For years, 3% heard 3 questions in chorus.
Agencies: how do we hire and retain diverse talent?
Talent: where should I want to work?
Brands: which agencies are tapping diverse teams to connect with my consumers?
We realized answers were hard to find. So we set out to find them.
We invited agencies to anonymously share important stats. Dozens of agencies spanning every holding company to small independent creative shops gave us insight into their female leadership numbers, agency policies and programs.
Below are the top seven takeaways from this 2016-2017 research, a much-needed and eye-opening look at what life is like inside American ad agencies for women, people of color and other underrepresented communities.
This is the first installment of data in an ongoing body of research that 3% will continue to measure in the years ahead.
We recognize that agencies that entrusted this data to 3% are likely aware of our mission and therefore possibly more likely to demonstrate leadership on these measurements.
Our goal is to continue to expand our database of agency stats, including agencies who might be early on their diversity journey, thereby most accurately reflecting the true state of WHERE WE STAND as an industry.
Regardless of the agency's size, its parent company or whether it's owned or independent, women are still under-represented in executive roles across the board. However, we're making progress on the creative front with the percentage of Female Creative Directors higher than reported in previous studies.
of Creative Director roles now held by women
of executive roles are held by women across agencies of all sizes
Cautious optimism about women rising to top positions.
offer 2 weeks or less paid paternity leave
have on-site breast pumping facilities
have their own on-site childcare
Some agencies are thinking creatively about family-friendly perks, but men are still not supported as caregivers.
A few agencies offer "creative" benefits for new parents, like financial assistance for adoptions and monetary "baby bonuses." While 100% of agencies have a paid maternity policy in place, their policies range widely, with only one agency offering more than 12 weeks of paid maternity leave. And paternity leave, if offered at all, caps at just two weeks. This demonstrates that agencies don't yet think in terms of family leave, but still see maternity and paternity separately.
Many agencies have on-ramping processes for employees to return to work on a part-time or flexible basis before returning to full-time status. Though some formal policies are in place, many are determined on a case-by-case basis, putting the stress on the parent to negotiate their own return-to-work plan.
offer return-to-work or new parent on-ramping programs
offer formal job sharing
Agencies are putting some policies in place to help new parents come back to work.
of agencies offer diversity / unconscious bias trainings
Unconscious bias trainings are important but not enough to address variety of diversity-related issues.
Agencies are beginning to understand that diversity and unconscious bias trainings are important in creating an equal and more aware work environment. However, many of these trainings occur only a few times a year and little or no other programming to support diversity.
Agencies are taking necessary and immediate steps to address the wage gap by actively looking at wage parity based on gender and making swift adjustments.
agencies surveyed performed wage audits
found wages to be approximately equal and took quick action to fix inequalities.
Agencies are valuing people equally by ensuring they're paying them equally.
of agencies have a Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer
Agencies without CDIOs are missing a huge opportunity and sending a message to diverse employees that this isn't taken seriously as a business value.
Most agencies don't see the value of Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officers. They either think their agency is too small to warrant a dedicated leader or they're large enough that they see diversity as "everyone's responsibility."
More than half of agencies have formal women's networks that vary in scope and offerings, however, only a handful of agencies have formalized LGBTQ+ networks, and even fewer have formalized networks for employees of color.
of agencies have formal women's networks
of agencies have LGBTQ+ networks
have networks for employees of color
It's time for agencies to see
This is WHERE WE STAND as an industry today. Some of these preliminary findings are encouraging, while others reveal an industry slow to catch up to the demands of a modern workforce. While these watermarks might not be where they need to be yet, the fact that these measurements exist is progress. You can't improve what you don't measure.
This is only the beginning.
So let's keep measuring and improving.