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Q&A With Rare Co-Founder And Google Creative Director Tara McKenty

Q&A With Rare Co-Founder And Google Creative Director Tara McKenty
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Google creative director Tara McKenty founded Rare in 2017 as a way to empower underrepresented groups across the tech, media and creative industries with the tools to drive more inclusive cultures.

The two-day leadership masterclasses deal with issues such as unconscious bias, marginalisation and prejudice in the workplace in a way that ensures to promotes creativity forward.

Rare has armed 380 future diverse leaders with MBA-level leadership and resilience training, engaged over 25,000 industry professionals and awarded 16 $10,000 grants to DEI existing organisations and education institutions.

Despite the early success, McKenty told B&T the focus is always on being better.

“We’re always working to be better—asking ourselves questions like, how do we make our branded swag (branded gear) more accessible, or, how do we make it easier for introverts to participate in our programs, or, how can we spread the word about Rare to communities beyond affluent inner-city-dwellers? These are exciting challenges for us, but also a huge responsibility, and one we take to heart,” she said.

Since launching, Rare has gained the support of more than 50 creative agencies, brands and like-minded organisations around the world—from BBDO, Dentsu and R/GA, to Channel 4, LIAs, Airbnb, D&AD, Creative Equals, and the Berlin School of Creative Leadership.

McKenty explained that such collaborations are critical to moving Rare forward.

“We’re not the first group to tackle the lack of diversity across the industry—there are many that are making up terrific ground in a plethora of ways,” McKenty said.

“And so, rather than reinventing the wheel, we’ve been inviting them to partner together with us, and to use our platform and our community to amplify their impact. And of course, when we’re invited to collaborate alongside others—and bring our content to a new platform—we jump at that too, for the same reasons.”

The Why

McKenty believes the argument to better promote diversity in tech, media and creative is two-fold.

Firstly, to ensure the best and brightest aren’t missing out on deserved opportunities and secondly, to make sure brands can produce ideas and solutions to their full potential.

“The threat [of a lack of diversity], ultimately, is one that can play out in any number of ways: that we continue to produce campaigns that audiences don’t relate to because the creative isn’t representing themselves and their communities accurately, that the best and most capable people miss out, or because of the lack of diversity of perspective in our creative departments we won’t produce the best creative and ideas that we know diverse teams can generate,” she said.

“The one common theme in all of this is that it is preventing people, brands and businesses from achieving their full potential.”

With Rare’s focus set on action over discussion, COVID-19 has presented some unique challenges for the organisation, forcing a slight shift, explained McKenty.

“COVID-19 has challenged Rare’s strategy for the year and we are pivoting to refresh our content and skilling programs to address new issues and challenges that our community, the industry, and underrepresented people face in light of the evolving situation.

“Rare is now focusing on how we can support our community during this challenging time, and what role Rare will play in helping the industry reset and rebuild with diversity, equality and inclusion front of mind.”

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