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Just 6% of Dentsu UK’s workforce is over 50 – here’s how it plans to change that


By Ellen Ormesher | Reporter

July 22, 2022 | 4 min read

Dentsu UK has announced it is the first UK advertising network to partner with platform 55/Redefined to tackle ageism and improve the representation of over 50-year-olds in the advertising industry.


Just 5% of UK adland’s workforce are aged 50 and over / Image via Adobe

The recent industry-wide All In Census revealed that the UK advertising industry skews significantly younger than the general population, with just 5% aged over 55.

Currently, just 6% of Dentsu’s workforce in the UK is over 50.

A spokesperson from the holding company told The Drum: “We recognize our representation of this community, in line with the rest of the industry, needs improvement, so that’s why we’re taking action [by] proudly partnering with 55/Redefined and declaring ourselves an age-aware employer as part of our commitment to creating a truly inclusive environment for all our people.”

55/Redefined is an organization that aims to redefine life after 50, creating solutions for this demographic to live longer, lead more fulfilling lives and promote age inclusivity in the workplace.

The partnership will invest in the following commitments:

  • Investing in technical training and re-skilling for over 50s, including a brand-new apprenticeship program aimed at re-training this age group across Dentsu

  • Ensuring recruitment processes are inclusive and accessible to people over the age of 50

  • Reviewing retirement-related HR guidance and policies by ensuring people are not encouraged to retire at a set age and by engaging with Dentsu’s over-50 community to better understand the experiences they feel would enable them to remain engaged at work for longer

  • Communicating and promoting job vacancies fairly and to best engage people aged over 50

Dentsu says it is currently reviewing the most useful ways to measure its progress as it develops plans to grow its over-50s community.

Current targets to improve over-50 representation within Dentsu include:

  • A review of HR retirement-related policies by the end of 2022

  • The recruitment team is to undertake age unconscious bias training by end of 2022

  • The launch of an over-50s apprenticeship program in H1 2023

Anne Sewell, chief people officer at Dentsu UK, said: “Prioritizing, attracting and retaining people at a time when they typically choose to take their careers in a different direction is not only the right thing to do, but it also makes sound business sense to hold on to this community’s vast talent, knowledge and experience.

“Our collaboration with 55/Redefined marks an important first step on a longer-term journey that we hope encourages others to follow suit.”

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