Advertising at its best has a symbiotic relationship with culture; it draws from culture and informs culture in return.
It stands to reason that for advertising and communications to fulfil its potential, those who deliver it should fully reflect the cultures that it intends to inform. Historically, this has not been the case.
In October 2021, the Comms Council conducted research to understand the diversity of our membership. In summary, we've made progress in some areas, but have work to do before we can claim to be fully representative of all of New Zealand.
The headlines are as follows:
Beyond the headlines, even where we have good representation, there are still pockets of leadership and specific disciplines where more work needs to be done.
A number of Initiatives are underway to address the findings in the research.
Employment Brand: We are developing an industry-wide platform to actively attract more talent from diverse backgrounds to our industry. As part of this project we are working with pathway organisations to extend our reach to high school students and students in tertiary education beyond traditional universities.
Representation in Advertising: We are participating in a project, led by the NZAPG, to better represent diversity in advertising and marketing.
Our DEI committee will be focused on inclusion, providing guidance and tools for members to ensure our workplaces are inclusive for all.
In addition, we plan to participate in a global industry Census in early 2023, with the aim of drilling down further into issues that challenge retention in our industry, identifying high priority issues that we can address together.