At Mediaweek, we spend all day, every day, writing about the media and advertising industry, and it is therefore impossible to ignore the groundswell around diversity, equity and inclusion that dominates most industry conversations.

True inclusion means removing the barriers – all of them. Mediaweek’s Next of The Best Awards are no exception.

Age should not be a barrier to potential or recognition. Mediaweek’s Next of the Best Awards will no longer use an under-40 format and will instead celebrate the industry’s future leaders regardless of arbitrary limitations.

The media and advertising industry is improving its efforts regarding diversity, equity and inclusion – and that includes all aspects of inclusion, whether it be race, gender, disability, sexuality, or age. 

The excellent work being done by the Experience Advocacy Taskforce (EAT) proves the importance of ensuring the industry is conscious of the role of age within DE&I.

We realised we needed to contribute to the solution, not the problem, so we made the change. This isn’t a cheap decision, we have invested a lot of time and money into branding Next of the Best as an under-40s event, but we believe it is the right decision.

The future leaders of this industry will come from every direction, and we are open-minded and inclusive to anyone who fits our broad criteria for future leaders. 

Moving forward, the Next of The Best Awards seeks to recognise the industry’s future leaders based on the impact and contribution they are currently making to their company, sector or the wider industry.

While they may not currently be leaders in terms of positions, they are already demonstrating influence and leadership skills in driving the industry forward – whether through innovative thinking, new approaches to content, driving culture, pushing boundaries or providing inspiration to others. The Next of The Best recognises the current contribution as well as the future potential of the industry’s next generation of leaders.

This article first appeared on Mediaweek 21st December 23


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