Women’s Day in Ad-Land

An esteemed ad-land colleague posted this today on fb. Thank you, Dennis Jenders. Here’s to you and all the other ad-men willing to speak truth – and to all the ad-women living the truth.

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Happy #WomensDay. Unfortunately, I work in an industry where women too often experience harassment and discrimination.

More than half of women surveyed have experienced sexual harassment at least once. (Source: 4A’s)

A third of women surveyed said that they have failed to receive key assignments or promotions because of their gender on multiple occasions. (Source: 4A’s)

Women make 85% of all purchasing decisions, yet they are woefully underrepresented in creative jobs in advertising. (Source: Adweek)

In fact, just 11% of the world’s creative directors are female. (Source 3% Conference)

91% of female consumers feel advertisers don’t understand them. (Source: Creative Equals)

Maybe it’s because we still find 10% or more of creative departments that are SOLELY men.

How many meetings have you been in where someone makes an off-color remark but you haven’t spoken up? Or a woman is judged on her beauty instead of her intelligence?

I regret not speaking up at a previous place of employment when I found myself in a situation where the Chairman of the Board and CEO spoke crudely about women, feet away from a female secretary, and in the presence of an executive leader, and my boss.

At a previous agency, I found myself in a meeting where two male clients couldn’t help but comment on the physical appearance of two female team members – while they were in the room. I was shocked, and unfortunately said nothing to curb their behavior.

I’ll never let those moments pass me by again. Be the difference if you see harassment or discrimination taking place.

Take the tough meetings to discuss equality in wages and opportunity. Hire or promote based on potential instead of just achievement, as studies show that many women won’t apply for a role until they meet 100% of the hiring criteria.

To the women I’ve worked with, thank you for making me a better man. Your intelligence, empathy, thoughtfulness, creativity, and strength are an inspiration.

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