Has diversity and inclusion improved in the global advertising business? Last time it was checked, one in seven professionals said that they would likely leave their company and the industry because of a lack of diversity and inclusion. The World Federation of Advertisers has launched a new global survey running until mid-April and with results to me published in June.
The previous survey dated 2021 showed that the most common forms of discrimination were experienced on the basis of gender, age and caregiving responsibilities (those looking after the young, the elderly or the sick) as well as on the basis of race, ethnicity and disability.
The negative results from the first study made the Federation launch a Global Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Charter saying the aim was to drive real action and improve the lived experiences for multiple groups working in the marketing industry.
The Federation says the new survey is to measure the state of diversity, equity and inclusion in the marketing and advertising industry, as well as people’s sense of belonging, the absence of discrimination and presence of negative behaviours, in order to monitor progress.
The Federation’s charter launched after the first survey included:
- Leaders need to understand the data of inclusion: who is being promoted at every level and what barriers are holding particular groups back.
- Create psychological safety and support. Genuinely safe spaces allow employees to speak up candidly. Companies must invest in qualified facilitation for these spaces and have clear rules of engagement.
- Continued coaching, mentoring, and career development for experienced and younger employees alike shows the organisation is committed to supporting and retaining all forms of talent, irrespective of age.
- Adding emergency caregiver support to employer benefits plans can actively support those with caregiving responsibilities.
- Providing and continually promoting mental health benefits so that they are accessible and top of mind is important. People managers should be trained in how to respond to mental health issues and have supportive discussions around mental health with employees.