AWARD appoints four female leaders to council

The Australasian Writers and Art Directors Association (AWARD) has appointed four female senior creatives to the AWARD Council.

The announcement:

The Australasian Writers and Art Directors Association (AWARD) has appointed four female senior creatives to the AWARD Council in a progressive move to ensure a greater diversity of gender and experience on its leadership team.

Kara Jenkins (Creative Director at Isobar Australia), Jane Burhop (Co-Founder of Common Ventures), Justine Metcalfe (Creative Partner @ YOLO), and Niccola Phillips (Head of Art at M&C Saatchi) were appointed today following a call for nominations in May which received an impressive list of female leaders put forward.

AWARD’s call for greater gender diversity came as figures released by The Communications Council in May highlighted only 13.5% of those progressing to the levels of Creative Director or Executive Creative Director in 2013 were female – the lowest percentage of any area of the industry, and yet a department which thrives on diversity of talent and creative thinking. With a reflective, male-dominant Council, AWARD’s goal was to trigger positive change from the top.

Reflecting on the level of response, AWARD Chair Mark Harricks said: “We have been absolutely overwhelmed by the support, enthusiasm and calibre of applicants – it is a real testament to the strong commitment that exists within our industry to fostering creative excellence. I am delighted to welcome Kara, Jane, Justine and Niccola to the Council. Their experience and creative thinking will help us shape a new look AWARD into the future.”

The Council has already begun exploring additional ways of promoting diversity in the area of creative, including introducing blind judging to AWARD School assessments as a way of eliminating potential for unconscious bias.

The full Council now comprises 12 industry leaders. The new members will join:

  • Mark Harricks (Chair), The Works Sydney
  • Wilf Sweetland (Deputy Chair), The Sweet Shop
  • Julie Faktor
  • Christian Finucane, Core / 12:20
  • Ian Fowler
  • Chris Gillespie
  • June Laffey, McCann Health
  • Peter Ogden, Dentsu

Source: Communications Council media release


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