DDB Sydney’s Tara Ford & Ben Welsh: Reflections On 3%

DDB Sydney’s Tara Ford & Ben Welsh: Reflections On 3%

DDB’s Ben Welsh and Tara Ford both attended and presented at B&T’s recent 3% Conference Australasia. Here, the two offer their constructive musings from an agency perspective from the day…

He says (Ben Welsh, chief creative officer, DDB)

I walked into The 3% Conference feeling like a Catholic who hadn’t confessed in a while, a Muslim who’d missed Friday prayers, or a Jew who’d used an espresso machine on a Saturday. I was laden with guilt and ready to face my punishment. But God, being a woman (in my eyes anyway) is forgiving and my sense of guilt was rapidly replaced by one of hope.

Bec Brideson and Lisen Stromberg set the scene; along with their own personal stories (more shame on men), they very clearly stated that diversity increases profitability.

More so than innovation and digital.

And if that didn’t convince you to hire more women on the spot there was the One Show by women annual that showed the more women involved in the work, the shinier the metal.

So three cheers to Bec and B&T for bringing this event to our shores.

The only downside was that too few men made it through the doors to witness it.

I’m sure that won’t be the case next year.

She says (Tara Ford, executive creative director, DDB Sydney)

I walked into The 3% Conference and immediately experienced something I had never before in my entire professional career as a creative.

Women were in the majority.

It was a little disorientating at first. All the smiling faces, welcoming hugs and warm conversation. There was a mutual understanding and a shared belief.

And then I realised, this must be what it feels like to be a man in the creative department.

But you know what? I don’t want to be in the majority. I don’t want a creative department I’m part of to be full of women. The work wouldn’t be as varied and interesting and as insightful as it could be.

I want DDB Sydney’s creative department to have of all sorts of different people in it, with a nice balance of men and women.

Just like the real world. You know, the one beyond the doors of the agency.

After all, it’s the world outside we want to understand, inspire, entertain and ultimately seduce. Isn’t it?




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