NEWS9 January 2019

Ad industry diversity improves marginally

Media News UK

UK – The annual diversity survey published by the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) suggests a slight improvement in the level of diversity in the ad industry.

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The number of women at c-suite level in advertising increased from 31.2% to 32.7% in the past year – the second-highest level of female representation in the survey’s history after the level recorded in 2015 – 33.1%.

Women hold 32.8% of c-suite roles in creative agencies, up from 30.5% last year, while media agency c-suite female representation increased marginally from 32.2% to 32.7%.

According to the survey, ethnic diversity showed some improvement, with 13.8% of ad industry employees from a BAME background, up from 12.9% in 2017. The number of BAME individuals at c-suite level rose slightly from 4.7% to 5.5%, but ethnic diversity remains highest at junior levels ( 16.9%).

In 2018, 70.8% of the employed base at IPA member agencies took part in the survey, representing 105 agencies out of 230 contacted.

Seventy-one creative agencies submitted – 45 with up to 200 employees and 26 with a headcount of more than 200 or a gross income in excess of £20m – while 34 media agencies took part ( 18 smaller and 16 larger).

Says Sarah Golding, IPA president and chief executive of The&Partnership: "These figures show an encouraging upwards trend, particularly among industry newcomers. However, we still expect and need these figures to continue to climb and start to make a more significant impact on percentages in the more senior positions."