Dee Madigan To Adland: Wake Up And Get More Women Speakers!

Dee Madigan To Adland: Wake Up And Get More Women Speakers!

Executive creative director at Campaign Edge, Dee Madigan, has taken to Twitter to lampoon the ad industry, saying it needs to open its eyes and get more women speakers in its conferences.

Emma Mackenzie
Posted by Emma Mackenzie

Noting a number of conferences, including the Daze of Disruption conference coming up in December, Madigan said it’s “absurd” more conferences don’t have female speakers.

“When many women are in high up positions, and these conferences don’t reflect that, we’re only hearing male voices,” she told B&T.

And when conferences recognise the fact they need more women, and sometimes ask her to look into it, she gets annoyed. “If you’re doing the conference, it’s not my job to get you speakers!”

The ‘struggling to find women speakers’ argument also doesn’t fly with Madigan, pointing out a list from women’s publication Women’s Agenda with ideas for female speakers.

It’s an issue particularly for young women working in Adland, she added. “When young women in the industry are going to these events, what it says is that they will never be recognised by men to be important enough to speak.”

One Twitter user Ross Cameron tweeted out suggesting people base their ticket selection on content, rather than chromosome.

To which Madigan said to B&T: “The argument doesn’t stack up.”

It’s a gripe Madigan has had before when the Association for Data Driven Marketing (ADMA)’s conference came up this year.

Penning her thoughts for website The Hoopla, Madigan was outraged of the 10 speakers, only one was female.

“Apparently to be truly inspirational you need to be white, middle-aged and own a penis,” she wrote.

“The most frustratingly screamful thing about this is that it’s a conference on creativity. Creativity. Almost the one area in which women have always managed to hold their own.

“Had it been the banking industry, or an engineering conference I would have been less surprised because sometimes there are simply fewer women at the top level to choose from. More work needs to be done on a grass root level to get women involved.”

While it’s rife in other industries as well, Madigan noted the Property Council has pledged to have “gender balance at every forum” and uses a tool from the Chief Executive of Women, Women’s Leadership Institute of Australia and Male Champions of Change.

The document outlines how many conferences and events lack a female representation, which can hinder their voices and asks conferences to get on board with more female representation.