Industry associations come together for WFA’s global diversity survey

A group led by the ACA will work to drive participation in a first-of-its-kind look at DEI at a global scale, with results published in strategy.
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The Association of Canadian Advertisers (ACA) is spearheading a Canadian push behind the World Federation of Advertisers’ (WFA) global diversity, equity and inclusion survey, set to open to respondents next week.

Earlier this month, the WFA announced that it would be conducting the first diversity, equity and inclusion survey aimed at getting a picture of the industry at a global scale.

Questions will not only cover composition of the workforce, but also issues like peoples’ perception of diversity and inclusion in the workplace, how efforts to improve D&I are progressing and individuals’ feelings of belonging within the industry and their companies. The results, which will be measured and analyzed by Kantar, will also help set benchmarks, so advancement on these issues can be gauged in the future.

The ACA is leading the push for participation within Canada, with several other industry associations assisting by raising awareness of the survey and driving participation among their respective memberships – a goal of the survey in Canada and globally is to get as large and representative a sample as possible.

The participating associations include the Association of Creative Communications Agencies (A2C), Advertising Standards Canada (ASC), the Canadian Media Directors Council (CMDC), the Interactive Advertising Bureau of Canada (IAB Canada) and the Institute of Communication Agencies (ICA). Anyone in the industry can participate in the survey, including individuals who do not work for a company that is a member of one of these associations.

Strategy has also signed on as the media partner for the effort, with Grenier further amplifying the survey in Quebec.

Ron Lund, president and CEO of the ACA, said that with DEI initiatives underway at many companies, it is the right time to set benchmarks on these issues and measure local efforts against the ones happening globally. “Importantly, this survey will reveal insights that will inform the industry’s future plans for DEI and keep us accountable as an industry, both nationally and globally,” he said.

“For all the talk of ‘we are in this together,’ the pandemic has shown this to be simply untrue,” said Stephan Loerke, CEO of WFA. “Inequalities have been exacerbated by recent hardships. Anecdotal evidence suggests the industry is going backwards on diversity and inclusion. It is imperative we get a first-ever industry baseline so that we can draw a line in the sand and move forward together in improving the state of diversity, equity and inclusion in our industry.”

The questionnaire will be live from June 21 to July 2, when a link to the survey platform will be made available. The results are expected to be available this fall, with global insights published by the survey’s global media partner Campaign and Canada-specific results published by strategy.