The Advertising Association, ISBA and IPA are joining forces to assess the extent of the industry’s diversity and inclusion problem, with the results being used to devise a plan of action.

The three major marketing and advertising trade bodies have joined forces to launch what they hope will be the most comprehensive census of diversity and inclusion in the industry.

The move is a first from The Inclusion Group, formed last year by the Advertising Association, ISBA and IPA, and will form the basis of actions the group will ask the industry to take to make advertising and marketing more diverse and inclusive.

Members of the three bodies and others will be asked to complete the All In Census from 10 March. The aggregated and confidential data will be recorded and analysed by Kantar.

The lack of ethnic and socio-economic diversity across advertising and marketing is well known, but not documented in one place. It is also accepted that women are underrepresented in senior roles.

Marketing Week’s survey of marketers last year found 88% of respondents were white, while the percentage of female marketers in senior roles tracked well behind the industry total. Meanwhile, the 10% identifying as upper middle class accounted for more than half of all senior positions.

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Kathryn Jacob, the chair of the Inclusion Working Group and CEO of Pearl and Dean, says: “We know there is a systemic problem to tackle in our industry, that of fully inclusive representation in our workforce. To make the most meaningful change, we must set a benchmark to measure and track progress against.

“This census is a vital starting point for everyone to help build an industry that truly represents the world we live in today. I encourage people to spread the word – March 10 is the day for all in our industry to come together and say ‘I’m In’.”

A campaign, created by branding agency Two Stories, will encourage people to make a personal commitment to be ‘All In’ through social media channels in the run-up to the census. More information can be found on the Advertising Association’s website.

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