Tag Archives: women

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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Happy Labor Day

I always remember my father with fondness on this day because of his tenacious embrace of the labor movement.

As the American economy becomes more and more service based we may forget labor’s historical gravity. The first Labor Day celebration was on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, promoted by the Central Labor Union. The Union held its second Labor Day celebration the next year on September 5, 1883. Labor Day has been celebrated on the first Monday of September ever since. Its launch came at a time when America was moving into the industrial revolution and the conditions of workers were often difficult.

My dad, a WWII vet, frequently teased me about Rosie the Riveter and powerful women. I was young and didn’t understand how much her iconic image meant to him. I’m guessing that in some small (and not so small) ways I must have reminded him of the power she signified. Doing a little research on her image this morning, I learned a few things I didn’t know before.

There were two iconic Rosies.

Rosie Riveter norman rockwellThe first Rosie – the one most of us remember – was painted by J. Howard Miller. He was commissioned by Westinghouse to make a series of posters promoting the war effort. Miller inspired the Saturday Evening Post, whose covers tended toward civic inspiration. With WWII raging the Post hired Norman Rockwell. Rockwell’s Rosie appeared on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post (May 29, 1943). It was the Memorial Day issue. She’s muscular and dressed for a hard day’s work, just like the Rosie most of us might recall. We also know she’s Rosie because of the name inscribed on her lunch pail. However, what might surprise many of you, as it did me, this Rosie is stepping on a copy of Adolph Hitler’s book Mein Kampf. Now this is serious symbolic propaganda.

We_Can_Do_It! J. Howard MillerOn the heels of Post’s highly successful cover, stories about real life Rosies began appearing in newspapers across America. The U.S. government took advantage of Rosie’s popularity and embarked on a recruiting campaign named after her. The campaign, done by J. Walter Thompson under the auspices of the Advertising Council, used J. Howard Miller’s Rosie. The campaign brought millions of women into the workforce. To this day, Rosie the Riveter is considered one of the most successful government advertising campaign in history. On May 25, 2012 the Ad Council threw a 70th Birthday Bash for Rosie, noting that Rosie the Riveter remains an enduring emblem of empowerment for women everywhere.

Dad, thanks for teaching me the value of a hard day’s work. I miss you.

Happy Labor Day everyone!

Jean

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“Happy” Equal Pay Day

According to the National Partnership for Women & Families, women in the United States are paid 79 cents for every dollar paid to men. The pay gap – an average of $10,762 annually. This hurts to write.

For women of color it’s even worse. African American women are paid 60 cents for every dollar paid to White men. Latinas are paid just 55 cents for every dollar paid to White men. For Asian American women, it’s a little less painful. They are paid 84 cents for every dollar paid to White men. This is shameful to write.

Equal PaySupport pay equity.

Support the Paycheck Fairness Act.

Support your mother, your sister, your friends and your family.

Support women.

Jean

 

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Ad Land Lacks Diversity

According the Wall Street Journal the number of minorities across the industry and women in creative are bad. Really bad.

African-Americans (11.7% of the U.S. workforce) make up just 5.3% of those working in advertising and PR.

Hispanics (16.4% of the U.S. workforce) have only a 11.7% employment rate in advertising and PR.

Women in creative? My research using industry data from Red Books shows women make up 27.7% of all creatives in the U.S. and there are just 25.2% women in creative management.

In a survey of 328 women by the 3% Conference, 23% of the women working in advertising reported having personally experienced or witnessed sexual harassment.

The WJS article quotes Susan Credle, global chief creative officer at FCB, “The numbers show it; we have a real problem.”

You think!

So the lawsuit filed, last week, against a male chief executive at J. Walter Thompson for alleged discrimination against a female subordinate should not surprise any of us. Yet, it still does.

Wake up Ad Land.

Jean

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Hermosas Palabras. Beautiful Words.

I am revising the final chapter – the survival chapter – for the fourth edition of Advertising Creative. In this chapter we speak the truth about the challenges women and minority creatives will face in advertising. To do this well, one has to go to the source. So I reached out to my friend Laurence Klinger, EVP Chief Creative Officer at Lapiz. True to who he is, Laurence did not provide me with his words. Rather he reached out to the talented team of creatives who work at Lapiz.

I am humbled by the power, wisdom and beauty of their words.

