AKQA is often referred to as one house with many windows. We create award-winning work for notable brands, such as Netflix’s One Story Away, by working from a collaborative brief across our network of international studios. Embracing a digital infrastructure like Slack allows employees to communicate globally from anywhere and collaborate as one unified agency.
Employees are encouraged to contribute their expertise to the AKQA Insight learning platform, which features in the internal newsletter, AKQA Weekly. We also host monthly AKQA Insight events, an exclusive series of events and talks from influential authors, athletes, artists and entrepreneurs, for collective inspiration.
Our company culture is empowered by the AKQA Framework, giving employees the freedom they need in order to be entrepreneurial and make the right decisions for our clients. It provides a measurable set of metrics that guide our studios to have independence but still contribute to the larger success of AKQA globally. Since its implementation, we have narrowed the gender pay gap, diversified our global studio leadership teams, and furthered our commitment to helping our people develop into the best practitioners providing an unparalleled foundation for their careers. AKQA Framework has resulted in the highest-ever scores across our employee survey.
Annually, AKQA runs an Employee Survey to hear feedback, measuring a number of key performance indicators to inform our people strategy. The strongest metric in our recent survey results is ‘AKQA allows everyone to have a voice’ with 81%. Employees have access to an ongoing anonymous feedback system, Officevibe, to continuously listen and respond to employee needs.
We regularly host regional and global town halls, which feature a live Q&A session open to all employees. Additionally, open briefs for projects, like our annual holiday card, are open for anyone in the business to contribute their creative ideas and expertise.
In addition to on-the-job training, AKQA offers formal training through AKQA Insight and WPP Professional Development. This comprehensive curriculum is designed to equip our team with the substantive creative, engineering, business acumen, communications, management and analytical skills required to have professionally rewarding careers.
We also focus on empowering the next generation of diverse talent. For example, AKQA Future Academy is an 8-week global internship program open to all ages and backgrounds, providing experience with notable brands, pitches and knowledge-sharing mentorship. Similarly, SOMA+ is an educational platform focused on expanding professional knowledge of Black, Indigenous and low-income undergraduate students in Brazil.
Our primary motivation that guides our work to create a better future through innovation, service, quality and thought. We encourage ideas that have the power to break down barriers and improve lives. We strive for better ways to deliver value and nurture mutual respect with colleagues and clients. We conscientiously adhere to high professional standards and quality to create influential work beyond expectations. We are continuously researching, listening, learning and adapting to deliver. Fundamentally, our focus on quality is inter mutual with our commitment to helping our team develop into the best possible practitioners with freedom to grow and be entrepreneurial.
We are committed to fostering inclusion across the full spectrum of diversity, and take active steps to attract, promote and retain under-represented groups. We continue to support our people through a series of company-wide, industry and recruitment opportunities and ERG initiatives. AKQA launched its anti-racism ERG, Roots, to educate allies on systemic racism and the Black experience, and celebrate creative work from marginalised communities. Responding to recent events in the U.S., AKQA North America established an employee-led DEI Council, to give a voice to under-represented groups and recommend programs and policies that will identify barriers to progress and assist in elevating talent.
AKQA CEO and Founder Ajaz Ahmed continues to guide the company after more than 25 years. He employs clear direction with honesty, shared when speaking in regular global company meetings and quarterly town halls with open Q&As. Ajaz’s transparency comes through in his reflective article featured in AKQA Perspectives on the importance of nurturing one’s mental health.
AKQA receives notable recognition for the influence of our work and its ability to make a difference in people’s lives, and Ajaz lives these values. He was awarded the 2022 Spears Impact Award in recognition of his philanthropic contributions through ajaz.org.
16-week parental leave for anyone who is bringing a new baby into the home
4 weeks of family leave pay at 100% to account for extenuating care
Extended coverage for female medical rights
Gender affirming care
WPP provides funding for travel that allows consistent access to healthcare and resources, including abortion care
North America benefits page is updated throughout the year: https://www.akqa.com/studios/north-america/benefits/
AKQA is a design and innovation company that employs over 6,500 professionals across 20 countries. Awarded the Cannes Lions Grand Prix for Design in 2021 and named by Gartner as one of the world’s leading marketing agencies in 2021. Winner of Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas in 2022, and recognised as a Fast Company Best Workplace for Innovators in 2020.
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