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Total employees

Total employees

      2008 2009
White     79 77
Ethnic minority     21 23

Senior managers

      2008 2009
White     86 84
Ethnic minority     14 16

Board members/executive leaders

      2008 2009
White     88 92
Ethnic minority     12 8


There are 43 nationalities represented among WPP Leaders and Partners, the senior echelon of our business.

Promoting diversity and inclusion in the US

Our operating companies have programs in place to improve representation of diverse employees. These cover education, recruitment and training initiatives. Specific examples include:

  • Partnerships: WPP companies work with diversity organisations and participate in initiatives to encourage diversity. These include Diversity Best Practices; The Leadership, Education and Development Program in Business; The National Black Public Relations Society; City College of New York and the American Association of Advertising Agencies’ (AAAA) Operation Success.
  • 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 and inclusion.

Helping clients with diversity

A number of WPP companies help their clients to implement diversity strategies and reach a multicultural audience. For example:

  • Grass Roots
  • WING
  • CultureCom (an ethnic media unit at MediaCom UK)
  • Uniworld.

Employee infringements

We strive to treat all our people fairly and with respect. Occasionally things do not go according to plan. We may get things wrong or the overall interests of a company or the Group may be incompatible with requirements of local employment legislation.

We monitor the number of employment cases involving WPP. In 2009 there were 671 newly-reported cases, compared to 122 cases in 2008. In difficult economic times with substantial staff reductions it is perhaps not surprising that we had a sharp increase in employment cases in 2009.

During the year, 206 cases were concluded. Of these 55 were withdrawn, 76 agreed between parties, 57 judged against WPP and 18 judged in our favour.

All cases are carefully evaluated to ensure that we have the right policies and procedures in place to reduce infringements wherever possible.

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