The 2019 MFA Industry Census has delivered a robust health check of the media agency industry, revealing media agencies are experiencing strong growth across a number of important measures, including the number of jobs and women in leadership roles.
Released today, the annual census reveals that staff numbers in media agencies are up 5.6 per cent year-on-year, with MFA agency members employing 3,902 people. This represents the fifth-consecutive year of jobs growth in the industry. If all current vacant roles were filled, the industry population would rise to 4,156 people.
Equally important is the growing level of experience across media agencies, with a year-on-year increase in the number of personnel with six to 10 years’ experience while the number of people with 20+ years’ experience has doubled in the past three years.
As a result, the number of agency personnel with less than five years’ experience has dropped to 46 per cent of the industry (from 49 per cent the year prior). Overall, the average industry experience is now 8.1 years, up from 7.7 years the year prior. Agency tenure is also up, at 3.4 years.
The census also revealed a zero pay gap between men and women’s average annual salary. By comparison, the Australian national pay gap remains at 13.9 per cent, as measured by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA).
Significantly, the proportion of women leaders has risen to 44 per cent of all management roles held by women (up from 37 per cent the year prior).
Peter Horgan, MFA chair & CEO of Omnicom MediaGroup said: “The MFA’s annual Census provides an important snapshot of the health of media agencies, and it’s encouraging to see such a positive picture emerge. I believe the continued growth of media agencies in the face of increased business pressures demonstrates the diligent effort we’ve put in as an industry to evolve the media agency model and better meet our clients’ needs. It’s great to see the hard work delivering results.”
MFA CEO Sophie Madden (pictured) added: “I am very more pleased with the results of the Census. From the growing population to greater experience, more flexibility and more women coming up the ranks, there are so many positive outcomes in our annual health check. It demonstrates that our members are listening to what is important, to both their staff and their clients.”
The representation of women in leadership positions within the industry is higher than the average in the Australian workplace as compared to figures by the Federal Government’s Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA), which shows that women hold 30 per cent of key management positions.
Flexible working has continued to rise in prominence, with the opportunity to work from home available to 98 per cent of media agency employees (up from 94 per cent ), and 8 per cent of the workforce employed part time.
Importantly, part-time work is spread across all levels of seniority in agencies, from entry-level roles to executives, allowing for studying, side hustles or other life commitments.
Staff turnover has remained stable, with regrettable loss at 27.2 per cent and non-regrettable loss dropping to 6.7 per cent (from 9.0 per cen ).