Discrimination in advertising and marketing is most commonly reported on the basis of family status (meaning caregivers for the elderly, the sick or children) and age, both of which can most often hinder women’s career progression. 1 in 7 say they would consider leaving their company and the industry on the basis of a lack of diversity and inclusion.
These are results of a diversity study made by the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) built on 10000 in-depth interviews in 27 markets.
Brussels-based WFA is a global association for multinational marketers and national advertiser associations. Its membership is made up of over 120 of top brands and national associations in more than 60 markets.
”The lived experiences of women in our industry are consistently poorer than the lived experiences of men in most countries surveyed and this is more often than not compounded by a gender pay gap particularly for women in more senior roles”, the report says.
A third of total respondents (33%) currently report feeling stressed and anxious at work.
”The most reported forms of discrimination are on basis of age, followed by family status and then gender. Often, combining these characteristics the groups feeling the most discrimination are younger or older women with care-giving responsibilities.”
40% of women say family status can hinder one’s career. 36% of respondents agree age can hinder one’s career.
Women score lower on the Inclusion Index with women 61% versus men 69%.
“Experiences of ethnic minorities are notably poorer than their ethnic majority counterparts and this reduces sense of belonging and career progression; Indications are that people with disabilities are under-represented in the industry. A high proportion (71%) who identify as disabled report mental/cognitive disabilities but relatively few (44%) inform their employer.”
Concerning careers, just 43% agree that the best opportunities go to the most deserving employees. ”And with ethnic majority males often proportionately overrepresented in industry leadership positions, driving progress on DEI can be slow. Not necessarily on account of self-interest but by a potential lack of understanding or motivation to challenge the status quo, which, looking at our data, does work well for so many.”
The report concludes that being diverse and inclusive is not just the right thing to do, it is also good for the bottom line. In an industry vying for talent with big tech platforms.
”Diverse teams are better equipped with the insights to understand how best to market to a diverse consumer base.”