A challenge to male creative directors

An anonymous female creative reveals what it's really like to be a woman working in the Australian advertising industry. It's not pretty.

Hey guys. Look around your creative department. Who’s working on your best briefs? Who do you get along with easily? Who do you bring into the fold?

In 2017, less than a fifth of the creative industry’s top award winners were women, according to The Drum Big Won rankings.

I doubt much has changed in 2018, despite the best efforts of award shows to bring women into judging circles.

Because until women are brought into the fold and given access to good briefs with the same mentoring time that their male counterparts enjoy, they’ll continue to be underrepresented in actual awards and continue to miss out on the accompanying career progression and wage growth.

Guys, I want to tell you what it feels like to be excluded, because it probably hasn’t happened to you.

It feels like you’re at school and all the cool kids are hanging out and ignoring you.

It feels like a tightness in your stomach that makes you want to cry.

It feels like your book is getting worse as your male colleagues’ books get better; like their job prospects and leadership prospects are improving at the same rate as yours are diminishing; like they’ll win more awards and go on more overseas trips and toast each other’s greatness while you stay at home and mind the kids; and like they’ll continue enjoy a wage that’s 23% higher than yours, plus a career with greater longevity.

Guys, I know you think you’re good guys. I’m sure you have wives and daughters and that you totally respect women. But you’re still probably discriminating against the ones in your office.

Maybe we make you nervous.

Maybe you don’t have the same rapport with us that you do with your buddies, and maybe, probably, we don’t drink beer as well.

But unless you can say that you’re bringing as many creative women as you are men into the fold, you’re discriminating against them.

We need to lift women up through their careers so they can enjoy the same natural career progression that their male counterparts do. Anything less—this continual scratching of heads over where the female creatives go—simply buys into the idea that men are naturally more talented than women.

You’re not. You’re just given more opportunities than we are.

Until the day women are invited to compete on a level playing field, we’ll continue to need positive discrimination to make up for the actual discrimination that is still rife.

But what we need more than anything is for you to wake up to the fact that it’s you doing the discriminating.

Please do something about it.


  • Mumbrella has verified the identity and credibility of the writer of this post


Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.