Annette King

Defining the next chapter of DE&I: Why we Need to go All In

The Advertising Association chair Annette King on how the All In Census will shape a better industry

By Annette King

Since I stepped into the role of Chair for the Advertising Association last year, much of the conversation has centred around ‘What if? What next?’ given the economic backdrop.

While there’s no denying we’re swimming in uncertain waters in 2023, some of the most important leadership lessons we’ve learned over the past three years – the art of agile decision making and the need for constant reinvention – have left our people with a new level of confidence when it comes to voicing what they want, and need, from their employers.

And today the Advertising Association, the IPA and ISBA are calling on the industry to deepen its listening via the All in Census.

When it comes to DEI and wellbeing, the richness of the data from the 2021 All in Census helped build the most detailed understanding of the industry’s make-up to date. Without it, building the All in Action Plan would have been impossible. Today, that series of nine actions that came from the census plays a pivotal role in helping guide us all towards a more inclusive and sustainable version of our industry.

We’ve seen a welcome influx of headlines over the past year on ‘The Great Unretirement’ as some of the over 50s who made the decision to hang up their boots during the pandemic are now headed back to work. That may be because of their own financial pressures or because bosses, who value their experience, are finding ways to make the workplace more attractive. This is a brilliant example of something that is being addressed within the All In Action Plan, which seeks to “improve the experience and representation of older talent”. And it goes without saying that, to continue to evolve the all-important plan this year and increase representation among this group, we need to hear from that demographic.

When it comes to Neurodiverse talent, our industry’s efforts to understand what this incredible group of people need to thrive will be shaped by the results of this year’s Census. I have benefited from a lot of discussions with our Publicis Groupe UK employee action group, Neurodivergent Minds, and I cannot advocate the importance of this feedback enough. Gaining access to the nuances and complexities that can only be gathered by listening to people’s lived experience is a privilege and the greatest tool we have for making change.

From the crucial areas of gender, social mobility, and racial diversity, to the representation of LGBTQ+ and disabled talent, the industry has been working closely with our talent and specialist groups to define new ambitions for the future, and from this develop initiatives and programmes to help ensure talent feel welcome, accepted, and supported.

We know how much change is needed for advertising to continue to be the success story it has long been for the UK economy, and this year's All in Census must be the starting point for our industry to define the next chapter. As an industry we’re all too familiar with the art of feedback when it comes to our clients but in the name of progress there couldn’t be a more important date than today to write a new chapter that makes us proud. See you there.

To Take Part In The All In Census Click Here


LinkedIn iconx

Your Privacy

We use cookies to give you the best online experience. Please let us know if you agree to all of these cookies.