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Adweek JOT Our Table Meet Up

Updated: Jun 27

We definitely shook things up at Advertising Week Europe 2024 with our The Shake Up session in the Culture Unleashed Lounge! Hosted by co-founder Nadine Leighton, we were joined in conversation with Join Our Table community members as we explored how Black women working in advertising, media, marketing and comms are driving necessary change in the industry through three 10-minute fireside chats covering:


For those who couldn't join us we're sharing some key points and take

aways from the talk.

What is the current state of play for Black women working in the advertising industry

In 2023 The Telegraph published this article'Women and ethnic minorities are overrepresented in the advertising industry' using figures from the 2023 IPA Agency Census

that found that 24% of IPA agency employees were from non-white backgrounds. When we consider these numbers we should remember these key points; yes 18% of England's and Wales' population is non-white and so it may appear on the surface that the industry is doing rather well when it comes to representation based on ethnicity. However lets a take a closer look, the majority of ad agencies are based in London and 46% of London's population indicate they are from non white backgrounds. (Census 2021). It appears there is still work to do.

When we look at the data from the Advertising Association's All in Census 2023 then the picture is even clearer:

  1. the advertising industry is in danger of losing 30% of it's Black talent. With nearly 1/3 of all Black people working in the industry considering leaving the industry!

  2. less than 3%, 2.8% to be exact of leadership roles are held by Black women

  3. and only 1.5% are marketing execs.

Spotlighting those driving change

There are countless Black women driving the change we need so we can thrive and it was an absolute pleasure to spotlight members of our JOT community at Advertising Week who are doing this.

  • In coversation about the Power of Data, Chloe Davies and Adele Lewis Bridgeman discussed the pivotal role of data and the insight it brings play in the recruitment, enablement, retention and advancement of Black women and why global insight studies like 'We Can't All Be Lying' are critical to understanding the experiences of Black women across the industry.

  •  With a sense that DEI no longer as high on the agenda as it was in 2020, Shelley Bishton shared why companies should continue to focus and invest in DEI as a business imperative whilst discussing The Power of Change Within. Shelley highlighted the programme she introduced at NewsUK focused on advancing Black and mixed heritage women within the organisation as an example of the value DEI can deliver to organisations.

  • The Power of Mentorship/Sponsorship featuring Elizabeth Anyaegbuna and Mercy Abel considered the value of having a sponsor and the role mentorship can play in career advancement. Recent IPA award winner Mercy has gone from a self declared 'serial mentee' to providing opportunities for others through the creation of an internship scheme for anyone in Scotland wanting to enter the advertising industry.


Thank you Ruth Mortimer and Jamie Maw for your support and congratulations on delivering an absolutely brilliant #AWEurope24!!

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