P&G, TUI and BA pledge support for census to address industry’s diversity problem

Major brands are supporting the launch of the first industry-wide census to assess the extent of the diversity and inclusion problem, the results of which will form an action plan.

Brands including P&G, Asda and NatWest have pledged their support for the launch of the industry’s first major census to understand the extent of its diversity and inclusion problem.

The All In census, which has been jointly organised by the Advertising Association, the IPA and ISBA through the Inclusion Working Group, launches today, with hundreds of brands, agencies, media owners and tech platforms encouraging staff to take part.

The aggregated and confidential data will be recorded and analysed by Kantar, with the results being used to form an action plan to drive change.

Katharine Joy Newby Grant, P&G’s vice-president of marketing for Northern Europe, says: “Across Northern Europe, we have over 65 nationalities represented and believe that embracing our own diversity is not only the right thing to do, it also enables us to better serve the millions of people who purchase our products every day.”

Viktoria Williams, British Airways’ global marketing strategy and capability manager, believes more needs to be done to ensure marketing truly reflects the world in which we live.

“Marketing and advertising have a great impact on society, and as marketing professionals we need to ensure that our work is not only the best possible reflection of the values of the society and communities we serve, but that it positively shapes our view of the world,” she says.

“As an ethnic minority mum of three in a corporate environment I am passionate about the value and the opportunities that diversity creates for the organisations we work within and for society. I am fortunate to work for a global business with an understanding of the value of a diverse workforce and a commitment to increase diversity, supporting diversity initiatives across business areas.”

Lack of diversity

The lack of ethnic and socio-economic diversity across advertising and marketing is often highlighted, but is not documented in one place.

The 2021 Marketing Week Career and Salary reveals a third of marketers (30.1%) see a clear lack of career opportunities for people from different socio-economic and demographic backgrounds.

Looking specifically at BAME respondents, this figure rockets to 44.8%, compared to 28.2% for their white peers. Male respondents were also less likely to see a lack of career opportunities as an issue compared to their female counterparts (27% vs 32%).

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It is also widely accepted that women are underrepresented in senior roles and tend to get paid less than male marketers in the same position.

Female marketers only earn more than their male counterparts in the most junior role of marketing assistant. From then on female marketers get paid less than men at every level of seniority, with women at marketing director getting paid nearly £10,000 less than men in the same position (£97,500 vs £106,800).

In order to drive change, TUI’s group brand and content director, Toby Horry, says it is essential we fully understand the extent of the problem.

“Diversity and inclusion are critical in marketing, but without aggregated data it’s impossible to know what the current picture is and measure progress over time,” he says. “The All In Census is the first industry-wide attempt to get that data and I think it will be a crucial tool in helping the industry move forward.”

Likewise, Mark Brown, marketing director for Northern Europe at General Mills, believes it will “provide a baseline for the whole industry with which to measure progress against”.

“We need to ensure that we represent the diversity of our consumers and it starts with having diversity in our industry in a culture of high belonging,” he adds.

As well as P&G, TUI, BA and General Mills, brands, agencies and media owners including Asda, Channel 4, Dentsu, Facebook, Google, GSK, Havas, NatWest, Omnicom Media, ITV, Sky Media, Publicis Groupe, Specsavers, Spotify, TikTok and WPP have pledged their support and are encouraging staff to complete the census.

Creative industries minister, Caroline Dinenage, says: “It is vital that our creative industries reflect the diversity of their audiences and provide an inclusive environment for our world leading talent to work. I’d like to encourage everyone across the advertising industry to take a moment to participate in this important initiative.”

P&G’s Newby Grant adds: “We’re proud to support the All In Census in driving this mission forward industry-wide, and encourage others to step forward and play their part in shaping the beautifully diverse industry of the future.”

For more information and to take part in the census Advertising Association’s website.