It was a memorable moment: six industry leaders standing before a huge audience, signing their names to a mandate that committed their companies to change, for good, for women.
Campaign’s Mandate for Change, signed on March 22, 2017, had four clear aims, each based on an insight from a groundbreaking survey on gender equality carried out by Campaign and Kantar last year.
The survey, which polled 630 media and marketing professionals, identified that women in the marcomms industry in Asia still have less access to opportunities, because of both unconscious bias and perception: while men believe they are judged on what they have done, women feel they are more judged on who they are. The survey also found that agencies provide a better experience in terms of gender diversity than brands or tech companies. 73 percent of people in agencies said women and men were equally respected by top management, versus just 56 percent in non-agency companies.
In the 12 months since the mandate was created and signed on the back of these findings, we have made regular check-ins with the companies involved to determine the pace and effectiveness of the changes they are making. All report that the mandate has moved the needle on their awareness of the issues surrounding gender equality, and we have heard encouraging accounts of new initiatives, training programmes, mentor pairings and policies that suggest progress for women and equality in Asia's adland is gathering momentum.
But today—in celebration of International Women’s Day—we want to ask again what you, our readers, feel has changed for you and in your workplace. The last 12 months have been momentous in many ways for the gender equality movement, with #MeToo going viral around the world (despite facing notable backlashes in Asia) and with demonstrations, fashion shows, ad campaigns and, most recently, the Oscars, all tackling diversity head on.
Campaign and Kantar are therefore proud to launch our second survey on gender equality, which you can find at this link. The survey is open to both men and women across the marketing, advertising, media and communications industry in Asia, and the results will be announced at the conference preceeding the Women Leading Change Awards in Singapore on May 31 (see bottom of page for details).
This new survey covers many of the themes that led to the creation of the Mandate for Change, including flexible working, mentorship and motivation to lead, so that we can assess the progress - or lack of it - that you feel has been achieved over the last 12 months.
In recognition of the global conversation building around sexual harassment in workplaces, which Cindy Gallop has been bringing into perspective in the marcomms industry in recent months, we have also included a section to poll your views around inappropriate behavior at work. (Please remember that the survey is completely anonymous and your name and company cannot be traced.)
We very much look forward to hearing your thoughts and sharing the results in a few months time.
The aims of Campaign’s Mandate for Change
The six signatories to the 2017 mandate were Nick Waters (Dentsu Aegis Media), Cheuk Chiang (Omnicom Media Group), Angela Ryan (GroupM), Vishnu Mohan (Havas Media), Leigh Terry (IPG Mediabrands) and Gerry Boyle (Publicis Media), all of whom agreed to take positive action on at least one of the below points.
The first aim was to encourage the agencies to develop a plan for action, promoting awareness of gender equality among both men and women, after our survey discovered that just 31% of organisations had proposals in place around gender equality.
The second was to give managers training around flexible work arrangements, including how best to incorporate these into agency life - and to seek to develop new ways of implementing these plans. Both men and women, found our survey, rated ‘flexible schedule’ as the second most important action they would like to see their company take to improve equality, falling only marginally behind ‘development opportunities’.
Providing for these opportunities makes up the third tenet of the Mandate, which calls for senior executives in local offices to personally mentor and coach a person or a successor of the opposite sex. Leading from the front is crucial in this instance, our survey found, with one female respondent spelling out the problem in black and white: “Opportunities for career advancement are equal enough until you reach the very top levels of executive management where there are more men and there is an underlying ‘old boys’ network that feeds into the recommendation and mentoring process that result in the same types of people (mainly white males) getting more opportunities for the top jobs.”
Our survey revealed that equal pay for equal performance remained a goal, not a reality. The final billing on the mandate, therefore, called for the agencies to conduct pay audits within their organisations to understand the scale and differentiation in pay.
Nominate now for the 2018 Women Leading Change Awards
The results of this year's survey on gender equality will be announced at this year's Women Leading Change Awards, a celebration of female changemakers, rising stars and creative talent in Asia's marcomms industry.
To find out more about nominating someone for this year's awards, including eligibility, entry fee, supporting materials and the judging process, download the 2018 entry kit.
Enter here before the deadlines below.
Ticket sales for the awards ceremony in Singapore will commence from Thursday, 3 May, and will be sold on a first-come-first-served basis.
Join Campaign's Women Leading Change Community Circle
We would like to invite interested parties to join Campaign's Women Leading Change Community Circle on LinkedIn. This is a networking group to bring together men and women from the advertising, marketing and media industry in Asia, who want to help drive more discussions and initiatives about diversity, inclusion and gender equality in the workplace.