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Is it Time for OOH/OAAA to Change the Process? — Replys and Comments on Podcast 61 on Diversity Equity and Inclusion

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Our Podcast 61 regarding the commitment of OOH and The OAAA to Diversity (Who’s Really Committed? OOH United & The OOH Industry Hall of Fame Winners) generated a number of phone calls, emails and comments directly to the website. While the phone calls and emails have been requested to be anonymous, the responses shared to our story via the website can be found on the site below the post. For your convenience, we listed the comments below. There are two sides to this story as often is the case.

Where do you stand on OOH/OAAA’s DEI processes? Particularly as it applies to selection and recognizing women and people of color? Which side do you stand with?

Stephen Freitas says—
“Your statement about no diversity among the 2021 Industry Hall of Fame recipients is a shallow criticism. First, people are nominated by their peers. Other than Liz Rave, no women were nominated this year and no one of color was nominated. If you think more diversity is required, nominate. Second, these awards are presented to people who have give notable service to the OOH industry over “many years.” This has not been a diverse industry over the years. We can all agree with that fact. Right now, there simply aren’t that many people of diversity who have given to the industry over the past several “decades”. This will change over time”

OOH TODAY believes all voices, not just the loudest, must be heard says—
Thank you Stephen Freitas for your comments. We welcome all voices and comments regardless whether we agree or not on the issues. OOH Today as a leading voice for OOH, understands the selection process you characterize in your comment. Your suggesting ‘shallow criticism’ is a rather weak attempt to control the narrative and deflect the responsibility of the OOH Industry and specifically OAAA as the “leading association” for OOH, to address through action the issues which we brought forth in our Podcast. By labelling our statements as shallow criticism is only more evidence of the OAAA’s abdication of taking responsive action to bring forth real change in Diversity Equality and Inclusion. Shallow criticism or not, the facts are clear and speak for themselves via 7 middle aged white men were elected. To lay blame on the system, your system of selection via nomination, is continuing to turn a blind eye on the real changes needed to accomplish DEI. Are you suggesting the system for selection has an inherent bias? Stephen, Change the system. If your process fails to nominate people of color or females, change your process. It is that simple. And when you do, the Sun will still come up in the morning and albeit most likely warmer and more cheerful than the day before.

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Tony Dailey says—

“I appreciate the comments around diversity in our industry. Interesting to me that the conversation around diversity immediate turned only to women. It is a shame that some of the women you discuss are not in HOF (note- I have not seen the list so not sure who’s in or out). However let’s not forget people of color as well. The business may be less diverse now (from my experience) than it was ‘then’. From my experience, no recruitment pipeline to speak of, mentoring is ad hoc at best, retention then becomes an issue. Until managers have ‘skin in the game’ or at least some major interest in recruiting and developing women and people of color this will still be the sad topic of discussion 5 years from now.”


OOH TODAY believes all voices, not just the loudest, must be heard says
Thank you Tony Dailey for the comments. We completely agree with your assessment. OOH Today and the Podcast Board Room Directors will continue to push the issues facing the lack of diversity, people of color, in the OOH Industry. It is a sentiment we have committed to since we opened the doors despite the push back and threats when we announced our intentions. We will continue advocacy with our newsletter and podcasts until actual successes and results are realized. It’s time for OOH to walk the walk. Please consider joining us in an upcoming podcast.


Finally from ‘Chris’
“This was a huge missed opportunity. @OAAA is just checking the box with their DEI initiative.”

OOH TODAY believes all voices, not just the loudest, must be heard says—
‘Thank you Chris. You might say the OAAA is just checking the box with their DEI initiative. We couldn’t possibly. But we will repeat, as it was said in our Podcast, it was a huge missed opportunity. #podcast #diversity #oohadvertising #leadership

Hear Podcast 61 below 1:58 min. secs. Click the orange circle/white arrow below

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