dentsu international has launched a new internal initiative titled ‘Common Ground’ for its 11,000 employees in 17 markets in the Asia-Pacific region.
Common Ground is a way for employees at dentsu to make connections in other markets and regions based on their common interests, whether that’s food, sport, music, travel, books, film or as obscure as stamp collecting. By using common interests as a way to reflect diversity, dentsu believes its people will shine through.
The team had a compelling start point: what if the pandemic’s impact on virtual meetings was an opportunity to bring people together across APAC? How could the network get its people to see through different windows and expand their perspectives? What if the virtual environment became the most unfiltered way to strike a conversation, beyond the work itself? To find out, they piloted the programme with eight volunteers with incredible outcomes and scaled it to the rest of the region.
Anyone at dentsu APAC is able to participate by applying through a matching form, where ‘dentsu twins’ are matched for a surprise 30-minute phone call.
Dentsu’s DEI lead in APAC, Merlee Jayme, partnered with Gautam Reghunath, CEO, Dentsu Webchutney, to bring this initiative to life for diversity month. Believing that building strong relationships by understanding each other’s backgrounds is a big step to diversity, she said, “People are at the heart of every great creative business and dentsu is a hallmark of that. With a clear strategy on how we want to build our identity in the region, bringing our people together in a fun, informal way is a meaningful start. We’re thrilled with Common Ground volunteers in Japan, Thailand, India, Philippines, and Australia exchanging Instagram handles and making travel plans to countries already. Common Ground has something for everyone at dentsu, and we’re proud to launch during diversity month. I can’t wait to see how it brings people together in new ways across our network.”
Ashish Bhasin, CEO, dentsu APAC, said, “Our talent is as ingenious as they are diverse. Dentsu has always bet on the serendipitous connections across regions and fostering that kind of networking in such an organic manner is going to take us to new places. In a data-rich world, I’m proud all the pairings will happen based on actual interests and actual people. The team has asked me to be patient before I get to meet my dentsu twin!”
All talent at dentsu APAC can apply for the program now.