The One Club and AIR Announce Expanded Equify Diversity Certification Program

Global online audio program for agencies, brands and individuals builds a shared foundation of DEIC best practices throughout all levels of an organization.


NEW YORK, April 4, 2023 — The One Club for Creativity and Allies in Recruiting (AIR) have launched an expanded version of their successful Equify diversity training and certification program to help both senior executives and staff create more inclusive and equitable practices throughout their organizations.


Equify was developed for AIR in 2020 by James Nicholas Kinney, global chief people officer, MediaMonks, and an AIR founding partner and board advisor, to fill a void in the ad industry and establish foundational best practices for inclusion education across organizations.  AIR became part of The One Club in July 2022.    


The audio program (with closed captioning available) goes into detail about Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and how it affects work culture. Equify uses simple and clear examples to cover topics across generations, cultural and gender identity, accessibility and ableism, sustainability, and more, to unite, mobilize and create changemakers within an organization.


Equify is designed for everyone — from senior executives, hiring managers, talent and HR teams, to any employee who participates in hiring or wants to create a more inclusive culture in their workplace. It is the only certification designed to bridge the knowledge gap between how organizations hire talent, and how diverse talent can be supported, included, and retained.


The global program now includes two separate courses, each structured like a podcast. Equify 1.0 covers why the program was created, the current challenges within DEIC, and offers tools for success. It consists of 10 chapters covering topics including the business and legal cases for DEIC, the impact of unconscious bias, building effective programs and policies, and others.


The new Equify 2.0 spans 11 chapters, addressing subjects including environmental, social and governance (ESG) and DEIC, how and why to collect diversity data, mental health and diversity, and others. The courses reflect Kinney's engaging personality, taking an enjoyable, relatable approach to the subject matter.


"I'm in war mode, and in a war mood, in order to get DEI and culture back on track.” said Kinney.  “We've made so much meaningful progress, but now is not the time to go to sleep on the mission. Our industry is shifting by the day, and Equify gives us a common language of belonging and a knowledge base to unify. This moment and the new era of creativity is about knowledge, facts and growth, not fear."


The initial program has already been well received in the industry. 


“In the last few years, we’ve seen so many impactful but disconnected ED&I efforts in our industry,” said Dani Herrera, director, Recruitment Operations & DEI at R/GA.  “I see Equify as a cornerstone and the foundation of ED&I knowledge that pushes our industry to achieve sustainable, collective, and meaningful change.”


Mabel Liang, senior talent acquisition partner at Nike, added “Equify boosted my understanding of DEIC and the ways to navigate stakeholders.  It breaks the content down into short sessions with a theme and structure like a podcast, making it easy to listen to at our own pace.  Not only is it energizing and thought-provoking, but it also provides practical strategies for every person in the workforce.”


Alexa Zonsius, managing director, creative talent, Genuine Search Group and an AIR managing partner, said the broader scale of the expanded Equify program stands out from other programs in how it addresses both talent acquisition and retention to drive lasting change.


“It defeats the purpose of hiring people of marginalized communities if their manager, co-workers, and leaders don’t also foster that talent and ensure growth,” she said. “Talent Acquisition, HR, and DEIC can't do this work alone. Equify is unique in how it bridges the gap between talent acquisition and retention, and speaks directly to leaders and managers to course correct internal structures that have repeatedly held back diverse talent.”


“True long-term change requires education for all members of an organization,” said Kevin Swanepoel, CEO, The One Club.  “We’re proud to work with AIR on this expanded Equify program designed to build a shared foundation of diversity and inclusion knowledge, understanding, and best practices for both leaders and teams at agencies and brands.”


Equify is the latest in a long history of DEI programs available from The One Club, including the annual Where Are All The Black People diversity conference and job fair, ONE School free portfolio program for Black creatives in the US and UK, ONE Production training program for BIPOC creatives, global Creative Boot Camps, and more.  


About AIR


AIR is a volunteer-based organization dedicated to championing talent and educating the ad community to create a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable creative industry.  Established in June 2020, the group is a collective of advertising, creative, marketing, and tech recruiters and HR professionals who believe in the sharing of knowledge and expertise to create representation and belonging across the industry.  


These goals are achieved through continual DEI education of its members, companies, and clients through shared resources, tools, best practices, and support programs. The organization also has an education focus, introducing the creative industry as a future career option.  


AIR has more than 100 recruiters as founding and active members, and more than 500 additional recruiters have taken the organization’s pledge to recruit in accordance with DEIC principles. 

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