M&C Saatchi’s Niccola Phillips: Mind The (Confidence) Gap

M&C Saatchi’s Niccola Phillips: Mind The (Confidence) Gap
SHARE
THIS


What best describes you?

As headline sponsor of B&T’s 3% Conference Australasia, M&C Saatchi has nominated its head of art, Niccola Phillips to pen an opinion piece exploring whether creative departments are still as sexist as they appear from the outside.

Let’s be frank.

I don’t want to write this article, and you most probably don’t want to read it.

You’re probably sitting there thinking not another bloody female creative whining on about how hard it is to be a female creative. Get over it. Move on already.

And hey, I’m with you. I’m over it as well. I’m over talking about it. I’m over thinking about it. I’m also over being scared to talk about it. Dreading the comments on social media. Wondering if I’m cutting off my nose to spite my face if I choose to speak up at all.

But here’s where we’re at. According to research carried out by The Agency Circle, three in every 10 Australian creatives are female. If you’re hunting around for a female ECD, it seems that you’ll find around three in every hundred. Up on stage at industry events, you’ll see roughly half as many women as men. And if you’re wondering about the pay gap? Well, I can’t tell you much about that, because no one’s being all that transparent about it. But let’s just go with the national average and assume that female creatives are currently being paid about 23 per cent less than their male equivalents.

But now, some good news. This year, here in NSW, women comprised almost exactly half of all successful AWARD School applicants, and six of the top 10 were women. There’s a new generation of female creatives who enthusiastically and wholeheartedly want to work in our creative departments.

Problem solved, then. Given another few years, creative departments should be headed for 50:50. The statistics should just play out from there. Shouldn’t they?

Are creative departments really still as sexist as they appear from the outside? That’s the question I’ve been asked the most over my two years as AWARD School head. Clearly, even before they enter the industry, many female creatives still aren’t confident that they’ll be treated as equals in a creative department. And honestly, I struggle to know what to say, because it’s complicated.

Personally, I love my creative department, and that’s why I’ve stayed there for so long. It’s open-minded, respectful, collaborative and dependably funny. It’s ridiculous and hilarious. But not every creative department I’ve worked in has felt so comfortable.

During Power of Ten sessions, a networking initiative for female creatives run by AWARD, female creatives swap stories of ‘mansplaining’ in their creative departments; of creative directors who disregard an idea when a woman suggests it, only to applaud when it is presented again by a male colleague. One woman describes the way she has to stand up in meetings to make herself heard (fun fact: women are interrupted 33 per cent more than their male counterparts during meetings). A number of female creatives observe how they have been passed over for tier-one briefs due to ‘inexperience’, while men of the same level were given a chance to ‘cut their teeth on something big’.

Yes, women leave creative departments for a whole host of reasons. But if you listen – actually listen – the next generation of female creatives are trying to tell you that they’re not being heard right now. Today. Years before parental leave and workplace flexibility enters their thinking. A survey run by SheSays and a trade media publication earlier this year reported that almost 40 per cent of women who left creative agencies did so because they didn’t feel valued or recognised. Women are being unconsciously overlooked every day. Hell, they’re unconsciously overlooking themselves. And they’re not always confident enough to speak up about it.

Okay, I can hear you sharpening your knives. Women need to toughen up. To speak up. To push back. And I agree. They do. But in an industry where 70 per cent of female creatives report that they have personally experienced sexual discrimination in their workplace, that isn’t always easy. The confidence gap starts early. Less than one in six Australian teenage girls believe that they are given the same chances in life as boys. It’s little wonder that women won’t apply for a position or promotion until they feel that they’re 100 per cent qualified, while men are confident in their ability at about 60 per cent.

So, what can we do about it? We can do unconscious bias training. Google has rolled it out across its 60,000 employees worldwide, and they have shared their unbiasing guide online. We can offer mentoring programs, internally and externally. We can do annual salary audits. We can improve our parental leave policies and build a more flexible, inclusive working environment.

But the simplest thing that we can do is listen. Offer all our creatives equal chances and opportunities, and then be receptive to what they come up with. If the quiet ones don’t speak up immediately, offer them the floor. Ask them to speak on panels and to judge industry awards. To judge AWARD School. To write articles. Give them the confidence to push on through. Let them know they’re being heard.

Just listen. Be respectful and egalitarian, and you won’t ever have to read another article like this one.

Promise.