Embrace your competitive advantage and believe in yourself. When someone asks you where you want to be in 5 years – reach for the stars, not the next level.  ANNETTE FONTE

Women and minorities should speak more and loud! Their opinion always comes with a different perspective and it is normally undermined because of prejudice. GUILLERMO BETANCOURT

Studies have shown time and time again well-sounding advice -“lean in,” “speak up,” or “act like a man” – usually ends up in the same result: harsh consequences for said minority/woman. I think the best thing we can do is get the Quintessential Man in Power to open up his eyes about his own biases and prejudices. INES BELLINA

The game is rigged right now against both minorities and women. There is no way of succeeding in advertising in the same way as a White male. Change begins when we acknowledge how gender roles are fostered in families. KELLI SZYMCZAC

It’s on us, women, to take the lead in voicing our opinions, our dreams and aspirations, as well as, pushing back and questioning the “norm.” ISABELA VILLALOBOS

To prepare for success women and minorities need to learn how to negotiate. NATHALY GAMINO

Your standard of work (and of self-presentation in general) needs to be higher than that of other people. FELIPE DIAZ ARANGO

More exposure of actual or current women and minority creative leaders is essential to grow a new base of leaders. They cannot be what they cannot see. DIEGO FIGUEROA

In order to prepare women for success in leadership, we have to first break down these preconfigured stereotypes. In order to do this, we must promote workplace equality and build the awareness that women are equally capable of performing the role typically assigned to a man. TERESA CUEVAS

Women and minorities in creative need to have more mentors (guides who are willing to aid their development) and sponsors (people in power who are willing to advance their careers). From day one. RENETTA MCCANN

Give women (and minorities) projects to lead and ask them to get creative, that you want to be surprised, and they are the ones to do it. CRISTINA GRIECO
Working together, we are a big number of the population and therefore a real power, a real change. I believe that if women help others, we can change the power structure of our world and expand opportunities for all. LUCILLE GRATACOS

Being self-aware is key. Maybe college should focus a bit more on helping women and minorities find their inner strengths and develop their confidence. ANA MATTA

I hope my class on Gender in Advertising for the Inside/Out and the fourth edition of Advertising Creative begin that process.

Jean

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Creative Women in Peru: Outliers in a Machismo World

photoFor the past two weeks my co-author, Dr. Marta Mensa from Piura University, and I have been crafting a paper highlighting the stories of the Peruvian creative women Marta interviewed. Our research explores relationships with colleagues, chances for advancement, and how creative women balance their professional and personal lives. The results clearly demonstrate that Peruvian creative women, who make up only 3% of all creatives in Peru, are truly outliers in a machismo world.

Like creative men, creative women have little time for life outside of advertising creative. Unlike creative men their personal life is made an issue at work. When asked about her work/life balance one woman responded, “You only ask me about this because I am a woman.” When it comes to the personal lives of creatives there appears to be a double standard. For women, children are a workplace concern. Yet, men are rarely questioned about  children. One woman described the vulnerability women, who might want to become mothers, feel. “When I joined the agency, I realize that two (creative) girls had just been fired. One of them had just given birth and the other had a son. They (male colleagues and creative director) felt that a child was too distracting for creative woman.” In our study all by one women felt having children – or even being married – was not an option if they wanted to work in advertising creative.

StudentsFinding women to talk to was not easy. In fact Marta found only eight creative women willing to be interviewed, as speaking about their struggles was itself risky. Their hesitation is grounded in reality, for creative women are marginalized and often harassed. As one women said, I worked in my first advertising agency and my boss harassed me!… He sent me messages, asked me out on dates, called me into his office to discuss issues that had nothing to do with work, he often told me I looked beautiful…. In some moments, I thought about leaving the agency, but I liked my work.”

The experiences of these creative women suggest that their relationship with males peers is very challenging, indeed. “My creative (male) colleagues tend to segregate me. Sometimes they do not tell me about a new client. When I’m with them they do not share ideas. It’s when I leave when they start to release ideas between themselves. Then I get mad and I confront them.”

Confronting their difficult situation often comes to no avail. Thus, it is no surprise that the average age of the women interviewed was 28 and that the average length of employment was only 3.5 years. Nor is it surprising that chances of promotion are severely truncated for women. One woman described her experience this way, “I felt the most discrimination from the creative director. He did not listen to my comments and always gave more importance to what my male colleagues said.” There comes a point when you just give up and leave. It appears that for Peruvian creative women that point comes sooner rather than later.

A final note. I would like to thank Marta for sharing her wisdom. While here at Marquette she gave seven presentations and a two-hour radio interview – along the way she observed five classes. Her generosity, wisdom and charming wit were gratefully appreciated by all those she touched. Piura University is fortunate to have her.

Adiós y gracias, Marta. Te extrañaremos!

Jean

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Leveraging Global Connections

This summer I presented a comparative study on the under-representation of women in advertising creative departments in the U.S. and Spain at ICORIA (International Conference of Research in Advertising) at the Stockholm School of Economics in Stockholm Sweden. While there I met and interviewed Gustav Martner, Executive Creative Director & Partner, CP+B Europe. I also spoke with, Jessica Bjurstrom, the Chief Executive Officer of the Swedish Advertising Association. My discussions led to the Association sharing a list of 20 top female Swedish female Creative Directors. That list has helped me expand my global research on the under-representation of women in advertising creative department to Sweden. As of now, my collaborative work represents discussions with women in the U.S., Canada, Spain, Italy, Peru and Sweden. This fall, on September 27 in San Francisco, I’ll be presenting my findings to advertising industry professionals at the 3% Conference. Maybe I’ll see you there!

Jean

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