By Lee Mabey, Managing Partner, dentsu X.

During a recent MBA elective, I was given the opportunity to reflect on the importance of social responsibility within businesses. As a DEI leader, I push clients to be both more representative of and sympathetic to the entire UK population. But this period of introspection made me appreciate there is one canon we seldom discuss – classism.

For 16 years I have subconsciously hidden my working-class background from my peers. I was given the opportunity to represent dentsu X at the IPA Speaker’s Cup to discuss this key topic. And as I started scripting the speech, I experienced catharsis. Years of pent-up emotion and frustrations appeared on the screen as I realised how our industry is built on classism, which is completely engrained in our psyche. This is harming our clients, future talent, and our people.

We cannot – and will not – stay quiet about this any longer.


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