2020 Talent Census Report

2020 Talent Census Report

Creating diverse and inclusive workplaces isn’t just a “nice” thing to do. There are well-documented business cases about how diversity and inclusion (D&I) positively impact an agency’s bottom line in terms of the quality of the work and the effectiveness of the team.

As key cultural influencers, advertising and other marketing communications agencies have given this topic a lot of attention, trying to increase the diversity of their teams and build cultures that are welcoming to all. The problem is that Canadian agencies have largely been doing this without data on how big a gap there is and where the problems may lie.

For this reason, in January 2018, the ICA conducted its inaugural comprehensive survey on the actual composition of the agency workforce across Canada. The goal was to understand the current state so that agencies can focus their efforts in the right places.  The ICA also wanted to establish baseline data that can be used to measure progress over time.

The 2020 Talent Census is the ICA’s second diversity survey. Over 2,000 agency staff from ICA member agencies were asked to complete a confidential, detailed D&I survey that looked at both traditional elements of diversity (age, gender identification, visible minority status, ethnic origin, disability, etc.) and non-traditional ones (personal passions, diets, etc.). The survey also asked about inclusivity, posing questions regarding perceptions of gender bias, sexual harassment, fairness of policies, and more.

The survey questions mirrored those used by Statistics Canada wherever possible to enable a comparison on how well agencies stack up against the population on a variety of measures. Respondents were also allowed to opt out of any question and to provide comments, of which there were many.

2020 Talent Census Key Findings Report

The ICA aims to make all of the 2020 Talent Census available to the sector, however not all of the data from the survey was analyzed for the report. If you’re looking for data that was not shared in the 2020 Key Findings report, please contact