Celebrating diversity in Canadian marketing

Jul 15, 2021
Awards Leadership

Awards are defined as the recognition of hard work and a job well done. Every industry, whether film, construction or tech, has some prestigious award that acknowledges a leading individual or company in that particular field. Awards are important for recipients to bolster their recognition and leadership, while also giving others a level to aspire to. As an organizer, awards provide a great way to raise awareness and foster an industry’s sense of community.

In our field of marketing, these awards cover a broad range of services and duties, including everything from national campaigns to private firms. The CMA Awards gives Canadian marketers the chance to receive the recognition they so rightly deserve, as well as the opportunity to connect with their industry peers, encourage healthy competition and connect marketing professionals across the country for a common goal and purpose.

Every year, we see positive progress in the industry. This year's CMA Awards will celebrate a wide selection of nominees with a diverse panel of judges. I am delighted to be part of the second round of multi-discipline judging panel this year, joining several other senior marketing executives. I am also excited to see the new Facebook Business Equality Special Award being added to the line up. The objective of this award is to identify better representation of people in online ads, inspire and demonstrate more inclusive and authentic advertising content, and recognize the positive impact of inclusive portrayal — for people and businesses. The award will evaluate campaigns in terms of their use of inclusive representation in every step of the advertising creative – from the consumer insight or idea to the creative brief, right through to production – not just the diverse talent appearing on camera.

Much like our beautiful country, the field of Canadian marketing is a diverse, melting pot of unique people, roles, and opportunities. Our award shows should resemble the fabric of our nation, through diversity and inclusion. Although much of Canadian marketing is dominated by a white voice, we are seeing a shift and strengthening of our field.

Making room for and listening to diverse voices and perspectives has been one of the greatest improvements in the marketing industry. To encourage diversity and ensure that finances are not inhibiting opportunity, I have been working to increase diversity with scholarship opportunities for my own digital marketing program, Jelly Academy. Creating both a women's and BIPOC scholarship, we can help encourage growth amongst the number of diverse voices in the industry that I have come to love.

As an industry that relies on an understanding of the demographics and statistics of the market, it is in our best interest to work with and be reflective of the communities we serve. As the Canadian marketing industry works together to become more inclusive, scholarship programs like Jelly Academy’s help to facilitate this change.


Darian Kovacs is the Indigenous founder of B-Corp certified Jelly Digital Marketing & PR & digital marketing course Jelly Academy. He brings 15 years of marketing experience and a passion for education, and creativity. He is the host of the podcast Marketing News Canada. Darian specializes in mixing PR with digital marketing and has worked with numerous internationally renowned brands on developing and executing their digital marketing and PR strategies. Darian lives in Fort Langley, BC with his wife and four children and likes to mountain bike, watercolour and read in his free time.

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Darian Kovacs

Publisher Marketing News Canada




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