Digital LeadersDiversity within marketing: Pushing beyond a CSR checkbox

Diversity within marketing: Pushing beyond a CSR checkbox

When talent and skills are not static how will marketing leaders invest and upskill diverse talent to accelerate growth?

Marketing and technology cascade as society changes. The skill set required to fill talent gaps for brands to connect with consumers is constantly evolving. Given that the average shelf life of a skill is about 18 to 24 months, marketing leaders must invest in, upskill, and allow diverse talent the space to grow and explore.

The second episode of ClickZ Marketing Masters features Tim Flagg in conversation with Orchid Bertelsen, Chief Operating Officer at Common Thread Collective, a California based ecommerce growth agency. Orchid taps into her experiences as a first-gen American Asian woman who journeyed her way through the ranks at businesses like Nestlé, DentsuMB, and FTI Consulting in 18 years.

In her earlier role, as Head of Consumer Experience, Strategy & Innovation at Nestlé USA, Orchid evaluated and tested emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), voice assistance, augmented/virtual reality (AR/VR). Her portfolio spans across adding value at the intersection of marketing strategy, consumer experience, and technology for 40+ brands.

Listen in for Orchid’s practical advice on how she is tying in the challenges, truths, qualitative, and quantitative fibers that lie at the heart of diversity and inclusion (D&I).

Time stamps

3:45 – What makes a great marketing leader?

6:17 – How do you approach the ‘nurture vs nature’ conundrum with hiring marketing talent?

9:18 – How have marketing teams’ perspectives changed with towards diversity and inclusion?

15:30 – How do you give diverse voices more confidence to participate?

21:24 – Advice on manifesting change beyond D&I as a corporate social responsibility (CSR) checkbox

22:45 – How can leadership bridge the gap between intent and action by opening up to feedback loops?

26:40 – What are the biggest challenges the industry is facing in terms of D&I?

31:00 – What are some resource that modern marketing leaders can use to foster diverse and inclusive teams?


“With the rise of Gen Z and Gen Alpha we’re being put in a leadership position where we are culturally removed from the next generation that we are supposed to be speaking to.”

“While diversity and inclusion is logically and emotionally the right thing to do, what businesses are realizing now is that it is good business practice. In marketing you really need to understand outside of your own perspective and a lack of diversity is detrimental in an organization because you end up being in an echo chamber having a very one-sided view.”

“Companies with more diversity in leadership tend to be more profitable and are able to withstand more disruption in their industry to sail through unscathed.”

“Diversity is much broader than racial or gender diversity. There’s also diversity that is unseen.”

In addition to being the host of ClickZ’s podcast, Tim Flagg is CEO and co-founder of EntityX, enabling advertisers to understand and target their valuable audiences.” 

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