This comment piece is by Jasmin Bedir, CEO of Innocean and founder of FckTheCupcakes.
It’s been a month since Zoe Scaman’s amazing article.
When I read it, I kept nodding along and readied myself for an industry discussion in Australia.
But nothing happened. Not a peep. And it’s not because we’re so much better in Australia – we’re most definitely not. If we were, I wouldn’t have needed to start Fckthecupcakes this year.
Engaging with men on this topic of systemic misogyny has been so much more difficult than I imagined – many have disconnected from the conversation because in their eyes, they are not the men in the allegations or reports.
They haven’t raped a colleague or fired someone unfairly. They have sisters, and mothers and daughters. They have done nothing wrong. But when women are only talking to women about the problem that women face, we have a massive problem.
These are not bad men; they are simply blind to the ‘invisible’ sexism that exists under their nose (or their subconscious contribution). The majority of men I’ve spoken to say they had no idea what we as women are going through. They are not really surprised, but also the extent of the misogyny we have to deal with, was clearly unexpected.
It’s not me, it’s something that we hear from all directions
The industry bodies believe they have done their job, while they have mostly had conversations about representation, quotas and creating equality ads, not the daily treatment or emotional impact of the ‘invisible’ inequality rife within the industry.
The men in our industry believe they are not the problem.
Whilst many men say they want to support women, the general sentiment is that nothing in their world seems to be wrong; they haven’t contributed directly to the problem, so they don’t believe they need to actively do more. The women in our industry struggle to speak up as they fear they will get ostracised or punished. Ruffling feathers does not get rewarded.
As a woman it’s also not easy to explain what it is that we want men to stop or start doing as misogyny is insidious, and so deeply ingrained that it’s not a 5-minute conversation that fixes the problem.
So, whose job is it really to drive change?
Of course, it’s everyone’s job, but the people that can make the biggest difference are surprisingly not the guys at the top of agencies. Of course, we need inclusive leadership from the top, but currently that’s where the buck stops.
The guys that can make the biggest difference sit in middle management. The everyday workers across all seniority levels, the ones that are deep in the trenches of companies.
These guys are currently literally missing in action when it comes to active gender inclusion. Instead of being bystanders, we need these men to be a deliberate public role model for other men. We need these men to be by our side and be fierce watchdogs for the behaviour of other men, in particular when no woman is watching.
That takes courage and seems daunting. It’s a hard time to be a woman but also equally a hard time to be a man.
A man to listen to on this topic is Andy Wright. He’s written a great piece all men in this industry should take notice of.
He says: “You’re being given a chance. To repair. To improve. To create change. It’s probably way more than you deserve, but like in the past, you’re bound to take advantage of it. …The opportunity is to do good and create change.”
If this sounds like you, send me a message to get involved. I haven’t got high hopes that my inbox will explode – but please prove me wrong.
Australian owned and operated email and SMS marketing software company, Vision6, announced the launch of its first-ever national brand campaign and new brand platform “Simply Reliable”. Founded in 2001, Vision6 was one of the first email marketing software providers in Australia and has since been relied upon by thousands of Aussie businesses and organisations for […]
Out-of-Home media company JCDecaux New Zealand has appointed business growth specialist Adam McGregor in preparation for its bid to win upcoming local government street furniture tenders across the country. With contracts for the provision of street furniture including bus shelters across New Zealand up for renewal from late 2022, they collectively represent the biggest advertising […]
Fetch TV has announced that ABC iview will soon be available as a dedicated Virtual Playlist Channel on the Fetch platform. Virtual Playlist Channels (VPCs) were developed by Fetch to promote content discovery, and to provide a clear bridge between the traditional world of linear TV and the growing availability of on demand content via […]
Jackie Gillies, businesswoman, psychic medium and cast member of The Real Housewives of Melbourne is bringing her sassy, inspirational and adventurous spirit to her new podcast Shine It Up, With Jackie Gillies, which launches today via Acast. Hosted and distributed by the creator-first podcast company Acast, the show will offer listeners inspiration and motivation to […]
Crowdsourcing platforms DesignCrowd and BrandCrowd are promoting vaccination efforts in a unique way, launching a logo redesign contest among their networks of designers. The initiative saw iconic Australian brands such as Hungry Jack’s, Jetstar, JB Hi-Fi, and Bunnings undergo a redesign. “We thought it would be fun to see some other iconic Australian brands back […]
Jillian Davison has been named editor-in-chief of the recently relaunched Harper’s BAZAAR Australia. She will oversee all content, development and creative direction across the iconic magazine’s digital and brand platforms. Davison (pictured) succeeds Eugenie Kelly, who recently stepped down to pursue other opportunities. The announcement was made by Maureen Jordan, publisher of Harper’s BAZAAR Australia […]
Freedom Foods and 72andSunny Sydney have launched the first advertising campaign for Australia’s Own range of plant-based beverages. The campaign introduces a new visual world and identity for the brand and captures the healthy, positive feeling you get when spending time in nature and when consuming Australia’s Own certified-organic, plant-based beverages. As well as featuring […]