Post Cannes Comedown: What we can learn, #IPA #4As & World wise women

  • Ali Hanan

Creative Equals partner and FCB Inferno CD Becky McOwen-Banks was honoured to be asked to share a stage with a rather fabulous line-up: Tamara Ingram (CEO Worldwide, J Walter Thompson), Lauren Connolly (EVP, Executive Creative Director), BBDO New York, Nancy Hill (President and CEO, 4A’s), Kate Stanners (Global CCO, Saatchi & Saatchi) and the lovely Tom Knox (IPA President & Chairman MullenLowe). Definately the minnow on the plinth!

As Becky says: We were asked to discuss many aspects and tips to help agencies tackling diversity, which after a bit of mulling over I thought might be worth sharing - so here are my top 5:

Improving the number of females in creative departments is not a simple thing – we can’t invent more women at the top and there simply aren’t enough of us up there at the moment.
So Tip 1 - Be visible.
Ensure the women we have are more visible - that agencies take the opportunities for their female creative leaders to feature in the press, in photos, on awards panels, accepting speaking engagements – getting out there. Challenging industry magazines to up their female face quota. It’s not about self promotion – it’s about showing others and more junior women that there is a path to the top.

Tip 2 – Be fair
This crosses everything from briefs to pay. Ensure that the women in the department aren’t put on ‘girl briefs’ but get a fair crack at all client work and have the opportunity to stretch their creative muscles. This results in more creative work across the board – and also stops girls being railroaded into being beauty/fashion/health/charity/children issues specialists through no fault of their own.

Tip 3 — Give structure 
Ensure that your department knows where they are in their career path and what they need to do to get to the next level. This clarity provides a vision for the future for those that may not have the confidence to simply plow on.

Tip 4 – Give time
Take time to allocate a sponsor or mentor within your agency to the girls you have. This doesn’t need to be female, just someone who can catch up each month and get the view from the shop floor as well as offer advice and experience.

Tip 5 – It’s not a women’s issue, it’s a business issue.
Get everyone on-board. More diverse departments create better creative, which is ultimately better for business. No minority has ever changed the status quo – we need the majority championing the way. Talk to all senior creative leaders, managers – anyone who recruits people in to the agency. Communicate the issue and convince them of the need for change. The evil good men do is to do nothing. Build a team of game-changers.
Thanks again to @The_IPA @IPA_Pres!
Published 12/07/2016 by Creative Equals