Q&A With Council Member, Danielle Hemsley
Hear from Council member Danielle Hemsley, Director of Research Strategy at Cassandra, as she outlines the importance of the work being done by the ARF Cultural Effectiveness Council.
1. Why did you decide to join the ARF Cultural Effectiveness Council?
Diversity and inclusion both in our advertising as well as our day-to-day business has always been close to my heart, and it is great to be involved with a council focused specifically in this area. So often in our day-to-day, we are surrounded by the same people and the same thinking, and councils provide an opportunity to step into a “room” with a group of industry professionals from different companies and different backgrounds than myself. The Cultural Effectiveness Council is comprised of an amazing group of industry professionals that share a passion to promote diversity, equity and inclusion in our industry, and we focus on putting that passion to action through creating education and driving progress, and of course learning in the process (at the end of the day we researchers are lifelong learners).
2. What has your Council been doing that you found particularly interesting or helpful?
Recently, we have been doing a series of events (Navigating the Messy Middle Series) focused on the experiences of diverse people in our industry and how they are currently or have navigated mid-career, aka the “messy middle.” I think “messy” is such a great description, because unlike entry level and senior folks who have a lot of support and mentorship, the middle tends to be more messy. The sessions have been an inspiration to me as someone navigating mid-career myself, as well as eye-opening to learn about additional challenges that my peers of color are facing as they navigate this journey.
3. Why is the Council’s February 9 Messy Middle important for the industry?
If you haven’t seen Storm Smith on stage or on a panel before, you’re in for a real treat. Storm was the highlight of the 2019 ANA Multicultural Conference in San Diego and she has a story worth experiencing. I am also excited to see Reny, an accomplished researcher who brings perspectives from both vendor and media sides. It is important for leaders to gain insight from people who are part of the mid-level as we navigate the future of our industry during these unprecedented times. This event will be insightful for you wherever you are in your career.