Barbarian, the digital creative agency backed by Cheil Worldwide, announced today that it has received 3% certification from gender equality organisation, The 3% Movement. The agency, the eighth organisation to receive recognition, is also the smallest among other recipients including 72andSunny, Possible, Adobe, Forsman & Bodenfors, VMLY&R, and Swift.
3% certification, led by The 3% Movement, is an independent agency assessment that evaluates agencies based on three key pillars: female leadership, workplace equality and culture, and equal creative opportunities. The certification process, initiated in late January 2020, involved qualitative and quantitative data intake and analysis, including employee interviews, anonymous surveys, work and awards credits, agency salary data, and more. Following the lockdown due to Covid-19, Barbarian adapted all in-person interviews online.
"We are incredibly honoured to be one of the few agencies to be 3% certified. Although 3% certification is best known for gender equality, it's also about championing a culture of creative opportunity and belonging,” said Courtney Berry, managing director at Barbarian. “It's no secret that Barbarian has undergone many changes over the last few years, but a real resurgence in the industry begins with a strong culture, and we see this as a great milestone towards a brighter future."
Foundation, Barbarian’s in-house gender equality group, played a critical role in the agency’s certification. Starting off as a channel on Slack, Foundation has grown into a fully backed entity within Barbarian. The group has provided access to mentorship programs, tools for employees to tap agency executives as career mentors, and has partnered with local organisations like the Sylvia Law Project and the Floating Hospital. Most recently, they led a portfolio review for NYU ITP students throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
"Every agency that goes through 3% certification is different. What stands apart about Barbarian is that they have mastered both diversity and inclusion, said Kat Gordon, founder and CEO at The 3% Movement. “They not only have excellent representation of women (49%) and people of colour, (40%) but their people report tremendous satisfaction and levels of feeling valued. Diversity isn't a headcount issue that can be solved overnight. You not only need to hire for diversity, you need to create a culture where all people can truly thrive. Congratulations to Barbarian for having achieved this."