Havas Chicago has a little “Blacksplaining” to do to the rest of us.
To celebrate Black History Month and carry the conversation into Women’s History Month, Havas Chicago has launched its second annual #BLACKATWORK installation, with a specific focus on Black women.
The spectacular interactive exploration is designed to immerse participants of all races into the micro-aggressions and racially awkward moments many Black women experience in the workplace.
And there are many.
With a defined focus on continuing a dialogue ignited last year, #BLACKATWORK is intended to shed a light on the ongoing pursuit of workplace equality, delivered in true Havas Chicago form.
Account strategist Pilar McQuirter told Reel Chicago this, “As a Black woman, this activation was incredibly personal for me. As a Black woman in advertising, I have always struggled to exist holistically in spaces. This experience was designed to expose the harsh realities for Black women at work. A direct call to action for Black women is necessary because it’s never done,”
She added, “It’s us saying to Black women, ‘We see you (for who you are) we hear you (we’re aware of the difficulties of a non-inclusive workspace) and we want you here (we’re actively promoting a diverse and inclusive environment that requires representation of underrepresented groups.)’”
McQuirter also expressed how proud she is of the work as well as the team of Black women, men, “POC” talent and allies who supported us in bringing this to life. I am even more proud of how supportive my agency has been in engaging in this conversation and ensuring that we were well equipped to tackle this issue head on.
How “the game” works:
Havas invites “players” to step into “The Pursuit” game show: a 70s-inspired game that teaches the “player” about the unfair disadvantages Black women face in the workplace every single day. Here are the stations:
• The Name Game: What’s in a name? Contestants will select their name and start “The Pursuit.” The catch? Certain names don’t always move forward in “the game”. On average, “white applicants receive 36% more callbacks than equally
qualified African Americans.”
• Get Your Foot in the Door: Through a series of doors, we bring to life the pick your prize game show segment. In this scenario, what’s behind the door is an entry into Corporate America. We showcase how difficult it can be for black women to enter the working world.
• Do the Corporate Limbo: This isn’t your standard game of limbo! Our contestants will be challenged to get below, underneath and around the micro aggressions that come at Black women every day. With each comment, the limbo becomes more difficult to navigate.
• The Wall of Fortune: Plinko walls are all about winning awesome prizes and big money! The Pursuit twists the concept by using the classic game show construct to highlight the harsh truth about pay inequality for Black women in America.
The installation closes with the reality that this is not a game for Black women. With a commitment to equality for all, Havas has also launched a new diversity and inclusion program, internally and externally.
McQuirter hopes the inspiration from the installation will continue throughout the rest of the year and beyond. “Accountability for us means that the conversation doesn’t end when this lobby installation comes down. I’m working in lock step with our talent management and recruiting team to design internal programming for our agency focused on recruitment and retention.”
All in all, the new installation is another exciting example of how Havas has made their lobby have a purpose again.
Contact Colin Costello at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @colincostello10.