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All In to focus on mental health, LGBTQ+ and physical disability

 All In has announced the next three actions covering Mental Health, LGBTQ+ and Physical Disability, as part of UK advertising’s action plan from the Advertising Association, IPA and ISBA to build a workplace where everyone feels they belong.

These three actions have been developed by the Advertising Association’s Inclusion Working Group, industry groups NABS and Outvertising, and industry professionals with relevant lived experience. They join existing actions on improving the experience and representation of Women, Black and Asian talent, Disabled talent, Working Class talent and Older talent.

The nine steps of the Action Plan have been shaped by data from the landmark All In Census, which saw 16,000 advertising professionals take part. The All In Census, the industry’s first inclusion survey, will be repeated in March 2023 and then every two years to track progress.

Next week will see the reveal of the first All In Champions – companies that can evidence that they are championing this work and have adopted the action plan to date. They will not yet be expected to have implemented the latest actions, announced this month.

The new areas for action:

Action 7: Support the mental health of our colleagues.Companies are asked to donate and signpost to NABS,the advertising and media industry’s wellbeing charity. NABS lost £1.75 million in revenue during the pandemic whilst experiencing a 23% surge in demand for its services. In addition, All In Census data found one in five of those with mental health conditions are likely to leave their company due to a lack of inclusion, compared to 12% across the industry. Less than half (42%)of people with mental health conditions have made their company aware of their condition.

Action 8: Improve the experience of our LGBTQ+ talent. Companies are asked to welcome the use of gender pronouns in their organisations. According to data from the All In Census, 45% of LGBTQ+ people reported stress/anxiety compared to 31% industry average. LGBTQ+ people are more likely to have been made to feel uncomfortable in the workplace (20% versus 13% of heterosexual people).

Action 9: Improve the experience of disabled talent in the workplace. Companies are asked to use the BDF accessible premises checklist. Just 2% of those working in advertising have a physical disability compared to 7% of the UK working population. Data from the All In Census shows 43% of physically disabled people believe their company could offer more support in dealing with their health condition.

How to become an All In Champion:

The first wave of companies that evidence how they have adopted each of the first six All In actions will be revealed next week at the Advertising Association’s Parliamentary Reception. To help companies prepare, the Advertising Association has hosted a series of free-to-attend All In sessions providing guidance on how to complete each action, with Actions 1-6 available to watch on demand on YouTube. Sessions on how to implement Actions 7-9 will begin in September. Full information on how to become an All In Champion can be found in the All In Hub.

Kathryn Jacob OBE, Chair of the Inclusion Working Group and CEO of Pearl & Dean, said: “The pandemic has shone a light on the importance of supporting our industry’s wellbeing and services such as NABS, which cannot continue their vital work without everyone’s help. As we announce the next three All In actions, every company has a dedicated roadmap to change at their fingertips. All In Champion status is something all organisations in our advertising community should strive for to demonstrate they are serious about their commitments to building a workplace where everyone belongs.”

Sue Todd, Chief Executive, NABSand Chair of the Mental Health Working Group, said: “A quarter of all calls to NABS’ Advice Line now relate to mental health. It’s an important issue in our industry that needs our united effort and that’s why we’re teaming up with All In on their mental health action plan. NABS are here to support everyone in adland with our services. We need continued donations to ensure we’re always accessible and offering the most impactful advice, coaching, therapy, grants and training to help everyone thrive. Our collective ability to sustain and advocate for positive mental health is core to NABS’ offer and the continued growth of our sector.”

Mark Runacus MBEJoint Chief Executive of Outvertising and Chair of the LGBTQ+ Working Group, said: “This is an opportunity for the UK creative industries to lead the way in belonging. By welcoming and encouraging the use of pronouns, employers can help LGBTQ+ employees bring their full authentic selves to the workplace and strongly signal the importance of inclusion for everyone. We believe that in doing this we’ll all be more creative, more innovative, and more productive.”

Danny Josephs, Client Partner, MFUSE, Chair of the Disability Working Group, said: “Having addressed the need to make the industry’s websites accessible, now we turn to the real front doors. Over 6 million of us have mobility issues yet just 27% of offices are wheelchair accessible (YouGov Feb ’20). All we want is a level playing field. Quite literally.”

A summary of the All In Census findings, the All In Report and details of the Action Plan to date can be found on the All In Hub, as well as a directory of resources to help employers build an inclusive workplace, which now includes over 100 initiatives for companies to easily access.