Cannes Lions to onboard Diversity, Equity and Inclusion specialist consultancy after Former Dean Abraham Abbi Asefaw called out the organisation for lack of representation
Cannes Lions 2021 Roger Hatchuel Academy will be co-run by alumni members from Kenya and EcuadorCannes Lions
Last week, Asefaw alleged that all deans at the academy are now white after he was removed from the progamme
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Cannes Lions to onboard Diversity, Equity and Inclusion specialist consultancy after Former Dean Abraham Abbi Asefaw called out the organisation for lack of representation

Last week, Asefaw alleged that all deans at the academy are now white after he was removed from the progamme
  • Last week, Abraham Abbi Asefaw, Former Dean at Cannes Lions' Roger Hatchuel Academy (RHA) learning programme, in a Twitter thread alleged that all deans at the academy are now white after he was removed from the progamme.
  • Cannes Lions has now issued a statement saying that the organisation will onboard a DEI specialist consultancy to end this.
Cannes Lions is planning to hire a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) specialist to take a close look at the representation on the inside. This decision comes after Former Co-dean of Cannes Lions’ learning program the Roger Hatchuel Academy (RHA), Abraham Abbi Asefaw, called out the organisation’s practices.

Last week, Asefaw alleged that all deans at the academy are now white after he was removed from the progamme, resulting in there being no people of color in leadership positions at the RHA.

“I have now been removed as Dean at the Cannes Lions School. Making the list of Deans ALL WHITE. Yes, even the Roger Hatchuel Academy – the most diverse place at Cannes Lions,” wrote Abraham Abbi Asefaw in a Twitter thread.


He further expressed his concerns over Cannes Lions’ lack of People of Colour representation on the inside, when the organisation preaches diversity and inclusion on the outside.

Lions has now said that RHA “will be co-run by alumni members (from Kenya and Ecuador) alongside a course facilitator.”

“It has been designed in conjunction with a network of academy graduates from a wide range of backgrounds. No other academies were planned for this year. In 2022, we will ensure that our pool of educators, across all our programmes, is appropriately diverse by implementing best hiring practices to ensure we have a diverse slate of candidates to choose from,” read Cannes Lions’ statement.

About hiring a DEI specialist, Cannes Lions said, “We acknowledge we need help to understand what happened in Abraham’s case, examine our practices in all areas of the business, and make changes where they are needed. To this end we will be engaging a DEI specialist consultancy and giving them full access to our processes and practices. Their report will be conducted independently, and they will then work alongside the Lions leadership team and our existing DEI Change Committee to embed their recommendations. The tender process will be completed within 30 days.”