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IPA study finds that number of women in senior roles at ad agencies fell in 2011


By Stephen Lepitak, -

January 13, 2012 | 2 min read

The number of women holding senior roles within advertising agencies fell in 2011, while the average agency size has increased, according to a survey by the IPA.

The study revealed that women accounted for 13.5% of those holding a high level role such as chair, CEO or managing director, a fall of 3.5% on the previous year, while they also held just 27.3% of other executive management positions, an increase of 1,8% on 2010.

The ratio between male and female employees was similar however, with men accounting for 51.3% of advertising agency workforce.

The survey also found that the average agency size increased from 71.4 employees to 77.5 employees, with the average age found to be around 33.8.

13.4% of those employed by agencies was found to be from outside the UK, with 6.6% from Europe, 3.1% from Asia/Pacific, 1.3% from USA/Canada, 0.4% from the Middle East and the same from Latin America, 0.6% from South Asia and 1% from Africa.

Paul Bainsfair, director general, IPA, commented: “In a time of uncertainty these figures provide a good dose of positivity, particularly those showing the sharp increase in first year trainees coming into our industry. As Nicola Mendelsohn’s presidential agenda asserts, it is imperative that our agencies continue to invest in fresh talent, and from all backgrounds, in order to embrace change, harness new technologies, and lead globally. I hope that the programmes we have put in place in light of this, as well as those planned for this year, will increase these figures further, and will also help to encourage greater numbers of people from ethnic diversities into our industry.”


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