Kantar I&D 2020 Annual Report
Learn about Kantar's Inclusion & Diversity activities in 2020.
Inclusion & Diversity
2020 Annual Report
Inclusion & Diversity at Kantar
Inclusion & Diversity at Kantar
2020 saw the unimaginable impact of the COVID-19 pandemic that endangered public health and forced national, market, and social shut-downs around the world. The year was also marked by strong political divisions and social unrest in the face of jolting racial injustices and inequities.
This has had drastic impacts on the way we work, most notably the virtual work-from-home reality for many office staff, the need to sustain collaboration and connectivity and the impact on our mental health and wellbeing.
At Kantar, we are committed to creating an inclusive workplace where a wide range of backgrounds, styles and thinking can come together to inspire our people, our clients and society. Understanding people is at the heart of what we do, and it starts from within. Through creating a culture of belonging, we can create an environment where everyone is empowered to succeed and can bring their whole selves to work.
A diverse workforce drives innovation and creativity, enabling us to support our clients in their understanding of their customers and address business challenges through the lens of inclusion and diversity.
This is a continuous journey.
We must constantly review our current environment and how we can ensure an equal and inclusive workplace for all in the future.
We achieve this at Kantar through a mix of global initiatives and the work of our Inclusion & Diversity Steering Committees. In 2020, Kantar’s Inclusion & Diversity strategy continued to focus on Talent, Leadership and Client strategic pillars.
Over the year, we have made progress on a number of structural inclusion areas which you can read about in this report.
On behalf of the Kantar Executive Committee
Inclusion & Diversity Governance
Our governance framework is designed to maximise the global impact of strategic efforts and to empower solutions for local community issues across our markets.
A Global Strategy Council partners with the Executive Committee to ensure I&D priorities are representative of Kantar's business strategy and to help embed a culture, policy and practices that support and accelerate identified I&D goals. The Advisory Panel, consisting of select internal and external experts, sits alongside the Global Strategy Council to provide guidance and support to shape our solutions and approaches.
This is supported by Inclusion & Diversity Steering Committees in 38 markets that develop and deliver against a plan specific to the needs of their market, assist with the implementation of global strategy and initiatives, and advises local employee resource groups and communities
They have spearheaded a variety of initiatives including the delivery of unconscious bias training, online speakers and micro-inequities workshops as well as the development of flexible working policies.
In addition, last year we set up a new quarterly exchange called the Inclusion & Diversity Collaboration Café, which brings together colleagues from across the business who have an interest in driving Kantar’s Inclusion & Diversity activities. The sessions are designed to provide greater visibility on global I&D activities, to explore opportunities on where we can support and solve issues together, and to share best practice and celebrate successes. We aim to create an environment where everyone feels valued and part of a shared mission.
26,000 employees - 53% women and 43% men - across 76 countries, contribute to the work of numerous divisions and functions at Kantar. We represent a variety of races and ethnicities, gender identities, sexual orientations, age, and ways of thinking. Our rich experiences and diversity drive our ability to understand people and meet our clients' challenges.
Representation of FTE Kantar employees by age
Representation of FTE Kantar employees by gender
Creating safe spaces to share
Creating safe spaces to share
In 2020, we introduced a new global holistic employee listening platform called ‘Kantar Open Door’. This has allowed Kantar to evolve to a more agile, meaningful, inclusive and real-time way of listening to our employees. As well as new joiner, onboarding and leaver surveys, the platform allows employees to provide qualitative feedback on Inclusion & Diversity at Kantar. Employees across our network now have the opportunity to share their experiences and suggestions to help the business improve, at any time.
I&D Open Survey (Q4 2020)
We have also made the decision to launch the Kantar Inclusion Index internally. The Inclusion Index enables organizations to understand, track and measure their own progress in developing an inclusive and diverse workplace. It helps create a benchmark for Inclusion and Diversity and supports businesses in developing plans to make positive changes within their organisation. Having run the Inclusion Index successfully for numerous clients, we want to start to make it available to Kantar employees, supporting our own business in the same way that we support our clients. The survey was launched first in North America in September 2020 and will continue to be rolled out across our business in 2021.
In May 2020, Kantar North America launched weekly “Safe Space Sharing Sessions”. Described by an employee as “Safe Space Healing Sessions”, these open forums act as a unique opportunity for people to discuss race and other I&D-related topics such as gender, religion, sexual orientation, abilities, the impact of COVID-19 and mental health. The sessions developed into a safe environment where people of all levels come together to share, listen, learn and support one another.
