GM Thought Of The Week: Now it makes census


GM Thought Of The Week: Now it makes census

Last week saw the publication of the 2018 Report on Employment within IPA Member Agencies.  The report objectives are to monitor staff turnover and diversity of employment.  So, what is diversity, what benefits does it provide and how are Generation Media performing versus the advertising industry and benchmarks?


Diversity in the work place is when a Company is open to hiring employees from an array of backgrounds with the objective of recruiting and retaining a diverse pool of people.


The 2018 Census released by the IPA monitors this diversity within the advertising industry providing benchmarks with which we can measure our own inroads in countering staff turnover, gender equality, age spectrum and BAME (Black and Minority Ethnic) representation.


So what did they find…?


Whilst there is a fairly even gender balance amongst member agencies, in fact slightly biased to women at 52.2%, when looking at positions of seniority, women occupy just 32.7% of C-Suite roles.  At Generation Media we are proud to have female MD’s for both our Media and Insight business, alongside a female bias amongst our Senior Leadership and Management teams.


The number of BAME representatives continues to grow to 13.8% but this drops to just 5.5% of C-Suite roles.  We have always championed equal opportunities as a business with BAME employees currently representing 25% of our employees across both businesses.


Diversity also extends to age and disability; the census predicts only 6% of our industry being over 50 years of age and disability sample size too low to measure accurately.  Two areas which clearly still need some work.


Beyond the obvious positive impact on a company’s reputation for being seen to support diversity, a focus on diversity can also deliver positive effects on company culture and performance.


Studies have found diverse teams perform better, solving problems fast.  It can also provide greater innovation and creativity when you have individuals from different backgrounds and experiences.


Working in the advertising industry understanding our consumers is key.  Working with a cross section of the population gives otherwise untapped insights that reach beyond the desktop tools and costly research studies.


Finally, it will help you in hiring and retaining talent.  The Census quotes a staggering 30% staff turnover for the ad industry.  When you think of the costs (time and money) involved in hiring and training individuals this appears to be a terrible waste of valuable resource that can be diverted into business development and growth.


So what can employers do to increase diversity in their teams? The process starts at the top.  Know where you currently are and where you want to be putting stepping stones in place to reach this.  Generation Media participate in the IPAs ‘Make the Leap’ pledge to improve diversity in the industry by 2020.  We must then communicate, educate and empower Managers to deliver on this.  They are often the ones leading recruitment and promotion process and it is essential they understand the benefits of a diverse work force and importance of staff retention to delivering business success.


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