3% Conference banner

The 3% Conference Australasia sponsor block

 

Please login with linkedin to comment

Latest News

Yellow Tail Appoints Paper Stone Scissors For China Push
  • Advertising

Yellow Tail Appoints Paper Stone Scissors For China Push

Casella Family Brands has announced it has appointed creative agency Paper Stone Scissors to localise the iconic Yellow tail (stylised [yellow tail]) brand for Chinese consumers. The appointment follows a competitive agency tender in September Paper Stone Scissors will be responsible for the strategic, digital and creative development and production of the 2018 Yellow Tail campaign […]

Filtered Media Announces Nine New Hires
  • Advertising
  • Media

Filtered Media Announces Nine New Hires

Integrated brand storytelling agency, Filtered Media, continues its rapid growth with the mid-sized company appointing nine new team members in recent times, and moving to expansive new premises. Two senior hires include Nicole Manktelow as content director and storyteller for Filtered Media’s finance and technology practice, and Nick Ross as senior manager, content and analytics, a newly created role designed […]

Red Rooster Unveils Saucy Tinder Campaign Results
  • Marketing
  • Media

Red Rooster Unveils Saucy Tinder Campaign Results

Red Rooster’s Tinder campaign launched late last month – with results immediately revealing some very interesting differences between men and women. In a first for the brand, Red Rooster’s latest campaign took to the popular dating app Tinder, integrating the swipe function into its advertising and targeting customers in a whole different way. Red Rooster’s […]

Infographic: Aussies Set To Choose Kmart For Christmas (With 33% Admitting They’re Re-Gifters)
  • Marketing

Infographic: Aussies Set To Choose Kmart For Christmas (With 33% Admitting They’re Re-Gifters)

A new study into the Christmas shopping habits of Australians has found that Kmart will be our number one retailer of choice this year, with, interestingly, Amazon struggling to rate much of a mention. The study, by Melbourne customer insights agency Honeycomb, involved the responses of 1000 Aussies and their festive shopping habits. It found 55 per cent said they’d […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
QMS Media Expands Presence In Melbourne With New Digital Billboard ‘The G’
  • Advertising
  • Media

QMS Media Expands Presence In Melbourne With New Digital Billboard ‘The G’

Outdoor media company QMS Media has strengthened its digital outdoor presence in Victoria, unveiling an iconic digital billboard in the heart of Melbourne’s famous sporting precinct. The launch of ‘The G’ sees QMS’ landmark digital portfolio ‘bookending’ arguably one of the most iconic and in-demand digital outdoor locations in Australia – Richmond Station Bridge – […]

HSBC Sydney 7s Creates New Visual Identity For 2018 Via Digilante
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns
  • Marketing

HSBC Sydney 7s Creates New Visual Identity For 2018 Via Digilante

As part of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, the Sydney 7s event returns in January complete with a new brand identity, creative strategy and media campaign. With the 2017 Sydney 7s a sell-out event, the challenge for 2018 was to carry that momentum into the third year, defining Sydney’s place as the new ‘go-to’ […]

Bound Round Launches Family Travel Publication for Aussies
  • Media

Bound Round Launches Family Travel Publication for Aussies

Family travel platform Bound Round has announced the launch of its first e-magazine to Australian consumers. Travel Bound is a family-focused, digital quarterly publication available on all Virgin Australia flights through the carrier’s in-flight entertainment system, and is also available for consumer download via the Bound Round website. Bound Round founder and CEO Janeece Keller […]

SBS Unveils New Look, New App For SBS News
  • Media

SBS Unveils New Look, New App For SBS News

Do you like say "I only watch SBS" in an attempt to sound smarter than you are? Well, why not pretend to read this too?

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Ex-Samsung CMO Joins Amazon Australia As Marketing Director
  • Marketing

Ex-Samsung CMO Joins Amazon Australia As Marketing Director

Amazon Australia has appointed former Samsung Electronics chief marketing officer (CMO) Arno Lenior to lead its marketing division. Lenior worked as Samsung’s CMO for more than three years before departing in 2015. According to his LinkedIn profile, he has also held CEO roles at VR company Virtical and brand consultancy Blue Ocean Brands, and joined […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
News Corp Names Its Car Of The Year
  • Marketing

News Corp Names Its Car Of The Year

News announces its annual Car Of The Year and it's not what you'd expect. Well, we certainly didn't expect it anyway.

Aussie Tennis Open & Country Road Announce New Partnership
  • Marketing

Aussie Tennis Open & Country Road Announce New Partnership

The Australian Open has partnered with iconic Australian clothing and lifestyle brand Country Road to supply the uniforms for next year’s tournament. Confirmed today as the official fashion lifestyle Partner of Australian Open 2018, one of Australia’s most loved brands will be worn by thousands of tournament staff at Melbourne Park in January. On-court officials including the chair and […]

Andrew O’Keefe Quits His Weekend Sunrise Duties
  • Media

Andrew O’Keefe Quits His Weekend Sunrise Duties

After 12 years with Weekend Sunrise, Andrew O’Keefe has decided to step away from his hosting and reporting duties. O’Keefe will continue his full-time role as host of Seven’s quiz show The Chase Australia, as well as focus on other projects with the Network. “The ideal job is doing work you love with people you love,” O’Keefe […]

