NEWS15 January 2018

MRS launches working group for inclusion

News People Trends UK

UK – The Market Research Society (MRS) has announced the launch of a working group to tackle the issues of diversity and inclusion in the market research industry.

Mrs inclusion house of commons_crop

At an event at the House of Commons on Monday morning ( 15 January) to launch the MRS report ‘Inclusion in the market research sector’, MRS chief executive Jane Frost announced the group has been established to “hold the industry to account” on the issues raised in the report.

The research, conducted by Lightspeed, found that women account for 49% of management positions in the market research industry.

Speaking at the event held by Seema Malhotra MP and Nicky Morgan MP, Frost said: “We are in a sector where in general the majority of people working full-time are women. While we should celebrate that 49% of management positions are held by women – better than marketing, advertising and other service industries – I think we would agree it is still not good enough. It’s certainly not good enough when you look at other areas that should be better represented, such as black and ethnic minorities.”

The group will be led by Vanella Jackson, fellow of MRS, former chair of MRS and global chief executive of Hall & Partners. Frost welcomed ideas and suggestions from the industry.

The report also revealed the industry’s dependence on graduates for its pipeline of talent. MRS will facilitate a scheme to develop apprenticeships with leading market research companies, with 10 firms signed up to take part so far, Frost said.

Nicky Morgan MP, chair of the treasury select committee, said: “It’s so easy to have a white, male hole to fill and middle managers often think it is easier just to hire a similar person, it’s not risky. It’s the role of people outside of the organisation, such as the MRS, to say it is worth taking a risk and there’s great talent out there that we want to nurture.”

Last year, MRS introduced a 50/50 mandate for women on its platforms. Frost announced that 60% of the keynotes at the forthcoming Impact 2018 Conference are female, while the end-of-year report published annually by the MRS will this year include reporting on the gender pay gap.

Read more on the findings here.



7 years ago

I feel very proud to work in an industry with such strong female representation in management compared to other industries. However, It's a little unnerving that the report talks about gender in binary terms. I would be interested to know how the research recorded respondents' gender and whether there was a discussion about the representation of trans and non-binary individuals working in MR?

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7 years ago

Much deliberation was taken over the exact wording and format of the survey to take into account exactly your concerns. The gender classifications used were: Male Female Other Prefer not to say We were limited by time constraints on what topics we could cover and the depth we could cover them. However we tried to be as through as possible and did include a section on sexuality. We would be more than happy to share and discuss the findings further with you, as we are keen to keen as much momentum in this conversation as possible. So please do feel free to contact us:

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