Time to make a change: our first-ever DE&I survey of UK marketing agencies

Posted on 16/05/2022 by Anna Murphy

It started as a partnership between The Agency Collective and Hallam, sparked by our curiosity about how representative agencies are of the UK population.

We believe that a diverse business is a healthy business. Not only is diversity a moral imperative, but diverse workforces are more creative, productive and innovative.

For the industry to become more diverse, we must first understand where we are now. Over 100 agencies have contributed to this survey, ranging from niche start-ups through to established full-service agencies with over 100 staff. This level of participation is a hugely encouraging first step to improving diversity within our sector.

Download the report here

A recent report by the Wall Street Journal concluded that ‘diverse and inclusive cultures are providing companies with a competitive edge over their peers.’ Our report joins a growing number of studies which support the fact that socially and ethnically diverse groups are more creative, productive and innovative.

However, as our survey in collaboration with The Agency Collective highlights, there is a lot of work still to be done, at every level, if agencies are to become a true reflection of our diverse population.

The key headlines:

39% of agencies employ no people of underrepresented ethnic groups
75% of agency leadership teams are 100% white
43% of senior leadership team members are female


Kiorhte Aghoghogbe, our Senior Account Manager and Diversity and Inclusion Lead, said:

“I’ve often worked in places where I have been the only person who isn’t white. The typical agency culture isn’t progressive or diverse. Those who can effect change are often not making any changes, so it’s left to those who are affected to be the trailblazers.”

Ellie Hale Managing Director, The Agency Collective, said:

 “I have been in positions where I have had to fight tooth and nail to be paid the same as my male counterpart. This simply shouldn’t be the case, and gender equality within agencies needs to be consistently addressed. Look at your hiring process. Look at your career development paths for your teams. Look at what you are doing to actively support and encourage women in leadership roles? Women in agencies deserve to be heard, be recognised and be promoted. Be an advocate and let’s do away with any career ceilings.”

In this report, we cover:

  • The size, services and locations of the agencies who took part
  • The key findings from the survey, including representation on gender, ethnicity and disability and LGBTQ+ 
  • Tips on how to hire a more diverse team

Download the report here 


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Time to make a change: our first-ever DE&I survey of UK marketing agencies

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