Staff Reporters
Nov 14, 2022

WFA to launch second global DEI census in March 2023

In partnership with Campaign, the results will provide a check on progress in industry perceptions of diversity, equity and inclusion across 32 markets worldwide.

WFA to launch second global DEI census in March 2023

An industry coalition of 10 global marketing and advertising organisations led by the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA), the has announced plans for a second global DEI census in March 2023 to monitor change from the inaugural 2021 census.  

Looking at shifts in 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, the results will be used to showcase areas of progress as well as highlighting areas where performance may have slipped back.

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 are due to be released in June 2023. 

“We all know that you can only manage what you measure – and measure well," said Raja Rajamannar, WFA president and chief marketing and communications officer at Mastercard. "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.”

The initiative is supported by the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA), VoxComm, Campaign, Kantar, Advertising Week, Cannes Lions, Effie Worldwide, IAA, Global Web Index (GWI) and Adweek.

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.

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.

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," said Stephan Loerke, WFA CEO. "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.” 

"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 added Haymarket Media Groups global portfolio direct, Jessica MacDermot. "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,”

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