“We Need To Stop Calling Gender Diversity A Female Problem”: Bec Brideson

“We Need To Stop Calling Gender Diversity A Female Problem”: Bec Brideson
SHARE
THIS



Marketing guru Bec Brideson has weighed in on the findings of a controversial study involving two of Australia’s leading ad agencies, questioning the industry’s reaction.

While working on his PhD thesis during 2013 and 2014, researcher Paul Priday spent six months inside the Sydney agencies of M&C Saatchi and McCann, as well as Ogilvy in Shanghai and McCann’s Delhi agency, according to Mumbrella.

During that time, Priday interviewed seven men and three women at McCann Sydney, and 13 men and eight women at M&C Saatchi in Sydney.

Accoring to Mumbrella, the thesis was submitted in June 2016, and found that female creatives struggle to get work presented to clients or entered into awards, while women in account service roles are exploited into working long hours.

Priday concluded the thesis with this: “Despite change being the lifeblood of the advertising industry, gender relations continue to protect the status of men through the organised subordination of women.”

Speaking to B&T, Brideson said Priday’s findings are similar to those by US researcher Megan Averell, as well as The 3% Movement’s study titled Elephant on Maddison Avenue.

“Both of those studies concur with what Paul Priday’s findings are, basically, that it’s a monoculture, that it’s systemic and that it needs to change,” she said.

“This is a conversation that we’ve been having for so long – how can there even be outrage from the findings? All the comments that happened under Mumbrella’s article were pretty obvious. There were the disenfranchised males who said ‘This is not fair, we’re being picked on’, and then there were the women who said ‘This happens and we need support to change things’.”

“There were also a lot of people of both genders saying that because it hasn’t happened to them, they don’t see it has happened. Just because you haven’t been murdered doesn’t mean murders don’t happen.”

Brideson admitted she has struggled to be taken seriously in the industry for forming her own agency.

“Everyone assumed that my agency was not legitimate or was a ‘female sensitivity’,” she told B&T.

“If I compare myself to my male peers who also went out and started agencies, they have had the privilege of the boys network from the start like offers to be bought by the big players, and that hasn’t been forthcoming to me.

“I often wonder if I was a man, would things have been different? The reason I don’t publicly say that is because people will say it’s an excuse or a victim-like statement, and when you look at these sorts of reports, it ratifies the fact that it is harder when you’re female competing against a largely male-dominated monoculture.”

Brideson said it is vital for agencies to have emotional intelligence, but very often their creative departments and cultures are not places where the emotional intelligence of women is given due credit, and feminine leadership qualities are not well recognised.

“With the core consumer being women – and as the most dominant consumer economy being female, agencies need an overhaul of their strategic approach – and the men in agencies can easily relearn new ways and acquire different skills to equip them with how to have relevance and resonance with modern women,” she said.

Brideson said the dominant party of the industry – males – need to agree that things must change and take action.

“I think we need to stop calling it a female problem and expecting that women studying and talking about this issue is going to change it,” she said.

Latest News

Assembly Label Appoints The Wired Agency
  • Media

Assembly Label Appoints The Wired Agency

One of Australia’s leading fashion brands, Assembly Label has officially appointed The Wired Agency as its exclusive digital campaign partner. As a market leader in the ‘simplified essentials’ space; quickly becoming renowned for their minimal approach to design and clothing construction, Assembly Label has recently opened their tenth retail location as well as being well-represented […]

Bastion Collective Acquires Melbourne-Based Production Agency Bengar Films
  • Marketing
  • Media

Bastion Collective Acquires Melbourne-Based Production Agency Bengar Films

Independent communications group Bastion Collective has announced its has acquired Bengar Films, a multi award-winning creative production agency based in Melbourne. The acquisition will enable Bastion Collective to merge the significant expertise of Bengar Films with its existing Sydney-based content production business Bastion Stadium, which will rebrand to Bastion Films as part of the integration. […]

Network 10’s ‘Playing For Keeps’ Gets Green Light For Second Season
  • Media

Network 10’s ‘Playing For Keeps’ Gets Green Light For Second Season

The siren may have sounded on round one, but the salacious controversies and delicious drama surrounding Australia’s favourite posse of WAGs is just kicking off. Network 10 has announced that Playing For Keeps is returning to television screens in 2019. The new series will continue to lift the curtain on the seductive world of football’s elite, […]

Slack Makes Brand Campaign Debut Down Under
  • Campaigns
  • Media

Slack Makes Brand Campaign Debut Down Under

This week, the collaboration hub app Slack is making a colourful splash down under, with the launch of its inaugural outdoor brand campaign. The campaign is aimed at helping Australian office workers and business travellers improve collaboration at work. Running throughout November, the campaign “Collaborate with Slack” features out-of-home advertising in office buildings on the […]

SSROC Launches Recycling Campaign With Retro Video Via Paper Moose
  • Campaigns

SSROC Launches Recycling Campaign With Retro Video Via Paper Moose

The Southern Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (SSROC) has launched a new campaign to raise awareness of improper recycling habits with a humorous retro video via Sydney agency Paper Moose. The campaign aims to educate residents on unbagging their recyclables before disposing of them in the yellow bin. Recycling in plastic bags can’t be recycled […]

Magnum & Co Makes Four New Appointments
  • Marketing

Magnum & Co Makes Four New Appointments

Following a number of new business wins, independent communications agency Magnum & Co has announced hour new hires. Holly Saich joins the agency as brand leader from London-based agency TRO (TBWA sister agency and part of the global Omnicom network), having led campaigns for Vespa, Jim Beam, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, Air New Zealand, and UGG. […]

Cannings Purple Bolsters Digital Content Team With Trio Of Hires
  • Marketing

Cannings Purple Bolsters Digital Content Team With Trio Of Hires

WPP-owned strategic communications consultancy Cannings Purple has announced three new appointments to its design and digital team. Simon White (pictured above, middle) has joined Cannings Purple as content editor, Glenn Langridge (pictured above, left) has arrived in the role of digital marketing manager, and Morgan Ballantyne (pictured above, right) is the firm’s new media intelligence […]