Media agency members of the Media Federation of Australia (MFA) have completed the industry’s second annual DE&I survey, providing a holistic view of progress in the area of diversity, equity and inclusion.
The aim of the survey – conducted in partnership with Mediai and completed by 2,203 individuals working in Australian media agencies – is to help the MFA and its members track ongoing progress and to provide strategic direction for improvement.
The survey results show that 43 per cent of media agency employees describe their cultural background as non-Australian, including 24 per cent with North European background, 12 per cent Southern and Eastern European, 17 per cent Asian and four per cent New Zealanders. Nearly 27 per cent of respondents speak another language (compared to 21 per cent of the general population of Australia).
However, only 0.3 per cent of respondents reported being First Nations people. Similarly, those living with a diagnosed disability or special need are under-represented – making up 4.31 per cent of the media agency population, versus 17 per cent of the general population. On a positive note, this figure was up from 2020, when only 1.2 per cent of respondents were living with a diagnosed disability or special need.
In addition, women represent 45 per cent of C-Suite management roles, which is higher than the average in the Australian workplace of 32.5 per cent of key management positions held by women.
Of the survey respondents, 10 per cent are members of the LGBTQIA+ community.
In the area of inclusion, 94 per cent said they feel included and like they belong in the media agency industry, and 97 per cent felt supported and safe to be themselves at work. Conversely, that leaves six per cent of people who don’t feel included and three per cent of people who don’t feel supported to be themselves.
Similarly, 80 per cent said they had not experienced ignorance, prejudice, insensitivity, or exclusion in the past 12 months – meaning 20 per cent of people have experienced some sort of bias. The MFA’s goal is for 100 per cent of individuals in the industry to feel they belong and are safe to be themselves at work.
The MFA’s head of people, Linda Wong (main photo), said: “This is the second year we’ve conducted an industry-wide DE&I survey, with a lot of useful data coming through. The results are shared with agencies so they can benchmark where they sit versus the rest of the industry, and to identify areas for improvement. We believe measuring what matters is a critical element to driving change and improvement, and this is just the start of our journey in making our industry more diverse, equitable and inclusive.”
Tanvi Singh, vice chair of the MFA DE&I advisory council and Mindshare strategy director, added: “The results of the DE&I survey are a great starting point for agencies in improving their own initiatives and programs in all areas of diversity, equity and inclusion. We’d like to see them be more aggressive with their targets so that we see the metrics shift towards a more diverse industry – one that is closer to aligning to the Australian population.”
The MFA DE&I Advisory Council will launch its Media for All DE&I strategy for the industry at next year’s MFA EX conference, attended by all MFA member employees, being held in Sydney on 10 February 2022 and Melbourne on 16 February 2022.
In preparation for the launch, the MFA created two events designed to brief industry leaders on important aspects of DE&I and equip them with the tools to lead the change. The second event, an MFA DE&I Inclusive Leadership Workshop for leaders and executive team members, is being held on 7 December. The 90-minute interactive workshop, led by professional coaching company Leaders for Good, will focus on awareness, education and provide the resources and key actions for leaders to begin or continue the DE&I process in their organisations.
Tickets to MFA EX Sydney and Melbourne are now on sale: https://www.mediafederation.org.au/mfa-events/mfa-ex
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