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The Diversity Study 2020



Asia Pacific


Influencing Gender Norms

Gender norms Gender stereotypes Influencing gender norms diversity equitability gender in media gender in marketing

The Diversity Study 2020

The Diversity Study 2020

The Kantar Diversity Study was conducted by Campaign Asia-Pacific in partnership with Kantar in July and Aug 2020. It is based on responses from 345 adults working in the media and marketing industry from across 18 countries in the Asia Pacific region. The Kantar COVID-19 Barometer is the leading syndicated study on how COVID-19 is influencing consumer behaviour, attitudes and expectations, covering over 60 markets.

For this study, hundreds of marketing communications professionals were surveyed for their candid views. The report provides insight into the frustrations many in the industry face around gender, race and mental health. With the pandemic pushing diversity and inclusion further down the corporate agenda, the situation in the region has further deteriorated.


Key Findings

  • Inequality is deepening. The media and marketing industry have seen very little diversity and inclusion progress in Asia Pacific since the last four years. Despite the Diversity pledge for change that was made in 2017 by the media and marketing industry, gender and racial disparity in the workplace still exist and policies around diversity and inclusion have not improved. People feel that preconceived notions of their abilities are more prevalent now than before.
  • Gender inequality continues to rise. The levels of gender inequality in Asia Pacific remain discouraging. Women continue to feel that people have preconceived notions of their ability based on their gender, are under pressure to conform to gender stereotypes, and generally feel like they are not treated as equals. Men are more respected by top management and women are missing out on opportunities.
  • People are judged more by race, less by what they do. Perhaps race has always been top-of-mind for the industry, but it’s been brought to the forefront this year with the aid of the #BlackLivesMatter movement. More people speak out to say that they are judged by race this year, when it comes to respect from the top management. The need to conform to certain ways of working and behaving was raised repeatedly as one of the central problems impacting racial bias.
  • Inequality is taking a toll on mental health. The current situation where we are going backwards on diversity and inclusion is even further exacerbated by the pandemic, and we see mental and physical well-being a big concern. Mental health is affected even more by gender and racial disparity at the workplace. Employees from diverse backgrounds can face lack of representation, unconscious bias, and other stressors that impact their mental health. On top of that, asking for help and recognising a problem in the first place is often stigmatised in the region.
  • The time for change is now. The most important thing is to acknowledge the urgency to change and act on it now. We need to shift from raising unconscious bias awareness to systematically embedding diversity and inclusion as a business imperative to ensure future growth and success. Inclusion and fairness in the workplace is not just the right thing to do, it is the smart thing to do. Companies who invest in a diverse and inclusive talent pool are in a better position to recover faster and stronger from the crisis.


This report was originally released on the Kantar website.

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