Similar sessions have been run in the UK. Also in the UK, an Ally Programme has been set up to create a network of people to champion a diverse and inclusive culture. They are a key connection for employees and work closely with the UK&I I&D Steering Committee as well as Employee Resource Groups.
Disrupting our behaviours
In October 2020, we introduced ‘Disruption Talks’, a new panel discussion series that aims to challenge our thinking. It is about embracing different points of view, counteracting stereotypes, debunking myths, all with the aim of interrupting bias. The sessions are provocative by design to challenge assumptions. The first session, led by Narelle Burke, Ann Clurman and Mark Whiting, focused on "Generation Ageless“ and promoted the newly established ERG, No Limits!. The panel discussed the experience of older employees and how we can create an age-inclusive workplace where people at every stage of working life can see themselves grow and thrive.
Creating inclusive environments
Kantar’s Employee Resources Groups
Open to everyone, our Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) are active networks of like-minded employees who share knowledge and insights on issues that matter.
Through regular events and communication, they support our goal of creating an inclusive culture for all.
Some of our most active communities include:
Pride@Kantar: Our LGBTQ+ community
Colourful@Kantar and Kantar in Color: Our communities for black, Asian and minority ethnic employees
No Limits!: Our community for age inclusiveness
Neurodiversity Network: Our community for the support and awareness of neurodiversity within Kantar
Kantar Abilities: A community established to support individual empowerment, community engagement, and employee awareness of disability and the differently-abled
Working parents and Carers group: Our community for parents and carers at Kantar
Women of Kantar: A community for the women of Kantar to discuss, organise and share information that forwards our aim of bringing about the change we would like to see
Women in Technology: A community to support women working in technology roles while building a sustainable competitive advantage for Kantar
We set up the 'No Limits!' group as we believe there should be no limits on what people can do in the workplace based on their age. We want to create a community where everyone at Kantar feels they have the freedom to be themselves and are valued for being their authentic selves – whatever their age or experience."
Mark Whiting, Director, Client Services & Founder of No Limits!
Exclusion is very powerful. Inclusion is an intentional act that must happen within a company. We will grow in our diversity when we learn what we need to do to include people.
I never wanted anyone who met me to feel like they were alone, and I never wanted anyone to ever feel like they did not matter. That is why I believe in building communities like Employee Resource Groups (ERG), Affinity Groups, and Inclusion and Diversity committees. There is something so powerful about feeling included in a community, a place where you belong and have a voice. You feel empowered and empowerment creates stories of success. It starts with recognising that we have diverse lived experiences to bring to the table, waiting to be celebrated. We all want to be seen, heard and valued. We want to belong and have access to a wider community.
Wendy, member of the Kantar North America I&D Steering Committee & active ERG member
Ethnic minority inclusiveness
To ensure an inclusive, inspiring and safe environment for all ethnic minorities in 2020 and going forward, local Steering Committees and ERGs across Kantar ran online events to raise awareness, introduced new mentoring and ally programmes and strengthened online communities to ensure a safe space for employees to connect whilst working from home.
I would describe the culture at Kantar as very friendly and diverse. I am personally impressed by the way the BLM situation was handled within the company and the support for our Colourful@Kantar community
In Brazil, research was carried out into the ethnicity of employees in order to get closer to the goal of achieving race equity within their organisation, especially in leadership positions. This was followed by a Black Awareness Week with activities including online discussion events to celebrate black culture in Brazil.
In the UK, a new mentoring programme for ethnic minorities was launched to help increase the confidence of participants, provide greater knowledge of career progression opportunities and broaden their understanding of the skills required for more senior positions.
To showcase and embrace the cultural diversity at Kantar Australia, the team launched video campaigns to celebrate a number of cultural events, raising close to $1400 AUD for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation (ILF) through employee donations.
According to Kantar's Inclusion Index (a proprietary tool enabling organisations to benchmark and address I&D), 11% believe that they are treated very differently at work because of their ethnic identity and 18% feel that their organisation is not doing enough to support people of all ethnicities.
The Pride@Kantar ERG works to turn awareness into action and make Kantar a beacon to the LGBTQI+ community, giving it a home that empowers and inspires every employee to celebrate their individuality, embrace their unique qualities and flourish at work.
In 2020, the group saw representation from more countries across the network and an increase of 13% in membership of the online Pride@Kantar community. Many Kantar offices led celebrations during Pride month which included online events, roundtable discussions with senior leaders and talks from external experts and NGOs.
As part of campaigns to normalise discussions about gender, employees have been encouraged to update their email signatures with their preferred personal pronoun. Employees are now able to select ‘nonbinary’ as an option under gender in Workday, our HR platform.
