How rugby tackles elitism and what adland can learn from it

IPA Talent & Diversity Conference, Wednesday 19 April

Former international rugby player turned TV presenter Ugo Monye will explore what sport can teach the advertising and media industry about inclusivity at the upcoming IPA Talent & Diversity Conference.

At the half-day conference on Wednesday 19 April, the Strictly Come Dancing and Question of Sport star will discuss how to deconstruct systemic barriers around social mobility and race, and build sustainable equity in society, sport and media in a fireside conversation with Creative Salon Founder Sonoo Singh.

Monye was named Chair of the RFU’s Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Group in 2021 to help shape the sport’s drive to become more reflective of the diversity in society and has been an outspoken advocate for inclusivity as the sport’s world has faced several recent controversies, including calling for an end to rugby’s heavy drinking ‘lad’ culture.

Rugby union and advertising have faced similar issues around inclusivity in recent years such as the over-representation of privately educated people (20% of adland and 37% of British rugby union internationals compared to just 8% of the wider population) and difficulty combating racism - nearly a third of Black and Asian respondents to the 2021 All In Census said that they were likely to leave the industry due to a lack of inclusion and/or the discrimination they experienced, while former England international Luther Burrell shone a light on English rugby’s normalisation of racist ‘banter’ in 2022.

The 2023 IPA Talent & Diversity Conference will also break down the biggest retention and inclusion issues facing our industry and offer tangible solutions on how to resolve them. Sessions will cover: the impact of the cost-of-living crisis on socio-economic diversity; inclusive leadership in turbulent times; why being an ally isn’t just for Pride; an interview with Afua Kyei, CFO, Bank of England on how she became one of the first minority ethnic women to rise to one of the top jobs at the Bank of England; how and why the metaverse could be D&I’s next big opportunity; a debate on whether the advertising industry is in danger of losing its mojo to young people; how to embrace intentional inclusivity in our creative ideas, work and culture; and more.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Isabelle Bale, Strategy Director, M&C Saatchi
  • Kenny Dada, Account Director, VCCP
  • Asad Dhunna, CEO, The Unmistakables
  • Jamie Elliott, CEO, The Gate
  • Annie Gallimore, Managing Director, ACNE and Talent Leadership Group Chair
  • Sarah Jenkins, Managing Director, Saatchi & Saatchi
  • Patrick Kane, Global Growth Manager, Wunderman Thompson
  • Nicola Kemp, Editorial Director, Creativebrief
  • Josh Krichefski, CEO, EMEA & UK, GroupM and IPA President
  • Afua Kyei, CFO, Bank of England
  • Kim Lawrie, Head of Emerging Technology, House337
  • Ugo Monye, sports pundit and former England rugby player
  • Arthur O’Neill, Partner, Joint Head of Invention WW, Mindshare
  • Xavier Rees, CEO, Havas London
  • Leila Siddiqi, Associate Director, Diversity, IPA
  • Sonoo Singh, Founder, Creative Salon
  • Natalie Trye, Global Lead, BRiM, Meta
  • Maddie Wollerton Blanks, People Consulting Lead, Grant Thornton UK
Secure your in-person or virtual place at the IPA Talent & Diversity Conference


The IPA Talent & Diversity Conference is sponsored by Channel 4, Grant Thornton and The Unmistakables

Last updated 24 August 2023