We've got ambitious targets for women, ethnic diversity and the recruitment of BAME in the advertising industry by 2020.

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At the IPA we are committed to improving diversity within the advertising and marketing communications industry and work collaboratively with our members, to demonstrate the value of diversity to creativity and effectiveness.

The IPA's Top Seven Diversity & Inclusion Initiatives

    1. IPA Equality & Diversity Census

    Over the last three years, the IPA has been tracking ethnicity and diversity progress via an online survey sent to all our Member agencies. The data is aggregated and the results are shared with all IPA Members and Campaign who invariably report on the findings.

    The IPA 2015-2017 President, Tom Knox established a set of diversity targets for our industry to work towards:

    • Women to hold 40% of senior positions.
    • At least 15% of people in leadership positions will be from non-white backgrounds.
    • At least 25% of entry level recruits should be BAME.

    The targets were aspirational and ambitious and they have given focus for a serious commitment and desire to make change happen from agencies up and down the country. We already have a number of agencies who have, and are close to achieving on or more of these targets.

    The window for participation in the 2019 IPA Agency Census is open. The fieldwork period for the survey will run until Friday 25 October 2019. Please make sure your agency has received the survey and completes it by then.

    2. Unstereotype Alliance

    Since 2017, the IPA are founding lead members of Unstereotype Alliance. Convened by UN Women, the United Nations enity for Gender Equality, the Unstereotype Alliance brings together partners and seeks to collectively use the advertising industry as a force for good to drive positive change all over the world. The Alliance contributes to empowering women in all their diversity (race, class, age, ability, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, language, education, etc.) and addressing harmful masculinities to help create a gender equal world.
    The IPA co-authored the Unstereotype Alliance playbook on Diversity in Business with Unilever and several Alliance members which was released in March 2019. Please contact Leila Siddiqi for an online copy.

    3. Stepping into the Spotlight

    We recognise that in order to have better representation on screen we need more women in leadership positions in the business; so in 2017 we launched an inspiration programme for women in mid to senior level roles who are on the cusp of leadership called 'Stepping into the Spotlight'. These sessions run twice a year and we have worked with Channel 4, Lloyds, Stylist and Burberry. The next session is scheduled for October 2019. 

    4. Women of Tomorrow

    Over the last four years in partnership with Campaign, we have run our Women of Tomorrow awards, to celebrate and profile mid-level women who are doing great things in the industry. You can view all 2018 winners. The initiative is currently undergoing a re-focus. 

    5. Diversity Award

    We are on the judging board for Channel 4’s Annual Diversity Award for the 3rd consecutive year in 2019. This year the theme is LGBTQ - the competition is aimed at encouraging agencies and brands to create and enter non stereotypical content.

    6. Creative Pioneers

    Creative Pioneers is an award winning nationwide apprenticeship scheme to find the next generation of advertising, creative and digital media talent. We recognise the important role young people play – as they are the leaders of tomorrow. In 2018, 50% of all our Creative Pioneers apprentices were female and 45% came in from BAME backgrounds. 

    7. Talent Leadership Group

    The IPA has a dynamic, new, fit for purpose Talent Leadership Group chaired by Julian Douglas, VCCP. Its mission is to drive the Diversity and Inclusion Agenda for the industry, working collaboratively with key partners.

    The group has eight working strands:


    Leila Siddiqi

    Head of Diversity

    Office Number

    0207 201 8265

    Portraying diversity and inclusion for a modern day audience, that is both welcoming non-stereotypical communications and actively demanding a more accurate reflection of British society is one of our industry’s greatest opportunities.