All In Action Plan to tackle inclusion of black, disabled and working-class talent

The Action Plan is driven by the All In Census results

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

Areas for action:

  • Just 1% of Black talent are in C-suite positions compared to 3% representation in the general UK population
  • Disabled talent are underrepresented (just 9% vs 20% working age population) with 22% likely to leave their organisation compared to the industry average of 9%
  • People whose parents had professional backgrounds are significantly overrepresented (64% vs 37% national average)
  • 20% of UK advertising professionals attending fee paying schools versus a national average of just 8%
  • Mental health is a problem across the workforce with nearly a third (31%) 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 - which includes details on how to recruit, support and advance talent.

Says Julian Douglas, IPA President and Vice-Chairman, VCCP: "Accelerating efforts to make adland a more inclusive place is a task that’s high on my IPA presidential agenda. These All In findings provide clear indication of where work needs to be done, most urgently to improve representation of Black, disabled and working-Class talent, and crucially set out action points the industry can adopt now to make real change.

"As Chair of the BRiM Advisory Board, I cannot recommend the BRiM framework highly enough for providing practical steps that anyone can take whether you’re a CMO or new starter, to challenge the lack of Black representation head-on. We also encourage all parts of the business to assess, and if need be, improve their online accessibility and to look out for the upcoming launch of the Social Mobility Commission Toolkit. And to download the All In Directory, available now.

By going all in, together, I’m positive that we really can accelerate change in our industry’s make-up, for the benefit of all.

Julian Douglas, IPA President and Vice-Chairman, VCCP

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, CEO Pearl & Dean and Chair, Inclusion Group, commented: "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:

  • 53% of women who took parental leave felt it disadvantaged their career while a 10% pay gap emerges at senior manager level and above
  • 12% of women have experienced sexual discrimination
  • Only 38% feel able to report discrimination against others, dropping to 26% 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.

Access the full results from the All In Report and Action Plan
Last updated 01 May 2024