Wave II of Global DEI Census shows high recognition of industry efforts but no improvement on inclusion

Yesterday, the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) published the initial findings of the second wave of the Global DEI Census 2023, an initiative that examines the state of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the marketing industry with the goal to identify in which areas change is needed to make the industry more diverse and the advertising industry a better place for everyone.

The findings now show that despite one in two saying things are improving, inclusion scores remain the same as in 2021. The greatest forms of discrimination are still on basis of age, gender and care-giving status with disabled respondents reporting the worst lived experiences.

  • 1 in 7 still say they would leave our industry on account of a lack of diversity and inclusion. This rises to 1 in 6 for women and LGBQ+, 1 in 5 for ethnic minorities and 1 in 4 for disabled respondents. 
  • 72% of respondents recognise efforts are being made. But this figure varies across countries. 87% recognised efforts in US and Canada. Just 49% in Japan. 
  • 1 in 2 respondents say things have improved. But  the level of positive sentiment depends on where you work. 7 in 10 agree in Spain and Brazil, just 3 in 10 agree in Sweden, Poland and Japan. People in senior positions were more likely to say things have improved (58%) compared with managers (49%) and junior staff (42%).
  • Critically, the needle on inclusion has not been moved, according to Kantar’s Inclusion Index. In 2021, Kantar’s inclusion score was 64%; now it is 63%.  
  • Women, LGBQ+, ethnic minority and disabled respondents still have worse experiences than their counterparts.
  • The worst experiences by far are reported by disabled respondents.
  • The most common forms of discrimination are still around age, gender and family status. 
  • Women and ethnic minorities feel underrepresented in senior positions. Men are twice as likely to be in C-suite positions. 
  • Mental health is a big issue. 42% feel stressed and anxious at work. 

Read the full press release here.

The Global DEI Census is supported by WFA, VoxComm, Campaign, Kantar, Advertising Week, Cannes Lions, Effie Worldwide, IAA, Global Web Index (GWI), ICAS, EASA and many of our members. More than 100 organizations operating at global, regional and local level have joined forces to run this research. That makes this effort one of the biggest collaborations in the history of the global marketing industry.

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