I just got back for speaking at the London 3% Conference. 250 creative people gathered to hear speakers explore the problem of too few women in creative. Unfortunately, we could count the number of men in attendance on both hands. And there in lies one of the problems.
Yes, Nick Bailey (CEO & ECD Isobar), Nils Leonard (Chairman/CCO, Grey), Russell Ramsey (ExCD, JWT) and Darin Rubins (CEO, PHD) spoke, sharing great wisdom. But guess what? They didn’t stay. And that’s a problem. Unless the dire lack of women in creative is embraced as a problem by those at the top, little will change.
So here are the numbers in Europe – they are not pretty. And in the Britain women make up only 13.9% of creative departments and just 8.1% of all CDs. So why did the men leave? They are busy, no doubt. But really, is this just a women’s issue? The data says, no. Women drive more than 80% of all consumption decisions. Top that off with data from Kat Gordon, founder of 3%. 71% of women feel brands consider them only for beauty and cleaning products (they may have a point). 73% feel advertisers don’t understand them (no surprise there). So gentlemen, why didn’t you stay?
According to Kat Gordon (and studies from Harvard) the 11 most destructive words for the future of creativity are: “Doesn’t matter who does the creative, as long as they’re good.” 20.3% of women in creative and 14.6% female CDs, globally, is simply not acceptable. Here’s the bottom line, diversity and inclusion is a competitive advantage – and it needs to be leveraged by the advertising industry. Now.