ACA launches industry-wide anonymous survey on diversity and inclusion

The Advertising Council Australia (ACA) has launched Create Space, an industry-wide survey on the diversity of Australia’s advertising industry, following on from the UK Advertising Association’s ‘All In’ campaign.

The online survey will be available from 1 December to 15 December, with ACA encouraging the industry to make time to complete the survey.

ACA CEO Tony Hale commented: “Census day is a critical moment for us all. We are asking all those in positions of influence to throw their support behind this initiative and pledge to create space in their team’s diaries on December 1 to encourage everyone to share their experiences and ensure the census’ representation of the industry is accurate.

“To the professionals who work in the industry, be sure to have your say on census day and be part of the change. The more people that participate, the better the data, the clearer the lay of the land, and the easier it will be to pinpoint the areas we must urgently address to make our industry more inclusive and welcoming for all.”

Part of the survey will seek answers from participants on gender identity, social and ethnic backgrounds, sexual orientation, mental health and family status among industry professionals. Another part will also ask about experiences of inclusion at work, and how these factors influence happiness, health and careers.

The survey will be anonymous, and is in partnership with Kantar.

ACA board member and chair of ACA’s diversity and inclusion committee Lorraine Jokovic said: “From talent attraction, to problem-solving capacity, to client selection criteria, we know that diversity and inclusion is essential to our industry’s long-term prosperity but we have lacked the data to quantify the size of the challenge in order to implement strategic change. Create Space will give us the map and the metrics to do so.”

ACA national head of engagement Hannah Sturrock, who joined in June, added: “Our industry’s future depends on the experience of our people, both lived and learned. And now, there is serious competition for strategic and creative talent from brands, platforms and tech startups.

“To attract and retain the best people, ad agencies must create an environment where all people thrive, feel heard, supported, and safe to do their best work. That can’t be faked or formulated. We’ve all got to commit to create space for others in the industry, and fast, and be prepared to challenge our biases.”

ACA’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee is overseeing Create Space, whose members include Jokovic, Sturrock, CHE Proximity chief creative officer Gavin McLeod, Innocean CEO Jasmin Bedir, BMF communications director Lu Borges, WhiteGrey chief strategy officer Simon Wassef, TBWA Australia senior strategist Renata Yannoulis and R/GA regional group director – APAC Millie Menage.

The ACA anticipates that the results will be published around February to March next year.

After the results are published, ACA is planning to launch an Action Plan, supported by industry working groups and is committed to reporting on advertising’s diversity every two years.


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