I am proud to belong to a team where what matters is the talent you have and the fresh ideas you put on the table, plus everyone understands LGBTIQ+ issues and that has never stopped us. On the contrary, we believe that all people are an inspiration. After all, that's Kantar; understand people, inspire growth.
3 in 4 of LGBTQI women are open about their sexual orientation at work. 27% have been made to feel uncomfortable in the workplace and only 28% felt empowered to report to management or HR.
Source: The Diva Survey: LGBTQI Women’s Insight 2020
The Pride@Kantar group has been a game-changer. It’s a cross-divisional group where we can freely share our thoughts, feelings, and ideas. We’re also able to offer support and advice to our colleagues, and that’s a valuable asset for us and the company as a whole. We’ve worked on a number of projects including events for World AIDs Day, Pride in London and LGBTQI+ History month.
In 2020, Kantar joined The Valuable 500 - the global movement putting disability on the business leadership agenda. Our commitment to The Valuable 500 starts us on the journey of addressing the challenges faced by those living with disabilities as part of our Inclusion & Diversity strategy.
The Kantar Abilities Employee Resource Group has been working to increase advocacy, support, and guidance in the experience with disability in the workplace. This has ranged from training and awareness activities to community development and inclusive recruiting/retention practices.
In November, Kantar France marked European Disability Employment week with an online all-staff event to inform and raise awareness of people living with a disability. Employees also had the opportunity to join a tutorial on sign language and share their personal experiences throughout the week via online communities.
In North America, Safe Space Sharing Sessions were held during Disability Employment Awareness Month for people to share their thoughts and feelings about disability and the differently-abled.
Focus on mental health awareness
At Kantar, we recognise the important role we play in supporting each other to look after our mental health. We believe in working together to remove the stigma around mental health and creating an environment where everyone feels comfortable asking for help.
We promote an open and safe culture where mental health can be discussed as openly as any physical illness or medical condition.
Scott Carter, Chief Human Resources Officer
Focusing on mental health helps us create an environment where we can all operate at our best. It's about openness, transparency and support. Our “We Are Here” campaign reflects that – highlighting that mental health is relevant to all of us.
Andrew Fowler, HR Director & Mental Health Team Executive Sponsor
2020 was a unique and challenging year, for us as a business and for each of us individually. The global pandemic highlighted the importance of looking after our mental health, but it can be hard to know how to ask for help. At Kantar, we strive to create a culture of openness, where all of us, whether we’re struggling ourselves or looking out for our colleagues, are able to ask for support.
To start the conversation, on Monday 5 October 2020, ahead of World Mental Health Day, we launched a global campaign called 'We Are Here'. The campaign saw colleagues from around the world share their personal experiences to help raise awareness and de-stigmatize conversations about mental health illness and wellbeing.. This was supported by online resources to help colleagues manage their own wellbeing as well as provide support for others - whether as a manager or as a colleague.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Kantar’s commitment to protecting our people has been paramount. Teams around the network worked to ensure the safety and wellbeing of employees, developing new remote working guidance and putting in place new support networks.
The global HR function developed a new framework for anytime performance conversations to support managers in creating a safe space to discuss employee wellbeing, alongside conversations on goals and development.
Kantar Singapore supported the #WeAreHere campaign with a Random Acts of Kindness initiative to brighten a colleague's day with a small token or action.
In Colombia, the launch of the #estmoscontigo [#wearewithyou] campaign saw the HR team make phone calls to employees to give them an opportunity to share how they were feeling. This was accompanied by coaching for managers and online wellbeing activities.
Kantar China overcame the challenges of 2020 with resilience and agility and provided guidance to other Kantar offices as COVID-19 spread across the globe. The business quickly moved to online ways of working, including launching a live streaming room.
Supporting our people managers
Inclusive teams and hybrid working
During this time of sudden and far-reaching change, the demands on leaders are greater than ever.
In a year when everyone’s ways of working had to shift drastically in a short space of time, we developed training and guidance to help managers develop the new skills they needed while ensuring an inclusive environment was maintained and their well-being, as well as that of their teams, was supported.
The ‘Virtual Manager Series’ was launched to help managers to lead virtually. This series of self-directed learning modules focuses on enabling managers to apply core management skills in the virtual workplace, including delivering effective feedback, fostering development and performance through coaching, and maintaining their team engagement.
