Marketing to Women: Start with Female Creative Leaders

There has been a lot of focus on the representation of women in certain careers, in particular STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields. While some of those stats are dire—engineering only has 13% and computer and mathematical sciences only has 25% female representation, while only 7.2% of mechanical and 8.3% of electrical and electronics engineers are women—there are some industries that fair even worse. The creative industry is one.

When Kat Gordon started the 3% Conference back in 2010, women represented only 3% of all U.S. Creative Directors. Her first conference was held in 2012, and since that time the number of Creative Directors has increased to 11%. While this is a large increase, it’s still not enough progress when one considers that women represent almost 50% of full time workers and that women have significant purchasing power, which these creative leaders are trying to influence. Learn more at 3% Conference >

This past week, BBDO, one of the world’s largest advertising agencies, is showing that it is trying to contribute to this improvement in ranks, naming its first female Chief Creative Officer, Robin Fitzgerald, to its Atlanta office. It’s the first appointment in hopefully more announcements to come from the holding company Omnicom, which has a push to increase female leadership in its creative departments. Read more at Adweek >

Other female creatives are wanting to support each other in this quest. Based in London, Otegha Uwagba, who worked at agencies but then went out on her own, is starting a women’s community called Women Who to create a supportive network for women in the creative industry. Read more at Fast Company >

To make continued progress on this front, it will take these types of concerted efforts both from women taking a stand themselves to companies finally acknowledging the downsides to having little female representation in their leadership ranks and putting in place programs to shift the balance. With intention, we hope to see 11% jump to 25% in just a few short years.

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