VP Diversity & Inclusion

Job function
Strategy & Insight
Job type
Perm Full Time
Job location
Competitive market rate salary
Job ref

We're looking for a VP Diversity & Inclusion to join our team in London as part of our Management function.

Your team:  Our vision is for LIONS to welcome all people of all identities  - as our customers and team members.  We believe that welcoming a range of diverse backgrounds and perspectives is both the right thing to do as well as helping us to create a more inclusive - and a better - business, for our clients and the people who work with and for us.

Your Role:  As the VP Diversity & Inclusion you will work with the Lions Leadership team and CEO to help create, evolve and embed our global DEI strategy to create a fairer and more equitable business and product,  ensuring that we live up to, and where possible exceed, the expectations of our customers.

If you don't meet every single requirement, we'd still encourage you to apply.  At LIONS/Ascential, we are committed to creating a diverse, inclusive and authentic workplace, so if you are excited about this role but your past experience does not align perfectly with every criteria asked for in the job description, we would still like you to apply. You may be just the right candidate for this or other roles in our business, and we'd like to hear from you

Key Responsibilities: 

Strategy & vision

  • Strategy: Work with the Lions Exec to develop an ambitious strategic roadmap for DEI, and create a vision that will promote an inclusive and equitable culture, business and product

  • Product: Establish DEI frameworks that will allow Lions to create products and services through the lens of DEI, and set targets that allow us to track our efforts and hold ourselves to account

  • Brand: Work with brand and marketing teams to co-create and communicate the Lions strategy, vision and roadmap for DEI, including clear milestones and progress updates for internal and external audiences

  • Culture: Work with the Lions Exec to establish and maintain a culture that puts inclusive thinking at the heart of everything we do

  • Talent: Partner with HR to set DEI targets that relate to recruitment, retention, talent management, career development, employee engagement, equity and inclusion 

Working with our community / Representing the brand

  • Represent the brand publicly, communicate our DEI point of view and engage with relevant stakeholders and forums across the global industry
  • Build, own and maintain relevant partnerships and relationships that contribute to industry wide change

  • Design and lead initiatives that encourage industry-wide awareness, collaboration and progress, including research, studies, white-papers, or joint ventures

Working with our people

  • Partner with the Lions CEO and collaborate with the Lions Exec Team to set and establish short and long term DEI goals and targets for our culture, business, and product

  • Chair and oversee regular forums to assess and measure business-wide and leadership team commitments

  • Coach, guide and work with leaders to help them embed DEI and put inclusive leadership at the heart of everything we do

  • Work with product development, commercial, marketing and customer facing teams to embed DEI into our product suite and external offer, incorporating customer needs as necessary

  • Partner and collaborate with cross-functional leadership to embed DEI into all aspects of the employee life cycle - including recruitment, selection, onboarding, performance management, development mobility, retention and overall engagement

  • Collaborate with regional leaders to co-create market specific roadmaps and functional plans that support the global DEI business strategy

  • Serve as DEI subject matter expert to all teams, to leverage DEI as a strategic business differentiator and enhance our employee value proposition

  • Establish and work with internal ‘Change Committees’ to vision-set and support internal initiatives

  • Build confidence in LIONS employees, stakeholders and industry contacts


  • Monitor, report on, and synthesise key DEI data to generate insight, assess progress  and provide  actions for immediate and longer term priorities
  • Provide regular insight on regulatory, policy developments, innovation, and creative thinking happening across the industry and update internal benchmarks as necessary

  • Manage stakeholders, working groups, programmes of work and their interdependencies to ensure DEI targets and scorecards are monitored and achieved with maximum impact

  • Accountable for regular process and functional audits in the business and identify areas that need to be more inclusive

Your Skills & Experience: 

  • A strong background in delivering DEI strategy, cultural and strategic change at scale in a large organisation

  • Proven leadership skills and considerable experience leading leading DEI programs in a corporate and complex environment

  • A depth of understanding of best practice including the different regulatory and cultural implications of a global environment. Ability to apply the latest research to work and be evidence-based when developing a strategy

  • Sound knowledge of global diversity regulations across US / EMEA / APAC

  • Excellent organisational skills including attention to detail, strong social skills, analytical and problem-solving skills

  • Change management skills to manage to create and track KPIs

  • Ability to think critically, solve problems and make decisions, while influencing and building trust across multiple levels, internally and externally, to deliver results with ambitious timelines

  • Partner and coach leaders to enable a consistent, authentic, fair, and equitable approach to business and internal priorities

  • Involved with an established DEI network and a grasp of DEI industry benchmarks, leading practices, and innovations is important

  • Experience working in and getting results in a collaborative environment, building relationships and influencing key partners, demonstrating ability to get results through collaboration

  • Advanced project management skills and the ability to prioritise and manage multiple complex projects and priorities simultaneously.

  • Demonstrated skills facilitating dialogue with and among employees to cultivate an environment of inclusivity, collegiality, shared inquiry, shared responsibility, and collective accomplishment.

Who are we? 

 The LIONS brand is probably most synonymous with Cannes Lions, The International Festival of Creativity, the definitive meeting place for the global creative communications and advertising community. It’s five days of inspiration, aspiration, unlimited magic and potential. The Festival has been championing creative excellence since 1954 with the goal of providing a global destination and the definitive benchmark for creativity that drives progress.

LIONS is going through an exciting time as it’s recently repositioned as The Home of Creativity, supporting those in the business of creativity at every step of their journeys with an extended portfolio of new advisory, learning and intelligence services. Our purpose is to drive progress through creativity for an incredibly diverse and talented global creative community.

You will join a team of change makers. The team’s purpose is to champion change to create the most powerful global creative community and drive growth for the brand.

LIONS is an Ascential company. Ascential delivers specialist information, analytics and ecommerce optimisation platforms to the world's leading consumer brands and their ecosystems. We help our customers to make smart decisions that improve performance now, and in the future.

With more than 2,500 employees across five continents, we combine local expertise with a global footprint for clients in over 120 countries. Ascential is listed on the London Stock Exchange.

 Why choose us?

At Ascential, diversity, equity and inclusion is core to us. We’re a company built around our people - and we’re committed to supporting each and every one of them to be the best they can be. We love having a diverse team of people who bring new ideas and different strengths and perspectives to Ascential. Our employee-led networks, Ascential Pride, Black in Business and EmPower: An Ascential Women's Initiative, help us to create a place where communities and allies can connect and share experiences. In addition, our Early Talent programmes help grow and foster diverse new talent for our sectors. 

We are committed to supporting the environment and sustainability, including ensuring our pension plan defaults to sustainable options and striving to be net zero by 2030. 

Recognising great performance is a key part of our culture. Our Awards schemes recognise and reward the brilliant achievements of our people. 

We have a truly flexible working environment with a wide range of flexible, hybrid and agile-working arrangements. Conversations about flexible working have always been - and will continue to be - actively encouraged here.

Our benefits and wellbeing package offers flexible benefits you can tailor to your own personal needs, including: 

  • 25 days of holiday per year  - with an option to buy/ sell upto 5 days

  • Pension, Life Assurance and Income Protection

  • Flexible benefits platform with options including Private Medical, Dental Insurance, Critical Illness and the Ascential Shares Scheme

  • Employee assistance programme, season ticket loans and cycle to work scheme

  • Volunteering opportunities and charitable giving options

  • Great learning and development opportunities.

We want to ensure everyone has the opportunity to perform their best when interviewing, so if you require any reasonable adjustments that would make you more comfortable during the process, please let us know so that we can do our best to support you.

If we inspire you, why not join and inspire us?  Find out more on what our People say+