COI sends executive to IPA to help boost ethnic recruitment

COI Communications is seconding one of its executives to the IPA to boost the trade body's efforts to increase the number of people from ethnic minorities working in UK ad agencies.

Mehboob Umarji, a COI senior campaign manager, will spend six months with the IPA investigating whether young people from ethnic backgrounds apply for agency jobs and if not, why not.

The initiative follows the publication of new IPA figures showing that only 4 per cent of agency staffers are of ethnic origin and, of that number, almost three-quarters are in support disciplines such as IT and finance.

The IPA's Ethnic Diversity Project has been looking at how the balance can be redressed and Stephen Woodford has made the encouragement of would-be recruits from ethnic backgrounds a high priority of his IPA presidency.

Ray Barrett, the Barrett Cernis creative director and co-chairman of the IPA Ethnic Diversity Project, commented: "We've taken some giant leaps forward but still recognise that there is some way to go until we are fully able to understand and address all issues surrounding ethnicity in our industry."

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