Here come the... no, sorry girls
Still from Mother's Boots campaign
The latest IPA census reveals a UK advertising industry making some modest moves towards diversity, but one where creative departments are still largely for the boys
Although 49% of all those employed by member agencies of the IPA are women, that figure drops to just 24% of copywriters and art directors. Digital is even worse with women making up just 18% of digital creatives.
Women do feature more prominently in creative services (54%) and in TV production (62%).
However, there has been a 59% year-on-year increase in the numbers of women in senior positions – CEO/MD and chair – where they now account for 21.5% of the workforce. And, overall, the number of women working in the industry has gone above 10,000 for the first time.
In terms of ethnic diversity – a topic which the IPA recently hosted a debate on – the picture is slightly better than last year. The proportion of agency employees from a non-white background has increased by 12.8% year-on-year, from 9.4% in 2011 to 10.6% in 2012. More encouraging is the longer term change – a 29% increase over the last five years from 8.2% in 2008. According to the most recent census (2001), only 7.9% of the UK population is officially classed as non-white.
The industry is still overwhelmingly young - the average age being just 34. And overall numbers are now up to pre-recession levels, with the industry employing a total of 20,491 people. Creatives (copywriters and art directors) make up 9% of that total at just 1,809 people. 254 people work as 'digital creatives' and 611 as designers.
Full details here
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I'd be interested in seeing figures released for the creative industry as a whole – freelance designers, photographers, architects etc. – not just advertising.
My uni course was 55% girls (Chelsea), many of the London courses were relatively even splits. Quite a few of us ended up at agencies, as well as independent studios. Others moved on altogether into teaching, travelling, working in bars in SE Asia.
Perhaps this says more about the attractiveness of advertising as a career for females more than the creative industry as a whole. In my limited (perhaps ignorant) experience, college and uni courses aren't overrun by men