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IWD + Equality at The Marketing Store

This year, International Women’s Day is asking us to play our part in building a gender-balanced world. We’re moving into a future where the world expects balance, celebrating its presence and of course challenging its absence.

In 2018 we started this very conversation around balance and diversity here in the TMS UK office, and I want to take a moment of reflection to call out some of things that we are most proud of delivering.

Last year we launched a more flexible working pattern for everyone with the introduction of core hours, which we call ‘Your Hours’. Alongside this we took a much more considered approach to flexible working requests from new parents. We now have a 25% increase in the number of our people who are working parents here at TMS. It’s important to call out that we also introduced equally paid shared parental leave for both mum’s and dad’s who want to share the first 12 months of baby care, and we had a significant number of people take this up!

We ran ‘#Equal’ sessions to provide a space for team to speak openly about their thoughts and experiences on certain matters regarding diversity and equality. We saw nearly all of the Agency take part in this as they gave us their honest thoughts and feedback, all of which were so valuable to us in order to move forward together as an equal team.

We vowed to each member of the Agency to review our own data and what it was telling us about gender and pay in our business.

We’ve done this. We believe the data has shown us that at TMS Europe we do not have an issue around pay parity. That is, where men and women are performing the same role with the same level of experience and expertise they are paid equally.

However, what the data did tell us is that if we look around the Agency we can see that we lack women who occupy roles with the highest earning potential. This means that despite an increase in the number of women in our Senior Leadership Team, overall, women are underrepresented in the most senior levels across all departments.

It’s fair to say that this is an issue felt amongst nearly all of our industry counterparts and rectifying it is not an overnight fix.

I think we’re prepared to say we don’t have the answers right now; but we want to take meaningful action. We want to understand what the actions are, how we can measure our progress, and what we should be measuring here.

As such we are consulting with D&I consultants, who can work with us to identify what’s driving our diversity challenges and help us with how we can start to make changes to what we do to ensure that we take action against them.

One of the first things we are doing with our D&I partners is working with them and a number of our leaders to help us identify the metrics that we can use to be successful. This is a truly connected Europe wide effort that we are committed to and will include agency leadership across the locations.

We’re committed to ensuring that everyone at TMS, both men and women have a fair opportunity to succeed, progress and be rewarded fairly in our business. We know we have work to do, and we also know that we can’t do it alone, so we continue to welcome your feedback and thoughts on how we can improve. Tangible, meaningful change requires us to invest in the right support to make the right changes in order to make us a truly progressive business and subsequently an extraordinary place to work.

Author: Suzi Lilley, Director, Global Talent Acquisition