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The Ad Association, ISBA and IPA partner on new inclusion group

07 May 2020  |  Michaela Jefferson 
The Ad Association, ISBA and IPA partner on new inclusion group

Three of adland's key trade bodies - the Advertising Association, ISBA and the IPA - have come together to launch a new Inclusion Group made up of senior cross-industry figures.

Chaired by Kathryn Jacob, CEO of cinema advertising business Pearl & Dean, the group aims to help improve the diversity of the industry's workforce and creative output by bringing all diversity and inclusion initiatives together into a "clear [and] collective" effort.

The group also plans to track engagement with the schemes to help inform an overall sense of the progress being made.

To kick things off, the Inclusion Group's first action has been to create UK Advertising Needs you. The online hub showcases adland's diversity and inclusion schemes - covering neuro-diversity, disability, age, gender and racial diversity - and features advice for candidates alongside useful resources for employers

“The success of UK advertising is built on our talent and it is vital that we nurture and access the widest pool of talent possible, as we know this always leads to the best work," Jacob said.

"Addressing our diversity and inclusion will enhance our reputation as a global hub for advertising and better answer the need for us to reflect the society we serve.”

Leila Siddiqi, associate director, diversity at the IPA, added that the IPA's agenda to improve and promote diversity and inclusion within advertising agencies "lends itself well" to collaboration between agencies, brands and media owners.

Meanwhile Bobi Carley, head of media at ISBA, said the trade body is "delighted" to work with other industry bodies on an industry wide initiative that drives "tangible, positive change."

Both Siddiqi and Carley are members of the inclusion group, alongside Saatchi & Saatchi’s managing director, Sarah Jenkins; Channel 4’s CMO, Zaid Al-Qassab; 4creative’s business director, Jane English; GSK’s EMEA media director, Jerry Daykin; Creative Equal’s founder and CEO, Ali Hanan; and Sharon Lloyd Barnes, commercial director of the Advertising Association.

Stephen Woodford, chief executive, Advertising Association, added: “We have long known that great creativity is integrally linked to great diversity of thinking and experience and we must do everything we can to build the world’s most diverse workforce.

"It is central to our future as a world-class advertising hub and we urge all employers to use the hub, both as a resource, but also as a showcase to share the work they are doing in this area.”

The launch of the group comes at a time when diversity and inclusion schemes are under increased pressure from the Covid-19 crisis, and following the release of the IPA Agency Census for 2019.

The Census found that, pre-coronavirus, agencies in adland had made only "marginal" and "slow" improvements in gender and ethnic diversity, with a widening gender pay gap and fewer C-suite roles occupied by employees with ethnic minority backgrounds.

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22 May 2020 

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