Diversity and inclusion

A diverse workforce adds value to our business. It helps us understand consumers from all walks of life and create compelling marketing for our clients. An inclusive workplace culture helps us attract the most talented people from all backgrounds.

We introduced a non-discrimination policy in 1992. This commits all WPP companies to select, develop and promote people based on merit and regardless of race, religion, national origin, colour, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age or disability. Our Code of Business Conduct contains policies on harassment and non-discrimination. Where existing employees become disabled, our policy is to provide continuing employment and training wherever practicable.

Our people can report any concerns or suspected cases of discrimination or misconduct confidentially (and anonymously if desired) through our Right to Speak helpline.

In 2008, women accounted for 32% of board members/executive leaders, 47% of senior managers and 54% of total employees. There are currently three women on WPP’s Board and a female Company Secretary and Group chief counsel.

Gender diversity 2004-2008 %

Gender diversity 2004-2008 %

All of our major companies in the US have internal programs to promote diversity and inclusion in their workforce. These include:

  • Partnerships: WPP companies work with diversity organizations and participate in initiatives to encourage diversity in the advertising industry. These include: the American Association of Advertising Agencies’ (AAAA) Operation Success; the Leadership, Education and Development Program in Business; and the National Black Public Relations Society.
  • Internships: several WPP companies participate in the AAAA’s multicultural Advertising Internship Program (MAIP) and other initiatives that allow minority students to gain experience in the marketing industry.
  • Targeted recruitment: many of our companies use specialist recruitment agencies and publications and attend minority recruitment fairs.
  • Raising employee awareness: our companies provide training and information to ensure that employees understand the importance of diversity.