Finally Published ASQ!

Last summer during lockdown I repeated my research with a range of women working in and studying advertising to investigate why we lose so many female students between creative education and creative departments. I compared and contrasted findings with my original 2017 research and it was shocking how little had changed, despite a focus on diversity in the advertising industry over the last 2 years. And the great news is the study was good enough to be published in the latest edition of Advertising and Society Quarterly.

New findings reveal the belief motherhood and a creative career are not compatible due to a lack of visible mothers in industry visits, talks, placements, and media. There were reports that this was a major consideration for many female students and junior creatives, and led to themselves or their peers choosing a different path. This study has also revealed some of the subtle language and behaviors inherent in the male-biased habitus of a creative department, which still covertly reinforce male domination and success in this space. From being referred to as “girls” and “angry lesbians,” to being spoken over in creative reviews, to gaining feedback aimed to reduce assertive behaviors, junior women felt they were being gradually forced to submit or being squeezed out. Informal networks, feedback, and social opportunities were also still in place that were more comfortable for men, and hence aided their career progression as much as it hindered their female peers.

Check out the full article here for free for the next couple of months:

The Lost Girls

Are you teaching on a creative advertising, art or design course in higher education where a significant proportion of your students will be trying to get jobs in UK advertising agency creative departments? Or are you a female student studying one of these courses?

Well there is something you really should know. The make-up of your course is probably at least half female. In fact, women may be in the majority. This would lead you to expect the ratio of men to women working as creatives is pretty equal, right?

Wrong. According to the latest IPA Census, only 30.6% of people working in creative departments in the UK are female. Only 11% of creative directors are women. No other department or discipline in advertising has such an unequal gender ratio. We are losing brilliant female talent.

Studies show a woman will find creative roles harder to get, harder to progress in and harder to stick with than a man. The system isn’t changing quickly, but we can help female graduates be more aware and prepared for the challenges they are likely to face.

On this site, you will find actions you can take and resources you can tap into as an educator or a student. Inform yourself on the issue, prepare yourself for industry and pass it on. Let’s save those Lost Girls.

Please help!
For the first phase of the site I would welcome your feedback. Please post any ideas for improvements or additions you can think of in the comments section below. Let me know how useful you have found the site and its resources. Really appreciate it.

The truth about trying to return to work in advertising after maternity leave

Great Campaign articles written by a creative returning from maternity leave. It discusses 4 day weeks, leaving at 5pm and how our industry makes this difficult. It relates to the perception and reality of poor work life balance and a lack of family friendly policies in advertising.

See more here: