The company conducted its latest anonymous staff survey on diversity and inclusion at the end of 2021. Because this is the second time we’ve done it, having conducted the inaugural survey in 2019, we can start to assess whether the efforts we’ve put into becoming a fairer, more diverse and inclusive business are paying off – and whether any links to business performance are emerging.
The full results of our 2021 survey and comparisons with those of 2019 can be viewed here.
We publish the results because being transparent about our progress makes us even more accountable for improving the situation over time. We are absolutely aware that our performance is not good enough in some areas and we’re committed to improving that.
Summary of results
There are a few areas where notable improvements have been made.
On ethnicity, the proportion of managers with BAME backgrounds has increased from 13% to 26% in the past two years, while BAME representation in the leadership team is up from 16% to 33%. Company-wide, BAME representation remains static at 17%.
On gender, the proportion of Raconteur managers identifying as female has risen from 20% to 37%. While this is an encouraging improvement, we clearly still haven’t reached parity and female representation in the leadership team has actually fallen, from 33% to 27%. We are only too aware that the proportion of women at these senior levels is still too low.
When it comes to sexuality, the proportion of employees identifying as LGTBQI+ is now significantly above the national average, with increases seen across all levels of the company.
The number of religions represented at the company has dropped from eight to five since 2019, although we are conscious that this decline resulted partly from the transfer of some Raconteur employees over to our sister marketing agency, alan. Ten nationalities are represented in the workforce, up from six in 2019.
The proportion of employees educated to degree level has fallen from 93% to 80% since 2019, reflecting the fact that we ended our previous selection policy of favouring university graduates. Meanwhile, the average age of our workforce has increased, with lower proportions of staff in the 24-34 group and higher in the 35-44 group compared with 2019. Only a small increase has been seen in the 45-plus age group, so there is more work to be done on this front.
On pay, the gender pay gap at Raconteur has fallen to less than half of the average for the advertising industry, having been alarmingly higher than average two years ago. Nonetheless, we’re committed to eliminating the gap over the next 12 months. Our ethnicity pay gap was 10% in 2019, but it is now gone. In fact, it’s become negative – the swing has resulted from our recruitment of numerous people with BAME backgrounds to senior roles.
Not a single respondent to the latest survey said that they didn’t feel included at Raconteur. While this is pleasing, we note that there were a few “prefer not to say” responses. Some employees chose this answer for all questions, which makes it hard for us to draw any firm conclusions from their replies.
In summary, we’re pleased with our progress in numerous areas, but we recognise that the work doesn’t stop here.
Links to business performance
In the same two-year period covered by its pair of D&I surveys, Raconteur has nearly doubled its revenue and more than tripled its profit. The company’s headcount has also more than doubled in that time, while its employee engagement score has surpassed 90%.
We feel that we’re making better business decisions today because our thinking is more diverse. Employees spend less time fighting for fairness than they had to in 2019, so we can all focus more on the company’s growth. Generally, Raconteur seems to be a more harmonious and interesting place to work.
While we cannot claim that there’s a causal link between our progress on D&I and our commercial success, we firmly believe that they are correlated. This compels us to keep pushing for progress in this area to further improve our results.