Comms Council forms anti-sexism body

Jokovic and Allwood

The Communications Council has launched a committee to tackle sexism in the industry.

The launch follows figures from the Comms Council that found that not a single woman in Australia is either a chairman, CEO, MD or creative director of a network agency.

The Gender Diversity Group will be chaired by Alex Allwood of The Holla Agency.

The group’s spokesperson and CEO of LOUD Lorraine Jokovic said in a statement: “As an industry we’ve been aware of a lack of female presence in top positions for a long time. However the business case for the advancement of women in the marketing communications industry is increasingly becoming clear. Our group operates from the belief that gender diversity in business translates into tangible economic benefits. In addition, we take the view that that more broadly, diversity leads to a greater range of perspectives, consideration of new ideas and thinking and is therefore essential for businesses in the commercial creative sector to thrive.”

The news comes 18 months after the Comms Council responded to criticism for being male dominated and Sydney centric by appointing two women – Leo Burnett Melbourne boss Melinda Geertz and former Happy Soldier parter and now Pacific Brands marketer Lindsey Evans – to its board.

Margaret Zabel, recently installed as CEO of the Comms Council following the mysterious ousting of Daniel Leesong, noted: “Our experience at the Communications Council is that there is widespread interest and energy from both women and men, to galvanise around the cause of gender diversity. Certainly from our Board’s perspective this initiative is necessary and timely, with a real desire to support and enable practical initiatives that will enhance agency culture in our industry. We hope to see buy-in from all senior stakeholders, as research has repeatedly shown that support from senior management is the key for gender diversity programs to be successful.”

Comms Council chairman Anthony Freedman added: “Women in leadership is simply good business. Attracting and retaining female talent will help us be more creative and competitive and ultimately deliver better work to our clients. However, change will only be achieved if the importance of diversity is broadly understood and supported. With this initiative we hope better understand how we can assist industry leaders drive change.”


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



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