Study: Brand Loyalty Hinges On Customer Support Experiences
  • Marketing

Study: Brand Loyalty Hinges On Customer Support Experiences

Fast and effective support will be a competitive differentiator for companies looking to win over digitally transformed customers and employees, new research has revealed. According to a study by IDC and LogMeIn titled Support Services as a Competitive Differentiator, nearly 67 per cent of consumers said that customer satisfaction was more important than price when […]

OMA Appoints Red Ant Design To Build Industry’s First Automated Proposal Platform
  • Advertising
  • Media

OMA Appoints Red Ant Design To Build Industry’s First Automated Proposal Platform

The Outdoor Media Association (OMA) has announced the appointment of Red Ant Design to build the out-oh-home (OOH) industry’s first automated proposal platform (APP). After an extensive global search and industry consultation, the decision to build the system in-house with a local Australian company was made. The APP will be built in an agile process, […]

Nick Ballard, Managing Director
Australia & New Zealand, BlisMedia
  • Marketing
  • Technology

Blis Unveils New Consumer Behaviour Analytics Tool For Maketers

Location data technology company Blis has launched an analytics tool that allows marketers to analyse consumer behaviour – from audience profiling, to exposure, to attribution – by capturing and activating mobile movement data. Smart Trends offers robust in-store consumer behavioural insights and in-store comparison of multiple location types and brands, allowing marketers to break down demographic, […]

WiTH Collective Linked By Isobar Renames Colours Of The Great Barrier Reef As Part Of New Campaign
  • Campaigns
  • Marketing

WiTH Collective Linked By Isobar Renames Colours Of The Great Barrier Reef As Part Of New Campaign

The Great Barrier Reef is under threat, and WiTH Collective – part of Isobar Australia Group – has launched a social movement to protect it. The ‘Unite for the Reef’ campaign will put vivid pops of colour into millions of social media feeds as a global network of individuals united to pledge support for the future of the Great Barrier Reef.  Spearheaded […]

Imagination Unveils Creative For Sydney’s NYE 2017 Celebrations
  • Marketing

Imagination Unveils Creative For Sydney’s NYE 2017 Celebrations

The City of Sydney has unveiled the creative line-up for 2017 Sydney New Year’s Eve celebrations, including a new look and theme for Australia’s largest public event, conceived by experience agency Imagination. In its seventh year as the creative team behind the event, Imagination has set out to create a fresh, inspiring new theme and […]

Rogue Penis Radio Prank Goes Horribly Awry
  • Media

Rogue Penis Radio Prank Goes Horribly Awry

This radio prank has it all - a rogue willy, tears & humiliation. The only surprise is it doesn't have Kyle Sandilands.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Stockland Invites Aussies To ‘Share Some Unexpected Joy’ This Christmas In New TVC Via Lavender
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns

Stockland Invites Aussies To ‘Share Some Unexpected Joy’ This Christmas In New TVC Via Lavender

Shopping Centre group Stockland has released an emotive campaign across its 40 national social and owned media channels via CX agency Lavender. The ‘Share Some Unexpected Joy’ campaign tells the story of Lucy, a thoughtful Australian girl who recognises that just like her and her mother, some of their neighbours will be spending Christmas alone this […]

QMS Switches On Digital Transaction Platform In NZ
  • Advertising
  • Media

QMS Switches On Digital Transaction Platform In NZ

In a New Zealand first for large format roadside digital, QMS Media is launching a digital transaction platform in conjunction with Rubicon Project and Digital Commons, who will represent the product in the market. Operating on a ‘guaranteed orders’ principle, advertisers will have the opportunity to buy QMS premium digital inventory nationwide via the Rubicon […]

Clemenger BBDO Melbourne’s SNICKERS ‘Hungerithm’ Goes Global
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns

Clemenger BBDO Melbourne’s SNICKERS ‘Hungerithm’ Goes Global

Following its huge success locally, Clemenger BBDO Melbourne’s ‘Hungerithm’ platform it conceptualised for SNICKERS is rolling out across US and European markets. The US has been the first region to roll out the platform through a nationwide partnership with 7-Eleven’s plus-9,000 stores. The launch of the Hungerithm in the US sees the platform pick up […]

Interbrand Australia Appoints whiteGREY’s Davy Rennie As CX Director
  • Marketing

Interbrand Australia Appoints whiteGREY’s Davy Rennie As CX Director

Brand consultancy Interbrand Australia has announced the appointment of Davy Rennie as its director of customer experience (CX). In this new role, Rennie will deliver solutions across Interbrand’s clients including Telstra, Event Hospitality and Entertainment, and The Star. Rennie joins Interbrand armed with more than 10 years’ experience across digital, innovation and customer strategies. With […]

News Corp Announces New Era For The Manly Daily
  • Media

News Corp Announces New Era For The Manly Daily

News Corp Australia has announced a bold new direction for one of its community brands, the Manly Daily. In January 2018, the Manly Daily will launch two hero print editions on Wednesdays and Saturdays, complemented by an enhanced online and mobile offering. The two unmissable print editions, each with a distinct unique personality and purpose, […]