Salary Survey 2017: Workplace diversity takes a knock

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Marketing Week’s annual Career and Salary Survey shows that rather than improving, workforce diversity is actually getting worse.

Salary Survey chart

In 2016, the industry as a whole raised its game by addressing the lack of diversity in marketing, with campaigns like Channel 4’s ‘We’re the Superhumans‘ and Maltesers’ ‘The Lighter Side‘ blazing a trail for inclusion. However, despite such efforts the representation of people with disabilities in the industry is getting worse.

The 2017 Career and Salary Survey finds 31.1% say disabled people are under-represented in their workforce, compared with 28% of marketers in 2016. The number of marketers who believe disabled people are not represented at all within their company has risen by 2 percentage points to 24.6% in 2017.

Marketers share a similar opinion with regards to the LGBT community, with 12.5% agreeing LGBT employees are under-represented in this year’s survey, compared with 11% 2016, while 8.7% do not see people from the LGBT community represented in their business at all.

Pete Markey, brand communications and marketing director at Aviva, believes these figures could also reflect the fact marketers are becoming more attuned to issues of diversity and inclusion.

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“One thing that might be contributing to this is the fact we are more tuned-in than ever to the importance of the issue and feel it is not being addressed. The onus is therefore on leaders of marketing teams to drive greater awareness,” he says.

Markey notes the appointment of Aviva group brand director Jan Gooding to inclusion director as a positive example of a brand putting a marketer in charge of inclusion, and advises marketing departments to be very deliberate about leading the charge on diversity or they will fail to truly represent the diverse consumer base.

The survey also reveals that 29.6% of marketers believe ethnic minorities are under-represented in their businesses, and a fifth (21.1%) agreeing older people are under-represented. In addition, 10.6% believe religious groups are not at all represented in their business, and 10.2% acknowledge single parents are not represented.

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