Miss B&T’s recent 3% Conference? Check out OMD’s marketing and business development manager, Danielle Le Toullec’s (pictured below), complete wrap of the day…
What is the secret to a successful agency? The answer is deceptively simple. Yet so many companies still get it wrong.
The secret to becoming a successful agency, or company in general, is diversity. It is the one thing that is guaranteed to improve the creative product that your company is putting out the door every day. Not to mention the positive effect on internal culture.
So, why am I writing this article now? Last week, I had the privilege of attending The 3% Conference in Australasia. The 3% movement began in 2010, when at the time in the US, only 3% of Creative Directors were female. The conference has evolved into a forum where agencies and brands can share knowledge and best practices to drive change and achieve greater diversity in all sectors.
Ultimately, as Lisen Stromberg (COO of The 3% Movement) stated in her opening keynote, this isn’t about girl power; it’s about good business and the industry’s role in that.
At the end of the day, the media and advertising industry is in the business of selling ideas. It is diversity that drives different perspectives and new ways of thinking. This diversity isn’t limited to just gender; it is age, race, sexuality and disability. Our teams need to represent the world, not any singular point of view. It’s fundamentally important to consider what your obligations and cultural responsibilities are in what you’re putting out there.
For me the main takeaway from the conference was, what is the cost of not changing? Various speakers mentioned that the gender equality conversation had been going on for long enough and that the required changes should be happening much faster.
Interestingly, those people who were increasingly getting fed up with the lack of opportunity were boldly setting out to create their own businesses. Designing an environment where they could really thrive and use their creativity in new ways to solve problems.
Panellists Kimmie Neidhardt (co-founder of creative agency Burd), Jane Evans (founder of The Invizibles – content marketing firm which is dedicated to improving the visibility of women over 40) and Sarah Moran (co-founder of Girl Geek Academy – a global movement encouraging women to learn technology, create start-ups and build more of the internet) or the hilariously engaging George McEncroe(CEO & founder of female ride-share company Shebah) are women who set out on their own for very different reasons and who are now enjoying working on their own terms.
We also heard from Mike Hill (founder and CEO of Holler) who realised that he had become a stay-at-home ‘mum’ after attempting to find part-time work as a new father. That experience opened his eyes to the challenges that women face and spurred him to co-found Puffling with two female co-founders. The company is dedicated to helping back to work mums find flexible jobs via a unique job-sharing solution. He challenged agencies to start viewing flexibility as a competitive advantage. He also challenged CEOs in the room to cold-call a recruiter and ask for part-time work and wait for the awkward pause/eye-roll, to really put themselves in a working mothers’ shoes.
* Quick shout out to all the men that came to The 3% Conference, I’ve always been a firm believer that no positive change will happen unless the other half of the population is included, so this was awesome to see *
All of the amazing speakers I mentioned above found ways of redesigning the structure of business and to focus on outcomes rather than just (wo)man-hours at a desk. As Cindy Gallop (industry trailblazer and CEO) explained in her keynote: You cannot do new world business from an old world order place.
Cindy’s talk was focused on reinventing creativity in Australia. In her words: A country where despite a lot of great work coming out, is still failing to realise it’s full potential because it’s failing to tap into the talent, creativity and skills of diverse talent.
Whilst Cindy’s talk was focused on encouraging people to go out and start their own ventures, I don’t necessarily think there should be a mass exodus of the industry. I believe there can be a place for being an intrepreneur and finding ways to reach your potential within your existing organisation.
As an industry, we’ve come so far in terms of improving flexible working options. It’s now going to be about embracing these policies to ensure that people are actually using them, and have the space to think creatively. They will play a pivotal role in attracting diverse talent, which will make or break the future of Australia creativity and profitability securing us a more concrete place in the dominant global markets of the world.
When Jemma Wong (Head of Audience Growth – AFL) was faced with the challenge of marketing the new women’s league, she had the wise sentiment of “focus on what the players bring to the game, not what they take away”. I think this same mentality can be applied to diversity, and when you look at what a diverse workforce can bring to the table, you’d be mad not to support it.
So, whether you’re striking out on your own as an entrepreneur or carving your niche within an organisation, it is imperative to get the culture right internally, for anything to change externally. And like any successful campaign, make sure you have the right KPIs in place to measure impact and define areas of improvement!
Diversity is your magic bullet to not only creativity but also profitability.
Telstra has announced its plans to make all payphones in Australia free, aiming to help struggling Aussies. Despite the fact that payphones may seem to have become obsolete, thanks to mobiles. There are still 15,000 Telstra payphones in Australia. Last year Australia made 11 million calls from payphones, including more than 230,000 calls to vital […]
To mark Majella Pinnuck’s return, AWP spoke to her about why she has come back, the hybrid that skills that today’s large organisations need in their corporate affairs and communications professionals, and the challenge of finding candidates with the right skillset. Pinnuck (pictured) started at AWP after she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Law […]
The Media Federation of Australia (MFA) has launched a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Advisory Council, consisting of 13 media agency professionals from diverse backgrounds, with the aim of providing guidance to the industry across all facets of diversity and inclusion. The MFA DE&I Advisory Council will promote the MFA’s ambition to build a diverse, equitable […]
One month into the new financial year, Melbourne-based agency Theory Crew has won four new clients across the beauty and FMCG divisions. New clients include the gourmet fruit spread range from France St. Dalfour; organic tea range Higher Living, new to market Australian baby skincare range from Biophysics Group Avo Baby, and soon to be […]
SCA has appointed Commercial Radio Australia Brian White Scholarship winner Zac De Silva (pictured) to its Albury newsroom as it invests in new talent for regional radio newsrooms nationwide. De Silva received the prestigious Brian White Scholarship in 2020 and completed a paid internship at SCA as part of the award. He is just one […]
Spinach has been appointed to manage the media strategy, buying and data capabilities for Australian property developer Beulah. The Melbourne-based developer has several projects in the works including STH BNK by Beulah, one of the most ambitious developments to be undertaken in Australia. With backing from the City of Melbourne’s Future Melbourne Committee, the $2 […]
Digitas, the Connected Marketing Agency, part of Publicis Groupe, has announced the promotion of Adrian Farouk as CEO of Digitas APAC. Farouk (pictured above) is currently CEO of Digitas & Epsilon ANZ, he will take on the new role with immediate effect whilst continuing his leadership at Epsilon, the group’s data and tech platform business […]
Major sporting clubs and local sporting leaders have united in response to community concern about the effect of prolific sports betting advertising on young people in the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation’s new Love the Game campaign. The ‘Join the club’ campaign includes elite and community level players and administrators, parents, kids, umpires and coaches from […]