As part of a commitment to building a more diverse business and stronger culture, Havas Group announced its inaugural North America Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory Committee.

Med Ad News spoke with James Talerico and Nadine Leonard, co-presidents of Heartbeat, and Michelle Edwards, the agency’s VP of human resources, about why the agency wrote its letter about improving diversity and inclusivity, where Heartbeat will be in the next few years in its D&I goals, and how Edwards has worked to make an already-welcoming workplace even better.

As the United States continues to grapple with race issues in the wake of the death of George Floyd, the leaders of Heartbeat issued their own call for more diversity and inclusion within the healthcare advertising industry, and within Heartbeat in particular.

HCB Health President Nancy Beesley shared insights with Med Ad News about how her agency promotes diversity and what the industry needs to improve on. Beesley also talks about the agency’s hometown of Austin, Texas, as a city that encourages diversity, how pharma advertising has provided more opportunities for women than other industries, “leaning in” versus “leaning out,” and learning how to say “no.”

Bay Area-based Genentech launched a new study assessing the company’s rheumatoid arthritis drug Actemra as a potential treatment for COVID-19 with an eye toward increasing diversity and inclusion among patients treated.

Digitas Health – the first global connected-health agency – was named a “2020 Best Place to Work” by Advertising Age, ranking 8th out of the top 25 companies with more than 200 employees.