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 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 formed a Trailblazer of interested employers who have successfully persuaded the government that Junior Advertising Creative is an occupation worthy of an Apprenticeship. And one which will help increase the diversity, inclusion and social mobility of that role; and provide a training framework for junior creatives.

We are now asking for comment on the second and final stage – the Standard (which explains the duties of the role, and the knowledge, skills and behaviours they need to develop to do these) plus a plan (the End Point Assessment) as to how an independent assessor could tell they had reached the Standard by 10 February.

  • Chair: Julian Douglas VCCP
  • IPA Lead: Leila Siddiqi


  • Michael Albert Brown, UM
  • Jenny Bust, Lucky Generals
  • Haja Devshi, Omnicom Media Group UK
  • Vicki Holgate, Diageo
  • Stephanie Marks, Havas Media London
  • Pumie Msenga, Ogilvy
  • Sam Phillips, Omnicom Media Group UK

The IPA Talent Leadership Group has six working strands:

    IPA Census & Targets

    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 participation in the IPA Agency Census will become a mandatory component of CPD Accreditation from 2021 for all our member agencies – and we are working on supporting them through 2020 to make sure they are comfortable collecting this data and understand why it’s important to have a baseline.

    Initiatives to support women

    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.

    International Women’s Day events and celebrations

    We held our first IWD celebration event with men; and with agencies and brands to bring in outside inspiration as well as link in our Effectiveness Films which had diversity as a running theme; by way of pillar to pillar collaboration.

    Entry level programmes

    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, with an even gender split. Over 70% of them tend to stay within the industry even after their apprenticeship is complete. Through Creative Pioneers we also lead on creating new industry specific standards; the first cohort of the new Advertising & Media Exec is in learning. The trailblazer group for a new standard Junior Creative is up and running; with the aim of launching it in early 2020.

    Advertising Unlocked

    Each year in September we run Advertising Unlocked when over 100 advertising and marketing communications agencies and over 100 schools are being brought together for the industry’s largest open day. Upon being matched with a local school by the IPA, agencies are able to give young people from a diverse range of backgrounds access to what goes into making an advertising campaign successful, the different roles available to them and open the doors to advertising as a possible career path for them.


    The IPA is offering its members the opportunity to advertise their entry level roles to over 70,000 students and recent graduates, through the pioneering career app Debut

    The iList

    The IPA, in partnership with Unilever, has launched the iList, a free initiative to showcase and celebrate role models who are driving inclusivity in adland.
    The initiative will galvanise the industry into becoming a more inclusive, diverse place to work and celebrate the role models who are driving this change.

    The Diversity Report 2020

    The concept, content and direction of this publication is led by the Talent Leadership Group. Every 10 years, the IPA creates a major report on a talent related topic area with the next report being due in 2020 and focusing on diversity and inclusion in adland.


    We are currently working with the following partners by sharing best practice, thought leadership and through event participation, consultancy work and judging awards:


    Leila Siddiqi

    Associate Director, Diversity

    Office Number

    0207 201 8265

    Last updated 03 February 2020

    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.