We investigated what inclusive leadership means, why it is important, and how each of us can become more inclusive in a new ‘Talent Talks’ (Kantar’s internal podcast) series. In the first episode, we defined inclusion and inclusive leadership with Suzi Skinner, an expert leadership coach, facilitator and founder of Roar People. In the second episode, we heard about the importance of diverse teams and how they can be unlocked through inclusive leadership, and in the final episode, we looked at the impact inclusive leadership can have on our clients and society.
In 2020, we continued to raise awareness of unconscious biases. A curated learning path that builds foundational awareness and understanding while encouraging deeper development for motivated learners were rolled out across the organisation. In addition, unconscious bias training modules are now included in our global performance management tools.
Kantar’s Empowering Growth for Women (EGFW) programme, set up in 2018, helps high potential senior women navigate their career and creates a sense of community amongst female leaders around the world through shared experiences and a sense of belonging.
It provides the opportunity to learn from the journeys of other senior leaders and identify areas of development that can be supported through formal mentoring partnerships.
120+ high potential women from around the globe participated in 2020 with a really positive response to mentoring and a schedule of online training webinars.
In addition to the EGFW programme, in South Asia, a ‘Balance for Better’ initiative has been running to help to connect female employees within Operations. The initiative aims to create a safe space to break down stereotypes and provide mentoring and coaching to young female leaders.
2020 Empowering Growth for Women Leadership Sponsors
Left to right: Narelle Burke (Divisional director, HR, Insights APAC and Global Head of Inclusion & Diversity),
Michelle Harrison (President, Public division)
A longitudinal study of women in senior leadership at Kantar has shown a 9% increase of women in senior roles over the last 5 years.
This was an amazing experience that brought relevance to the role I want to play in my life…This world needs more empowered women … we have an important role in society.
This programme has made me much more aware of my own leadership qualities…having a mentor to walk this journey with me to discuss, give feedback and learn from each other has been truly valuable and has given me a lot more confidence!
My mentors challenged me to think outside the box. The learnings from those conversations have helped me navigate and spearhead the changes in the organisation, setting up our business for the future technology-focused transformation ahead.
Our client offer
Informing the debate, measuring the outcomes
In 2020, we delivered a number of projects to bring our I&D commitments into our clients' organisations. Kantar's specialist Inclusion & Diversity offer includes inclusion insights to better understand under-serviced populations and the issues that matter to them; inclusion marketing to identify how to engage with target populations and build the right marketing capacity, and inclusion metrics to measure and monitor progress across stakeholder audiences.
Kantar developed The Inclusion Index with a mission to enable organisations to understand, track and measure their own progress in developing an inclusive and diverse workplace on a global scale.
This unique tool was created by harnessing the power of 88 million research-ready respondents within an award-winning survey design to gather truthful answers of how people feel about their current roles, responsibilities and workplaces. In doing so, Kantar has built a vast normative data set that covers over 24 different industries with over 18,000 respondents across 14 countries, which will progress alongside society as it evolves.
The Inclusion Index offers access to a tangible metric that can help identify gaps in a business and understand what needs to be addressed.
Kantar is uniquely positioned to support business in this space, through leveraging our years of experience and understanding of people’s behaviours and implicit responses, along with our methodology that includes Factor Analysis modelling and our consulting capabilities that help organisations to understand the implications of the results and create a roadmap towards a more inclusive company.
The latest data shows:
- 69% of people feel comfortable being themselves in their workplace
- 52% of companies are actively working on Inclusion and Diversity initiatives according to their employees - indicating half are not
- 33% of employees have observed discrimination in their workplace
- 18% of employees have experienced bullying in their workplace, even during a year when many people have not been in the office physically
Spotlight on: Mental Health in the Workplace
Spotlight on: Racial Equality in the workplace
Spotlight on: Disability in the Workplace
Stereotypes in advertising
In a report published in collaboration with the VEA (association for creative agencies), Kantar Netherlands analysed 475 Dutch ads from 2019 to give an objective review of how gender, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation and disability are portrayed in advertising.
The report has helped to grow our knowledge of discrimination and unconscious bias and to partner with our clients to better understand stereotypes in advertising.
Kantar has also proudly joined a coalition of 28 leading UK advertisers, broadcasters and creative agencies to launch the Unstereotype Alliance UK National Chapter. Convened by UN Women, the United Nations entity for women’s empowerment, the new advertising coalition aims to tackle harmful stereotypes in UK advertising and media content. The initiative will focus on encouraging diverse, inclusive and non-stereotypical representations of marginalised groups, initially focusing on the experiences of women of colour.
