Advertising has ‘not moved the needle’ on inclusion

Credits: Haymarket

The advertising industry has ‘not moved the needle’ on inclusion, according to the latest Global DEI Census Wave II report.

The survey found that, in terms of inclusivity, there was a 1 per cent decrease in Global DEI Census’s inclusion index score from the previous year’s 64 per cent.

Credits: ABG

Stephan Loerke, WFA CEO, said that they weren’t “greatly surprised” to see little change because the issues are ingrained in society and take time to overcome.

The results were based on nearly 13,000 online responses across 91 countries, and the survey was supported by a coalition of 10 global marketing and advertising organisations.

Held between March and April, the global survey questioned the marketers and advertisers of the world on their perspective of DE&I in the industry. 

The movement was supported by WFA, VoxComm, Campaign, Kantar, Advertising Week, Cannes Lions, Effie Worldwide, IAA, Global Web Index and Adweek and 160 national associations, including the ABG.

The findings

The census found that most common forms of discrimination were found to be around age, gender and family status and the worst experiences were reported by people of determination.

According to the responses, one in seven people would leave the industry due to a lack of diversity and inclusion, rising to 1 in 5 for ethnic minorities and one in 4 for people of determination.

In another finding, women and ethnic minorities said that they feel under-represented in senior positions and mental health is a big issue, with 42 per cent saying they feel stressed and anxious at work.

In terms of the overall industry, respondents from countries like US, Canada, Spain and Brazil are recognising that efforts towards improvement are being made. However, in the GCC, 9 per cent of respondents said, “things had got worse” and its score dropped four points to 57 per cent.

Those in senior positions were more likely to say things have improved (58 per cent) compared with managers (49 per cent) and junior staff (42 per cent).

Moving towards change

Jason Mander, Chief Research Officer, GWI, said there is not a lack of people recognising the importance of DEI but it’s about the level of action needed to really impact change.

Ed Gemmell, Global Corporate Affairs Director at Kantar, said it calls on the marketing community, once again, to “move beyond rhetoric” and take the positive steps needed to create a diverse, equitable and inclusive environment for all colleagues.

Priya Sarma, ABG Communications Director and DEI Lead said ‘’We have been very busy promoting DEI as a core part of our agenda this year, and this research only serves to underline the importance of driving engagement and awareness in every market and having more women in senior positions.

It is imperative as brand ambassadors, in our workplaces and through our campaigns, we set the best example for consumers and wider society to follow.’’

To see the complete main finding report, visit here.