Gender diversity has become a hot-button marketing industry topic in recent years, with companies and agencies under increased pressure to promote greater inclusivity and equality within their teams. Though the reasoning behind this push could already be justified by common decency and a belief in the greater good, it's also simply smart business.
In this Campaign Asia-Pacific editorial video feature, we provide insights from several leaders in the marketing industry, about not only the importance of gender equality (in both ethical and economic terms) but the specific strategies that agencies and individuals can undertake in order to foster its improvement and acceptance.
Interviewees include Lynn Branigan (She Runs It), Kathryn Jacob (Pearl and Dean), Jane Lin-Baden (Isobar), Vishnu Mohan (Havas Group), and Mainardo de Nardis (OMD Worldwide). Our team was able to speak to them while they were in attendance at the March 2017 Campaign360 event in Hong Kong. During the day-long event, guests from agencies worldwide met to discuss the progress of gender equality so far, and a mandate for future intended policies was signed by several major company heads.
The conclusions reached in the video mirror what is readily apparent from the research on hand. Recent studies have even shown that workplaces without a moderate gender balance can suffer from an unhealthy and overly aggressive atmosphere. Furthermore, companies without mixed teams also run the very real risk of creative stagnation. Lacking a diverse pool of minds to draw upon could lead to agencies failing to reflect or understand the diverse needs and mindsets of prospective audiences.
Despite these obvious benefits and several major leaps forward made in the last 20 years, full gender equality still has a long way to go. Contrary to some rather dubious statements from more skeptical industry figures (Kevin Roberts' gaffe in August 2016 comes to mind), women in the marketing world are still fighting to be treated with the respect and dignity they deserve. Hopefully, the guidance and cooperation of a more enlightened leadership can mean that one day that fight will be able to end.
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