Marketing Agencies Slowly Evolve Toward Equality
At Britton Marketing & Design Group, we don’t have female creative directors. Well, let me explain. We have creative directors who are female. We do something crazy and refer to our creative directors as “creative directors.” The fact that they are female is significant only because we are a female-centric organization. We proudly tout that we understand women.
Sadly, marketing agencies as a whole don’t share our vision in regard to creative directors who are female. The results of the 2013 Communication Arts Advertising Annual are a good example. On AdWeek.com, Noreen O’Leary pointed out that “female creative directors accounted for more than 11 percent of all award winners compared to less than 4 percent in 2004.”
That’s good news, yes? Well, yeeeeeeees, but there is another side to the story. O’Leary wrote, “Three women served as judges for CA’s latest Advertising Annual, out of a total of nine — the same proportion as in 2004.” So it’s sort of a good-news-not-so-good-news story.
But one thing to keep in mind is that awards are not the definitive gauges for indicating equality in the world of creative directors. O’Leary explained, “While the CA winners are an industry indicator, the 3% Conference said that the ad business needs a better benchmark because the annual awards issue may not include the contributions of freelance female creative directors, in-house CDs, digital CDs, design directors, experience design directors, creative technologists, PR CDs and motion graphics CDs. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics does not measure ‘creative director’ as a job title, so there’s no official yardstick to measure gender breakout.”