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New IPA hub provides practical steps to improve industry diversity

The IPA has today (6 October) launched a new online portal ( to provide agencies with relevant, useful and practical advice on how to improve their diversity. It also aims to position the UK as a global leader in the diversity arena.


The hub provides current facts and stats, makes the business case for diversity, provides quick and simple recommendations which can be actioned immediately and acts as a platform promoting good work that’s already being done in the sector. It also celebrates and highlights existing diversity champions to inspire the next generation of leaders.

Says Leila Siddiqi, Head of Diversity, IPA “The IPA is committed to improving diversity within the advertising and marketing communications industry and working collaboratively with its members to demonstrate the value of diversity to creativity and effectiveness.  Our aspiration is that the hub will act as a resource to help agencies navigate through their individual journeys. We are calling on agencies to get involved and put forward contributions, case studies and diversity champions for the hub in order to share best practice and thought leadership across the globe.”

Says Tom Knox, IPA President, “One of my key goals as IPA President is to attract and retain a talented and diverse workforce for the benefit of all - to secure for the future, advertising’s role as a culturally, socially and economically enriching force for good. The survey we published earlier this year showed we compare favourably with other professional service companies. However, we have a long way to go before we have achieved proportionate gender and ethnic diversity representation. This new hub will help to support agencies in reaching their goals and help us to measure our collective progress.”

Says Julian Douglas, Vice Chairman, VCCP, "Survival is optional. No one has to change. But for those of us who want to thrive, let alone survive, embracing diversity is mandatory. Ours is a point of difference industry. To produce divergent thinking, we need divergent thinkers from all geographies, backgrounds, ethnicities and outlooks. The IPA hub outlines key steps for agencies to improve their diversity and I challenge all agencies to get involved and lead the way."

The IPA Hub offers 10 practical first steps agencies can take to improve diversity:

  1. Develop a strong and clear understanding of the business case for diversity as its relevant to your organisation. Then only will it resonate with leaders and people across the business.
  1. Develop a top down approach, with leadership commitment and recognise this is a long term behaviour change programme, there is no quick fix.
  1. Know who you are. Undertake a thorough audit of all your people in all department and all levels – gender, age ethnicity. Recording and measuring the data using analytics and figuring out what does good look like to you.
  1. Ensure you have a balanced speaker panel for any events that you are running.
  1. Hire a Creative Pioneers apprentice or a STEM intern through the IPA AdMission programme. Entry level recruitment is a great way to inject diversity into your talent pipelines.
  1. Make Unconscious bias training compulsory for all staff.
  1. Nominate up to three diversity champions within your agencies who represent diversity in terms of race, disabilities, LBGT, women (returners, future leaders etc).
  1. Make employees feel good about themselves by creating a sense of community through groups and networks within the company which staff self-select to join.
  1. Look outside adland to learn how other industries are tackling diversity.
  1. Celebrate your success – provide the IPA with positive stories and role models to amplify the message and inspire the next generation of talent both within and beyond your agency.

Visit the hub at


Last updated 06/10/2016

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