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31 March 2022
Ethnic diversity improves at UK agencies
United KingdomDiverse hiring practices
The proportion of UK agency employees from a non-white background increased sharply last year according to the latest IPA Agency Census
Why it matters
The Black Lives Matter protests galvanised the industry into taking action and now the results are there to see across all levels, from junior executive to the C-suite. Overall, 18.3% of agency staff are now from a non-white background, up from 15.3% in 2020.
Individuals from an Asian or Asian British background account for 7.9% of the employee base, those from a Black or Black British background for 4.4%.
Those from a Mixed or multiple ethnic background account for 4.1% and those from any other ethnic background account for around 2.0%.
Individuals from a non-white background account for 7.1% of C-suite roles in agencies, up from 6.4% reported in 2020. This increase has been driven by creative and other non-media agencies at 7.4% vs 6.6% in media agencies.
Individuals from a non-white background occupy 27.1% of entry and junior level roles, up from 21.9% in 2020. In media agencies 30.2% of individuals are from a non-white background, up from 25.9% in 2020, while the equivalent figure in creative and other non-media agencies is 23.6%, up from 17.8% in 2020.
Numbers aren’t everything
While greater diversity is clearly a good thing, there are still significant differences when it comes to pay. Among those member agencies providing salary breakdowns by ethnicity and seniority, an ethnicity pay gap of 21.2% in favour of white employees exists, up on the 19.5% reported in 2020. At 23.4%, the differential is higher in media agencies than it is in creative and other non-media agencies where it stands at 15.3%.
The IPA will be hosting a Talent and Diversity Conference on 4 May 2022 in which it will be tackling the core areas of recruitment, retention and recognition. More information will be available on the IPA website.