All In Reveals Updated Actions for Black Talent, Disabled Talent, and Social Mobility

All In has announced three updates to actions focused on Black talent, Disabled talent, and talent from Working Class backgrounds at the LEAD North summit in Manchester today as part of UK advertising’s action plan from the Advertising Association, IPA and ISBA to build a workplace where everyone feels they belong.

The three new actions were informed by the results of the March 2023 All In Census, which saw its largest-ever response of 19,000 respondents and tracked industry progress two years on from the 2021 inaugural survey.

Kathryn Jacob OBE, Chair of the Inclusion Working Group and CEO of Pearl & Dean, said: “The 2023 All In Census results highlighted that the All In Action Plan is still just as important today as when we launched it in 2021. Progress has been made, but there is still more work to be done. The road to inclusion is complex and ever-evolving, and that is reflected in the updates to the All In Action Plan. Our objective is to continue to promote, encourage, and advocate for better representation, inclusion, and equity in UK advertising’s workforce”.

The eight-step action plan was introduced in 2021, and also covers Gender, Asian talent, Older talent, Mental Health, and LGBTQ+ talent.

Full information on the new actions can be found on the All In Hub, with further updates to be announced later in 2024. The All In Census will be repeated in March 2025 to further track progress against industry efforts to be more inclusive.

New actions

Action 1 – Invest in a sponsorship programme

Companies are asked to invest in a sponsorship programme, whether internal or external, or showcase how they are attracting and retaining Black talent within their organisation. According to the 2023 All In Census, just 2% of Black respondents were in C-suite positions. 31% of Black respondents also reported that they felt undervalued compared to colleagues of equal competence.

Action 2 – Ask your staff or visitors if they have any accessibility needs

Companies are asked to provide the opportunity for current staff or visitors to their premises to share if they have any accessibility needs. The All In Census data revealed that for 39% of disabled people, their company was unaware of their disability/health condition. Of those whose company were aware, 53% felt their company was very supportive, 28% felt their company was supportive but could do more, 13% neither supportive or unsupportive, and 4% unsupportive.

Action 3 – Adopt the new Early Careers Social Mobility toolkit

Companies are asked to assess how they are developing working class talent, with a focus on those in the early stages of their careers, through a toolkit developed by the All In Social Mobility Working Group. Data from the All In Census showed that working-class professionals continue to be underrepresented in the UK advertising industry (20% compared to the national average of 40%). Those from fee-paying schools were also overrepresented in the industry.

Ete Davies, Chair of the Black Talent Working Group and Chief Operating Officer, Dentsu Creative, EMEA & UK said: “The latest All In Census highlighted that the work and career environment for Black talent is still comparatively negative, resulting in poor retention and impairing progression – factors which are key to ensuring long-term sustainable inclusion and representation. Sponsorship is an evidenced central strategy to counteracting the systemic and cultural biases and inequities that exist in organisations which impair the progression and mitigate the attrition of Black professionals.”

Danny Josephs, Chair of the Disability Working Group and COO and Client Lead, MFUSE, said: “The data tells us that too many disabled people fear disclosing their disabilities because they think it will harm their career development. We want to normalise the conversation around disability by always asking the question ‘Do you have any accessibility requirements?’– our aim is that it becomes as ubiquitous as the question ‘Do you have any dietary requirements?’”

John McGeough, Chair of the All In Social Mobility Working Group and Commercial Operations Director, Global said: “We are passionate about the need to increase working-class representation in the industry, understanding that it’s one of the more complex areas in which to make a difference – as shown by the limited changes we’ve seen since the original action plan was first launched in 2021. A focus on early careers and how we recruit, train and support those working class talent is the most effective way to make a difference.”

Details of the full Action Plan can be found on the All In Hub, alongside a summary of the 2023 All In Census findings and a directory of resources to help employers build an inclusive workplace, including over 100 DEI initiatives that can be easily accessed.

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