In this opinion piece, part of B&T‘s ongoing support for Fck The Cupcakes, Innocean copywriter Laura Parker (pictured) discusses a new survey for gender equality in adland…
Adland of old conjures images of suave Mad Men, party palaces where free pizza and beer reign supreme, or today, beanbag-filled break-out spaces where Gen X-ers put the world to right, one award-winning brief at a time.
Beanbags aside… they’re really not that comfy, after all… adland certainly is, on the surface, an entertaining place to be.
It’s a hotpot of enthusiastic new-bloods, seasoned veterans and everyone in between. It’s a beautifully informal creative environment and one whose freedoms are envied by our more corporate, suit-wearing friends.
Sure, we sell fast cars, fast food and fast fashion, but it’s also the kind of place where we believe that one day we might land a brief and make a real difference – even if that just means showing how women can do more than laugh into salad bowls.
As fun as they are, advertising agencies have their flaws too. According to the recent Mavens Report, women represent 56 per cent of agency employees, yet only 27 per cent of agency leadership – approximately one in four.
This has contributed to a gender pay gap of between 23 per cent for media agencies and 25 per cent for advertising agencies. And although gender equality is an issue within the advertising industry, it’s not just ours feeling the brunt of it. Across the board, the average weekly wage for a woman is 15.3 per cent less than a man’s.
Compounding this is the fact that one in five mothers say they were made redundant, restructured or dismissed as a result of pregnancy, parental leave, or on return to work.
The statistics don’t lie. Nor do the countless shared experiences told by men and women across our industry. Maybe they don’t reflect your personal experience, maybe they do. But perhaps they reflect the experiences of your peers, your protégé, your team members.
Our industry needs to stand up and do its part to balance the scales and rid the industry of the endemic casual misogyny that exists. Fck the Cupcakes was born to tackle this problem head-on, and we’re working with ShEqual to help make gender equality a reality.
ShEqual has launched a survey to gather real feedback on the matter of gender equality; how it connects with you, your work and workplace. They need us all to play our part if we ever want to change the statistics and transform our industry for the better.
So before you switch off and decide this isn’t for me, think again. This isn’t a girl problem or an issue we can keep sweeping under the boardroom carpet. It’s everyone’s problem.
So come on AdLand. Let’s make the most of those beanbags once and for all. Kick off your chucks, grab a coffee and take ten minutes out of your day to work on this. It might not land you a gold Lion, but it can help make a real difference. And the future of our industry, and future generations of women working within it, will be a better place because of it.
The survey is only live for one more day and will close on Tuesday 2nd November, so please fill out your answers as soon as possible.
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