CANNES – The IPA and the 4A’s today co-hosted a panel discussion with agency leaders on how to recruit, retain and develop female talent in creative departments.
The topics of gender equality in the ad business and how women are portrayed in advertising are getting their share of attention here at the Festival of Creativity during a weeklong, jam-packed agenda.
Madonna Badger kicked it off on Monday, delivery a stirring presentation at the Palais, followed by a number of conversations at the Girl’s Lounge and, for the sixth year, the IPG Women’s Breakfast, among others.
4A’s CEO Nancy Hill and Paul Bainsfair, head of the IPA, opened the “World Wise Women in Creativity” panel by reiterating the importance of evolving the status quo and their commitment to pushing the industry to change.
Moderated by Tom Knox, IPA President, the panel featured Lauren Connolly, EVP, Executive Creative Director, BBDO New York, Tamara Ingram, CEO Worldwide, J Walter Thompson, Becky McOwen-Banks, CD, FCB Inferno & Co-founder of Creative Equals and Kate Stanners, Global CCO, Saatchi & Saatchi.
Stanners said her agency saw success by putting two female creatives in charge of recruiting so “that successful, female creatives is the first thing (candidates) see.” Others commented on the need to change the composition of award juries.
Connelly said she believes there is still some stereotypical behavior in terms of “wanting to put female teams on beauty or hair” accounts and the need to push back against that.
McOwen spoke of her agency’s unconscious bias training and how it’s making a difference in hiring practices. After training, she said, some people are “quite shocked” by their own perceptions.
Marketers also need to play a role, said Ingram, who stated, “clients have to be much more responsible for the images of women we put in advertising.”