Number of senior women in advertising jumps

The number of senior women in advertising has almost doubled in a year, according to the IPA 2012 Agency Census.

It found that 21.5% of people at the most senior level – Chair/CEO or Managing Director – were women, up from 13.5% in 2011.

The survey also shows a 5.8% rise in the number of people employed in IPA agencies, up from 19,372 to 20,491 – the highest level in the Census’ history.


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Other findings include:

– The male to female ratio remains roughly the same: males account for 51% of the employed base and females for 49%.

– The number of females working in agencies has crossed the 10,000 threshold for the first time (10,042, up from 9,438 in 2011).

– 89.4% of the employed base is from a white background and 10.6% is from a non-white background. The proportion of employees from a non-white background has increased by 12.8% year-on-year, from 9.4% in 2011 to 10.6% in 2012. This marks a 29% increase over the last five years from 8.2% in 2008.

– The average age of employees in all member agencies is 34. In creative and other non-media agencies it is 35, and in media agencies it is 31.

– An estimated 251 individuals, 1.2% of the employed base, work from home on a regular basis, up from 236 in 2011. Part-time employees account for 5.6% of the employed base up from 5.1% in 2011.

– The estimated number of first-year trainees in member agencies has increased from 862 to 933, a year-on-year increase of 8.2%.

– 2% of employees in an executive management position are aged under 30, the largest percentage at 45% is the 31-40 year age group.

Nicola Mendelsohn, President, IPA, says:“It’s terrific to see that the number of employees in advertising is at it’s highest level since records began. Moreover as the first female president of the IPA, I find it extremely encouraging to see the percentage of women in senior management positions on the increase like this, especially in terms of the diversity of our industry going forwards.”

Alex Hunter, Finance Director, IPA, says: “It is impressive to find that agency staff numbers have now not only been restored to pre-recession levels, but that they are at the highest level in the history of the agency Census. That some of this growth is due to increased part-time staff is a reflection of our agencies’ changing business models in line with changing client expectations. Another aspect of this growth is the 9% increase in the number of staff under 25, which also explains why the average age of agency staff has remained at 34. The steady increase of ethnic diversity in the industry, and indeed of women in executive management, is also encouraging for the UK’s creative industries.”

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