The One Club for Creativity has advanced its commitment to creative activism by urging agencies, brands, ad schools and other organizations to step up and help support workplace equity in the industry by signing its new Paid Internship Pledge. The initiative launches with a number of high-flying founding signees already on board: Cartwright, COLLINS, The Community, Design Army, Edelman, FCB Worldwide, Goodby Silverstein & Partners, The Martin Agency, School of Visual Arts, R/GA, Sid Lee, Wieden+Kennedy, as well as The One Club itself.
As The One Club observes, internships are an important first step in a career, but too often are unpaid and not a realistic option for diverse students and other young creatives from disadvantaged backgrounds who need an income. The resulting experience gap from lack of an internship is often impossible to overcome. “Agencies, brands and other industry organizations are in a unique position to help level the career playing field for thousands of young people looking to break into the industry,” sats CEO Kevin Swanepoel. “We call on them to sign the pledge to only offer paid internships, and support our drive to provide more equitable opportunities for economically disadvantaged and diverse candidates.” Upon signing the form, agencies and brands can upload their logos to be displayed on the page on The One Club website, and provide a link to paid internships they currently offer. For its part, The One Club itself will continue to provide only paid internships at a reasonable minimum wage level — currently $15 per hour in the US — and asks all of its agency partners to pledge to do the same.