Why is D&I important to me?

Linda Hogan, Chief Operating Officer

As the leader of our talent initiatives, I believe diversity, inclusion and, ultimately, the concept of belonging provide our agency lifeblood. They welcome new talent into our doors, keep current talent engaged and inspire ever-greater work.

But, in any organization, putting D&I into practice every day is easier said than done. Building it demands intentional effort that keeps the end goal in mind. To bring more diversity to our industry, we must welcome underrepresented groups to consider marketing as a viable career. At Bader Rutter, we’re reaching out to high school students to expose these groups to our industry so that the students can see marketing, advertising and communications careers as future possibilities. We believe taking this step today will help us fill our organization with diverse talent in the future. We have doubled down our efforts to show younger generations the career potential of working in marketing communications across multiple opportunities:

  • Lead2Change is a Milwaukee-based career-readiness organization. As a board vice chair, I welcomed a few Bader Rutter associates to lead a presentation on personal branding for their recent interview boot camp.
  • MKE Fellows is a local initiative aimed at preparing young Black men for the professional workforce. Our agency mentors members and conducts lunch and learn programs. Our second “fellow” will participate in our summer internship program this year.
  • Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences provides opportunities to introduce ag careers to diverse students across Chicago. We recently led a presentation highlighting our own agrimarketing work and promoting advertising as a career.

Every day presents new opportunities to evolve our workforces to include more backgrounds and perspectives — and to make every employee feel like they belong.

I would love to hear about your organization’s D&I journey. Share your story with me at or on LinkedIn.

About the Author

With nearly 30 years at Bader Rutter, Linda Hogan currently serves as the chief operating officer, guiding the agency and overseeing key functions including Talent Acquisition, Learning & Development, Agile Workflow Implementation and Strategy/Planning. A champion of women in the workforce, Linda is an active member of TEMPO Milwaukee, an organization committed to further the impact of women leaders in the business community. As a committed change agent, Linda helped launch several agency culture programs including Health & Wellness, Women Supporting Women and Diversity & Inclusion Leadership Council, among others.