As part of its Hearst Empowering Women initiative Hearts Magazines UK has launched a project to highlight the lack of women creatives in the ad industry.
At a launch event in Cannes attended by female creatives and marketers and chaired by Marketing Week editor Ruth Mortimer the discussion focused on how working practices can be changed to help women join and remain in the creative industries.
Charity Charity, a former Saatchi & Saatchi global creative director, said that brand owners needed to insist that their agency initiate a conversation about female insight with the creative director. This will only benefit the brand and help the agency improve its offerings.
Other advice included removing any physical walls that contain the creative department so “lad culture” cannot prevail and encouraging women at “the entry level” that the workplace is flexible and will accommodate time out for having a family.
The arrival of millennials in the workplace will play a large role in changing attitudes because their expectations are very different in the hours they are willing to give up to the job and the time they would like for personal projects.
Angie Hill, general manager of Skype audience marketing, said: “We have a lot of millennials and a 50/50 gender split. We are figuring out how to allow millennials to work best. We talk to them early and say they have a place and we are still here if they go to have a family.”
Kathleen Saxton, founder of recruitment agency specialising in senior roles The Lighthouse Company, said women needed to be helped building their sense of confidence about their leadership potential from an early age and needed to focus on the things they are good at in job interviews rather than the things they can’t do.
Hearst is launching a competition inviting all female UK creatives of all experience levels to submit to a campaign called Empowered Women. The winning creative will appear across all Hearst UK’s properties next year and details can be found at www.empowering.hearst.co.uk