Diversity & Inclusion

Diversity and inclusion has become a CEO-level issue in global business. The era of diversity as a “check the box” initiative owned by HR is over. Despite this, the advertising industry lags behind in actively addressing this imbalance in some areas.

Diversity & Inclusion Group

The Diversity and Inclusion group is focused on addressing these issues. It was founded to raise awareness and influence the industry’s decision-makers on the value of nurturing and retaining a diverse workforce in light of the demonstrable commercial success of such organisations. Its focus is in providing practical tools to assist management in ensuring a balanced workforce and to foster inclusion.

Lorraine Jocovic
Lorraine Jokovic
Chair of the Diversity & Inclusion group


5 Key Steps

1. Put it on the CEO’s Agenda

It all starts with the CEO. Culture is driven from the top. Achieving any major change therefore requires your commitment. This means stepping up, altering your behaviour and taking action rather than talking about it.

2. Establish A Diversity Council

Commitment from the CEO is vital, but one person alone cannot create such fundamental change. Support is needed from leaders within your organisation to ensure action is taken throughout your business.

3. Do an Audit and Get Serious

Now tackle the numbers. What’s the current balance, and what are you looking to achieve? Ask yourself the question – “Am I willing to set tangible targets?” If not, why not? From recruitment and talent development to committees and panels, what are you doing to nurture diversity across all stages of the business and career lifecycles?

4. Develop Policy and Procedures

Turning plans into policy. There are a number of widespread policies and procedures that exist in our agencies which are obstacles to the merit-based elevation of individuals. Review your existing policies, and ensure any updates actively address your ambitions in this area.

5. Develop and Manage Culture Change

Changing an entrenched culture is the toughest challenge you will face. Historical imbalance in our industry’s organisations has bred a challenging culture for some that feel they don’t fit the stereotype. True commitment to diversity won’t be found on a poster in the kitchen, it’s in the every day conversations and behaviours. Ensure you demonstrate your own commitment in this space.


ACA’s commitment to diversity

ACA is incorporating diversity and inclusion touchpoints into our PD programme where possible/ appropriate eg within Business and Agency Leadership, in account management and graduate training.

The Salary Survey also collects data which illustrates the gender split across all levels of the industry to help inform the debate.