NEWS28 February 2023

Diversity among advertising executives rises, finds IPA census

Inclusion Media News People UK

UK – The diversity of senior executive teams in the advertising industry has risen in the past year, with a 58% increase in members from a non-white background, according to the 2022 Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) Agency Census.

Multiple people from different backgrounds

However, the census showed that despite the large rise in non-white senior executives, overall, they accounted for 11.2% of c-suite roles.

The census, now in its 63rd year, also showed a 12% rise in women in senior teams, up to 37.5% of all senior roles.

The findings are based on an online questionnaire among 201 corporate member agencies between September 2022 and January 2023, with all data supplied being representative as of 1st September.

A total of 101 full census responses were received, representing 77.3% of the estimated employed base, with further information from a further 21 agencies.

Staff numbers in IPA agency members rose by 19.2% to 26,290, with the number of employees in creative and other non-media agencies up 19.3% from 2021 to 14,643 in 2022, while the number of employees in media agencies increased by 19% to 11,647.

The percentage of employees from a non-white background is estimated at 23.6%, up by 29% on the figures reported in 2021.

The number of males employed in member agencies increased by 13.2% to 11,777 in 2022, while the number of female employees increased by 24.1% to 14,111.

This means women now account for 54.8% of all staff in IPA member organisations.

However, a gender pay gap of 17.4% in favour of men was registered in 2022, albeit an improvement on 23.3% in 2021’s version of the census.

An ethnicity pay gap of 21.1% in favour of white employees was seen in the census, which was broadly similar to 2021’s figures.

Almost all agencies ( 96%) are still using hybrid working, with 38.6% using three days at home and two in the office model, and the same proportion working three days in the office and two at home.

The average age of employees 34.4 years in 2022, with 6.5% of employees aged 50 or over.

The IPA Agency Census is one of a number of advertising industry censuses, with the All In industry census run by the Advertising Association, IPA, ISBA and Kantar due to be released next month.

Paul Bainsfair, director General at the IPA, said: “These latest results represent a much healthier pace of improvement than in previous years and demonstrate that our concerted collective efforts to improve diversity and inclusivity within our industry are beginning to pay off.

“We must continue this great work to ensure our business is fully representative and inclusive for those working within it and attractive to those considering a career within the agency world.”

Leila Siddiqi, associate director diversity at the IPA, added: “The pandemic and Black Lives Matter have proved to be real catalysts, and provided priceless stimulus and purpose to people who were already frustrated at the slow rate of positive change in our industry.

“Now is the time to double down on our collective efforts by paying extra attention to the areas of fair pay, equal opportunity and creating inclusive, flexible workplace cultures which enable all underrepresented groups to thrive and reach their full potential.”