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Tech City: Agency praised by LGBT awards for team diversity

PUBLISHED: 15:00 27 September 2015

Sitrland Martin

Sitrland Martin

Archant

An award-winning Shoreditch digital agency which was recognised as a business that welcomes diversity through its awards partnership celebrating Scotland’s thriving LGBT community is championing underrepresented communities in the workplace.

We are AD (AD) was celebrated for welcoming professional diversity by being confirmed as a digital partner for the Icon Awards earlier this year.

The agency has assumed the responsibility for the awards’ digital strategy, including a new website and expansion into new markets ahead of the star-studded Icon Awards launch party on October 9.

Michael MacFarlane, PR and Marketing Manager at Icon Awards, said; “AD is the perfect fit, and was our first choice to come on board and help us build The Icon Awards. We believe their passion and drive will help us build something special, across the UK, and we can’t wait to get to work.

“Not only do we want to recognise those most deserving, but we plan to create an event the community will be proud of - watch this space.”

AD has had a year of successes, acquiring a multitude of new clients, including Islington-based Almeida theatre, for which the agency built a new website with an enhanced user interface and full integration with the venue’s ticketing system.

Client relations manager Stirland Martin, who joined the company just over a year ago, said: “As an agency we love to take the old and traditional and make it vibrant, fun and innovative. Sometimes it’s not easy but when you get there in the end it’s rewarding.

“From a creative standpoint with our clients the relationship on both ends needs to be there and also a client that will present a new challenge for us.”

On the subject of diversity, Stirland said he welcomed the conversation to be had collectively among tech companies.

He added: “One of the most important things to me in terms of diversity is to mention the founder of AD, and certainly diversity was something he championed. We have a very open and generous policy and we just try to cultivate and champion diversity in the workplace. I think we convey that through a lot of the projects that we do.

“I think our partnership with the Icon Awards speaks quite soundly about our view on inclusion and our support of the community –

in particularly the LGBT community.

He continued: “I guess being black and gay I tick the diversity box. I remember once I went to an awards ceremony and it was homogenous – more than 70 per cent of the people in the room were white and male and I think that I was one of three people of colour that could identify as being diverse – I wasn’t particularly offended but it is an issue.

“I think one of the reasons is that lots of people don’t identify themselves as such and, also, it is important to realise that the field of tech in terms of digital is still quite a young sector – so I think it’s growing and it’s just a young field

“I do think culture and conversations are changing because it’s new but inclusion and diversity was certainly a conversation

that we just aren’t having collectively.”

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