An industry coalition of 10 global marketing and advertising organisations has announced plans for a second Global DEI Census in March 2023. The initiative is supported by the WFA, VoxComm, Campaign, Kantar, Advertising Week, Cannes Lions, Effie Worldwide, IAA, Global Web Index (GWI) and Adweek.
The goal is to look again at the state of diversity, equity and inclusion in the marketing and advertising industry, as well as people’s sense of belonging and absence of discrimination, in order to monitor progress on the results of the inaugural 2021 census.
15-minute global questionnaire
The 2023 Census will feature a 15-minute global questionnaire for people to share their experiences of the industry and will cover 32 markets. The results – due to be released in June 2023 – will be used to showcase areas of progress as well as highlighting areas where performance may have slipped back.
Participating markets include Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, SAR, Italy, Ireland, India, Malaysia, New Zealand, Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the Gulf Cooperation Council (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE), and USA.
The Census will take place in March 2023, with the global coalition working closely with national associations, multinationals, agency groups and all other relevant industry groups to promote participation. Wave 2 will also be co-ordinated in parallel with the UK’s All In survey, led by the Advertising Association, IPA and ISBA.
Respondents will be asked about their demographic profile including race/ethnicity, religion, age (in accordance with local legal frameworks) as well as their experiences at their place of work.
Wave 1 saw more than 160 organisations promote the initiative, making it the single biggest industry collaboration to date. The research identified that the key areas where there was the most significant difference in lived experience were based around people’s caregiving responsibilities (those looking after the young, the elderly or the sick), age and gender as well as ethnicity and disability.
It also found that, while the marketing industry has been scoring more positively than other sectors, one in seven people would nevertheless consider leaving their company or the industry due to a lack of diversity and inclusion, going up to one in four in some markets. The full results and analysis from Wave 1, which covered 27 markets and attracted more than 10,000 responses, can be seen here:
Since the results were unveiled in 2021, the WFA has unveiled a Global Charter for Change – a set of universal requirements for global organisations to improve their employees’ lived experiences and ideas for initiatives that companies can adopt.
“There is ample evidence that our industry is facing an acute talent crisis, and that this is proving a major obstacle for growth. It is an absolute business imperative to ensure that our industry can retain the vital talent that it needs to survive and thrive. This second wave of the Census is critical in that it will provide us with authoritative data on the progress we hope that our industry has made despite the challenges of Covid and the economy. The more responses we get, the more it will help us understand where we need to improve as an industry to become a more welcoming place for the wide variety of talent we need – which is why we call on everyone in the industry to support this unique global initiative,” said Stephan Loerke, WFA CEO.
“We all know that you can only manage what you measure – and measure well. The global support behind the Global DEI Census is a testament to how critical it is to truly understand where our industry stands on diversity, equity and inclusion, and then meaningfully address any gaps. Not only is this the right thing to do, it’s right for our industry as a whole and all of our businesses,” said Raja Rajamannar, WFA President and Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Mastercard.
“As an industry, it is essential that we take the temperature of what our strengths and weaknesses are concerning DEI to build together a diverse, equitable, inclusive and belonging workspace in which we all have a voice. With this second wave we will be able to see where we have improved and where as an industry we need to work even closer together to drive further change. We are in a critical situation. This global industry baseline will provide us with a cross-cultural view and show us if we are on the right path,” said Tamara Daltroff, President VoxComm and EACA CEO.
“As proud inaugural partners of the Global DEI Census, Campaign is delighted to once again add its vocal support for this most important of causes. Whilst ongoing discussion of this topic remains vital, we must all be laser-focused on driving actual change within our industry. This simply won’t happen without regular assessment of our progress as a global community, which is why this census is so important,” said Jessica MacDermot, Global Portfolio Director, Haymarket Media Group.
“DE&I should be recognized by CEOs as a strategic asset to improve creativity and innovation, yet it still remains a complex topic for the marketing communications industry to understand, especially on a global level. It’s important we continue to collaborate as industry on identifying best cases capable of behavioural change,” said Dagmara Szulce, Managing Director, IAA Global.
“We believe that it is crucial to understand where the industry stands on diversity, equity and inclusion. Only by having true benchmarks can we seek to make the marketing and advertising industries more inclusive and therefore more effective. We are proud to support the World Federation of Advertisers in this aim,” said Ruth Mortimer, Global President, Advertising Week.
“Our partnership with the WFA on the Global DEI Census is an important one for LIONS. As global conveners of the world’s creative communications and marketing industry, we understand how critical DEI is in driving progress not only for the industry we serve but for society as a whole. The results of the Census will give us a collective reading and help focus our efforts to create systemic change,” said Simon Cook, CEO, Cannes Lions.
“To be effective, brands and businesses need to cultivate and invest in workplaces where employees feel unafraid, inspired, innovative, and able to show up every day as their authentic selves. Effie Worldwide is proud to continue our partnership with the WFA and the other supporting organizations championing the Global DEI Census. With the industry’s support, the next phase of this project will establish clear benchmarks from which we can measure and improve our impact going forward,” said Traci Alford, Global CEO, Effie Worldwide.
“GWI is proud to be supporting the global DEI census for its second year, as it continues to shed vital light on the progress our industry is making – and still needs to make – in relation to diversity, equity and inclusion. We look forward to engaging our global user base to participate in the research and learn from its results,” Jason Mander, Chief Research Officer, GWI.
“We are very proud to support the second wave of the Global DEI census. This kind of initiative is very precious as it will enable our industry to continue to improve the actions we take to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion across the world, and provide accurate and locally relevant action plans. It will guide us in our ambition to become even more meaningful, for our talents and society as a whole,” said Yannick Bolloré, CEO Havas.
“We know that our industry thrives off the diversity of our people and ideas, so it is vital that we better understand who we are, where we’re going and where we need to be. The Global DEI Census provides companies with an industry-wide perspective that raises awareness of what matters most to our people and helps accelerate change. It is an important addition to the work many are doing individually to track progress, build diverse teams and create more inclusive workplace cultures,” said Jennifer Remling, Chief People Officer, WPP.
“The first step to mapping progress is having clarity of the situation. This Global DEI census is critical in understanding where the advertising, marketing and media industry is in the DEI priority journey. Adweek is committed to inspiring, connecting and guiding the marketing ecosystem, and supporting this important research initiative is a key component of that”, said Jenny Rooney, Chief Experience Officer, AdWeek.
“The value of the Global DEI Census was always to create a year over year benchmark for our industry. While Wave 1 was an incredible success globally, Wave 2 is equally – if not more – important as we continue our journey to help the industry understand whether the things we’re doing are having the needed positive impact. I again ask everyone to stand up and be counted in this important standard and for any company that has pledged to improve DEI, your support of the Global Census is a critical piece of your commitments,” said Belinda Smith, Founder and CEO, The Second Arrow, and WFA Diversity Ambassador.
“Our work with the WFA Diversity Task Force has continually shown that the best way to get to truly diverse, inclusive and effective work is to start with a diverse and inclusive team. That’s partly about getting different voices and perspectives into our industry, but it’s also about making sure they are heard and have a fair chance to progress when they are here. The census is a critical way of holding ourselves accountable to drive progress, but also a key way for us to diagnose the key areas where we need to continue to do much more,” said Jerry Daykin, VP Global Media, Beam Suntory, and WFA Diversity Ambassador.