3 Percent

…of all advertising Creative Directors are women.

It’s a shocking number to consider, especially when you know that women make upwards of 80 percent of all consumption choices.

So on 27 September 2012 the amazing Kat Gordon launched the inaugural 3 Percent Conference in San Francisco to explore why. Creative stars like Cindy Gallop, Susan Hoffman, Margaret Johnson, Nancy Hannon, Liz Paradise and a dazzling array of other creative women inspired us all. Check out Will Burn’s Forbes article on “Advertising’s Biggest Problem” and consider the diminishing effect 3 percent has on creative output. It’s big and it’s dark.

I was honored to be one of the speakers presenting: Global Women. Global Perspectives. Looking at the situation across six countries, I believe that the lack of women in creative is not a gender issue and framing it as such minimizes it. It is a business problem that needs solutions. Here are five key findings that my work highlights.

The Train has Left the Station. And it is loaded with far more young women, and they are not going away. It’s time. Not titles. The future status will be time, and money, of course. Take up Space. Women need to seen and heard on the big accounts destined to win awards, and on the judging panels that bestow those awards. Respect and Rewards. Creative women work hard to do great work, and then work harder to prove themselves again, just because they are female, all the while being paid less. Men Hire in Their Own Image. Intentional or unintentional – this is something the industry can no longer ignore.

This is not about just doing the right thing. It is about doing the smart thing. So I say to creative women across the globe and the wise men who champion them: Clients value you. Consumers want you. Society needs you.

Jean

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