Kantar is delighted to support this important initiative that will be pivotal in landing change within the UK championing the advertising industry to act as a force for good. This is a reconfirmation of Kantar’s commitment to gender equality, building on the What Women Want initiative that Kantar launched in 2018.
We have been developing our ad testing database to look at inclusion and diversity and can now support FMCG brands to measure the inclusiveness of their advertising by incorporating inclusion measures into our Link ad testing.
'What Women Want?' pop-up in London at the beginning of 2020
The Reykjavik Index for Leadership
How comfortable is society with female leadership?
That is the central question that the Reykjavik Index for Leadership looks to answer. The annual study, which was launched in 2018, measures the extent to which men and women are viewed equally in terms of suitability for positions of leadership.
The Index is scored out of 100; a score of 100 means that across society, there is complete agreement that men and women are equally suited to leadership in all sectors. Any score of less than 100 is an indication of prejudice. Our explicit goal is a world in which an Index score of 100 is the norm; this would be a world where men and women will have an equal opportunity to lead.
In 2020, research was carried out in the G7 countries as well as India, Kenya and Nigeria, asking about leadership across 23 sectors, from childcare to engineering, pharma to banking. The 2020/2021 report, published in partnership with Women Political Leaders, found that as society grapples with the devastating impacts of COVID-19, society has not become more progressive in how it views equality in leadership.
The most recent research also found that there is enduring dissonance between the views of men and women across society – in every country measured, women were more likely than men to perceive women and men as equally suited to lead.
The report also showed new findings in the views of younger people, specifically younger men that are much less progressive than their female peers, or older people in the populations. Young men (aged 18-34) in Italy and Germany, in particular, have Index scores significantly lower than young women and similar findings were shown in the US, UK and France.
The Diva Study: LGBTQI Women’s Insight 2020
As part of the UK’s inaugural Lesbian Visibility Week, Kantar, in collaboration with DIVA magazine, launched the biggest ever study focusing on the lives of LGBTQI women. The research, for which Kantar spoke to 1423 women living in the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, Ireland and Germany, unveils insights into the opportunities and challenges faced by LGBTQI women.
- Half of LGBTQI women are not fully out at work.
- 27% of LGBTQI women have been made to feel uncomfortable at work because of their sexuality.
- 79% of LGBTQI women think that LGBTQI men have more visibility in public life than LGBTQI women.
This is an important piece of work to help understand and support women in the LGBTQI community in meaningful ways. We know that we have an important role to play in providing evidence that helps us all better understand the world we live in – and that includes shining a light on groups that are often underappreciated – in this case, LGBTQI women.
Sophia Papadopoulos, Senior Business Analyst and Global Chair Pride@Kantar
For the fourth year of our partnership with Campaign Asia, Kantar investigated perceptions and experiences of equality in media and marketing workplaces across APAC between July and August 2020. 345 adults from 18 different countries working in the industry participated anonymously in the study.
We looked beyond gender issues to understand the broader inequalities that are holding people back in the media, marketing and advertising industry in the region. The report is a bleak insight into the frustrations many in the industry face around gender, race and mental health.
The industry has seen very little diversity and inclusion progress in Asia Pacific since the last four years, with gender inequality continuing to rise and racial bias still prevalent with many still feeling they must conform to certain ways of working and behaving. This has been further exacerbated by the pandemic, with mental and physical well-being a big concern.
- 47% say that men are more respected by top management
- 43% believe that they are judged by race
- 57% are feeling very stressed at work
We are proud to share some of Kantar's accolades in 2020
European Diversity Awards: Outstanding Employee Network (Pride@Kantar), Company of the Year, Supplier Diversity Programme (Inclusion Index), and Champion (Caroline Frankum)
Inclusive Top 50: UK
The Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index 'Best Places to Work': Kantar North America
The Human Rights Campaign Equidad MX 'Mejores Lugares Para Trabajar': Kantar Mexico
DIVA Awards: Ally of the Year (Mandy Rico) & LGBTQI Network of the Year
MRS Pride Award for Inclusive Research Finalist: Kantar DIVA Report
National Diversity Awards: Diverse Company of the Year
Dionne Aiken, Profiles division
2020 Baton Award for Professional Services
Sophia Papadopoulos, Technology
2020 Top 100 LGBT+ Future Leader by Involve and Yahoo Finance!
Caroline Frankum, Profiles division
HERoes 100 Women Executives List 2020
Carolina Ibarguen Giraldo, Media division
Member of Women in Connection &P&M Women to Watch Columbia 2020
Preeti Reddy, Insights division
#No. 13 in the Top 15 in Impact’s list of 50 Most Influential Women, 2020