominent employers. 

Who from the Groupe was involved? How long was the process?

It was a very detailed and meticulous process as we worked through what was required as part of the submission, which took us about 12 months to complete.

We made many best practice policy changes, ensured communication and support were coming from our senior leaders and that we were educating our broader team along the way. 

The work for the AWEI submission was mostly completed by Joshua Green, our Committee Lead, working closely with me and the broader Egalite team as we collated resources, documentation and information in the areas of: 

  • People and Culture policy and diversity practice 
  • LGBTQ Bullying, Harassment and Support 
  • Inclusion of Trans and Gender Diverse employees 
  • Strategic focus and accountability 
  • LGBTQ Employee Network 
  • Training, Awareness and Professional Development



Any useful tips, advice or resources that might help other agencies?

We utilised the support of our Pride in Diversity representative. They provided invaluable support and advice, so that by the time we got to submission we were confident with what we’d gathered. It made a huge difference. 

Have you noticed any improvements since implementing this action?

Lots of the work has already been implemented and up and running for the last 12 months – policy changes, training and education, DE&I strategy, connection of our Employee Resource Groups, celebrations and events etc. 

It was fantastic for the Egalite team to be recognised for the contribution they make to Publicis Groupe. A testament to their passion and commitment to ensuring Publicis Groupe continues to remain an inclusive employer! 


The Create Space Census is open until November 28 2023, to chart the ad industry’s progress on diversity and inclusion. Jump onto to complete the 15-minute survey and join us in making Adland a more inclusive place to work! Click here.

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