The Stats That Will Shock You On Gender Equality In Adland

The Stats That Will Shock You On Gender Equality In Adland

Every May, all companies in Australia with 100 employees (not FTE, but all headcount) or more are required to complete a detailed return and lodge it with the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA).

B&T Magazine
Posted by B&T Magazine

The aggregated results for the advertising industry paint a bleak picture of gender equality in Aussie advertising agencies.

B&T signed a confidentiality agreement before gaining access to this information, right down to company level. We may only report at industry level.

The first thing that struck us was one whole group and many agencies that should have filed a return in 2016 did not.

We’re not going to name and shame this year, but when we repeat this analysis for 2017, we will let the WGEA know what agencies we think area in breach of the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012.

You’re all on notice. If you don’t measure it, you can’t move it. #changetheratio

The shocking statistics start at the board level. No women chair company boards of Australian advertising agencies and women make up only one in six of all board members – that’s 16 per cent of 170 directors across the country are women.

Only 20 per cent of full-time permanent CEOs or heads of business and 30 per cent of key management personnel are women.

The further down the management structure you go, the higher the proportion of women. So, by the time you get to “other managers” at 59 per cent and “professionals” at 52 per cent, gender equality in terms of numbers is a reality.

Don’t worry though, policies are in place to support gender equality! The advertising agencies and groups reported that 88 per cent to 95 per cent of them have formal policies or strategies to support gender equality across a range of activities: recruitment, retention, performance management processes, promotions, talent identification, succession planning, training and development.

However, only 64 per cent of them had gender equality KPIs – where responsibility to turn policy into action is actually nailed to a particular role.

Although 76 per cent of companies have a remuneration policy, only 27 per cent of those policies include objectives for pay equity, and only 67 per cent of them have done a pay gap analysis.

B&T was not given access to sensitive salary information, but the WGEA’s own analysis showed that women are paid 22 per cent less than men across the whole advertising services industry.

B&T is running The 3% Conference Australasia on Thursday 31 August. This movement started in the USA and was so-named because only 3 per cent of executive creative directors were women.

But this is bigger than just ECDs. It’s a major issue right across advertising, media and marketing industry in Australia.

We’re drawing a line in the sand. We’re looking for leaders who will join us change the ratio and also close that unacceptable gender pay gap.

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