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IMAA Salary Survey: Female roles finally dominating the media industry

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IMAA Salary Survey: Female roles finally dominating the media industry


The Independent Media Agencies of Australia (IMAA) has announced the results of its 2022 IMAA Salary Survey, which shows the largest increase has been in creative roles. The survey was conducted across 849 independent media agency staff, with an additional 11 agencies participating compared to the previous survey. 

Female roles have increased in agencies, at 64 percent up from 60 percent in 2021, while male roles are at 35 percent, down from 40 percent in 2021. 

The largest growth has been in creative roles, which now make up 13 percent of IMAA agency jobs. There are more producers, animators, designers and copywriters. The IMAA believes this is the result of media agencies moving to a full-service model, pitching with increased creativity, and evolving their capabilities.

Leadership roles are becoming more inclusive

Other creative agency roles, including digital performance and client services roles,  dominate at 23 percent of agency disciplines, followed by creative roles.

Leadership roles are also becoming more gender equal. In 2021, 38 percent of leadership roles were held by women and, in 2022, this has grown to 44 percent. The gender pay parity gap in indie agencies is closing significantly, particularly at a leadership level.

The IMAA Diversity and Inclusion Council will further interrogate the anonymised aggregated survey data to identify where any goals for improvement can be set. IMAA Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Council Chair, Leadership and Board member, Jacquie Alley, says, “The 2022 IMAA Salary Survey revealed some pleasing shifts in indie agencies with more part-timers and more female leaders year-on-year, as agencies prioritise workplace flexibility and value gender diversity in their leadership teams. With the introduction of our D&I Council initiatives, such as our International Women’s Day event, the Inclusive Leadership training and our Female Leaders Mentoring program planned for 2023, we are confident more female leaders will be encouraged to take a seat at the executive table.”

A goal for more diversity

Australian indie agencies have a diverse workforce, with staff from New Zealand, North Africa and the Middle East, as well as those from pan-European, Oceania, Southeast Asian, Southern and Central Asian, and African countries.

The last Pulse Survey in June found that indie agencies were focused on diversity and inclusion, and sustainability, with more than 75 percent saying that D&I is ‘extremely’ or ‘very important’ to their agency.

Part-time roles have increased to 15 percent, most likely as a consequence of flexible working arrangements becoming the industry standard post COVID. The last IMAA Pulse Survey of members found that eight in 10 agencies had adopted a flexible working model since the height of the pandemic.

The average age in IMAA agencies remains at 35, with 80 percent of the workforce aged between 25 and 49. Age diversity at either end, however, is still low with only 10 percent aged under 24 and 10 percent who are over 50.

“We are incredibly proud of the depth of industry experience that sits within our agencies. With a quarter of our talent pool having over 10 years’ media agency experience and the average sitting at 9.3 years, it is not surprising that clients continue to be attracted to our thought leadership and senior teams. Having said that, our 18- to 24-year-old talent pool has increased 40 percent year-on-year, so our agencies have the diverse mix of experience and digital natives in their workplaces,” says Alley.

“While there is always work to be done to bring additional diversity and inclusion into our agencies, these results give us great optimism that we are forging together on the right path. We can’t thank our D&I Council members enough for all they are doing to champion an indie industry where everyone feels they belong. I trust they all feel encouraged, as do all IMAA leaders who have renewed their commitment, by these results.”


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Benay Ozdemir

Benay is an in-house writer for Niche Media.

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