Advertising Sector Announces All In Action Plan 

Improving the representation of black, disabled and working class talent are the first series of actions for the All In campaign announced today, following UK advertising’s landmark survey of more than 16,000 professionals in March.

The All In Report has been published by the industry’s Inclusion Working Group, formed by the Advertising Association, IPA and ISBA to build a workplace where everyone feels they belong. Calls to action include adopting the newly launched BRiM framework, ensuring online accessibility for UK advertising’s websites and using the Social Mobility Commission Toolkit for the creative industries which is due to be published shortly.

The All In Census asked UK advertising professionals to share experiences in the workplace and collected a unique dataset about the industry’s make-up, highlighting strengths and areas for action.

Positives include:

  • 83 per cent of participants believe their company is actively taking steps to be more inclusive;
  • Ethnic minorities make up 16 per cent of the UK advertising workforce, compared to 12 per cent in UK working population and this level increases to 24 per cent of 18-24 year olds.

Areas for action:

  • Just one per cent of black talent are in C-suite positions compared to three per cent representation in the general UK population;
  • Disabled talent are underrepresented (just nine per cent vs 20 per cent working age population) with 22 per cent likely to leave their organisation compared to the industry average of nine per cent;
  • People whose parents had professional backgrounds are significantly overrepresented (64 per cent vs 37 per cent national average); 
  • Twenty per cent of UK advertising professionals attending fee paying schools versus a national average of just eight per cent; 
  • Mental health is a problem across the workforce with nearly a third (31 per cent) of our workforce stressed or anxious.

The All In Report has pinpointed key actions for the industry to make swift progress, specifically:

  • On improving the experience and representation of black talent, the rapid adoption of the newly launched BRiM framework;
  • On supporting disabled professionals, the immediate audit of websites across the industry to ensure full accessibility online;
  • On encouraging talent from working class backgrounds, the uptake of the Social Mobility Commission Toolkit for the creative industries. 

In addition, a comprehensive directory of inclusion schemes and initiatives that can be accessed by companies in the UK advertising industry has been compiled by the Inclusion Working Group. The All In Directory, with details on how to recruit, support and advance talent, can be accessed here.

Culture Minister Caroline Dinenage said: “The All In Census can help further improve representation across the advertising landscape and build on the work done to date on inclusion in the creative industries. I look forward to continuing to work closely with the sector and seeing the long-term impact of this vital work.”

Kathryn Jacob, Pearl & Dean chief executive and chair of the Inclusion Group, said: “It is now time for action. Our census results have provided the benchmark data we need and the way forward is clear. We urge all companies in our industry to engage with the All In Action Plan to help make rapid progress on these critical areas. Everyone deserves a workplace where they feel included and it is in our power to make that happen now. The benefits, social and economic, will be huge as we build our way out of the pandemic.”

Further findings from the All In Census include:

  • Fifty-three per cent of women who took parental leave felt it disadvantaged their career while a 10% pay gap emerges at senior manager level and above;
  • Twelve per cent of women have experienced sexual discrimination;
  • Only 38 per cent feel able to report discrimination against others, dropping to 26 per cent when reporting personal discrimination.

The Inclusion Working Group will be publishing a further series of actions later this year as it continues to review the All In Census results and where greater inclusion can be achieved.

In order to encourage swift action, the Inclusion Working Group has introduced a process for any company wishing to declare publicly that it is an All In Company, following the publication of today’s plan. They will be asked to provide evidence of implementation across the three actions, in return for All In materials which can be used in company credentials.

To access the full results from the All In Report and Action Plan, please go to the All In Hub.