Excited to have our first piece in The Drum!

Diversity initiative Creative Equals provides two free places on IPA Foundation Certificate course.

Excited to have our first piece of press in The Drum, about our sponsored training initiative – two fab female creatives now have free places on IPA Foundation Course.

Creative Equals, a new advertising industry action plan initiative to create gender diverse creative departments, has provided two free places on the IPA’s Foundation Certificate course, sponsored by Major Players. 

This certificate is usually only open to member agencies, but art directors Ellen Wright and Holly Hunter (pictured), candidates chosen by Scarlett Montanaro and Charlotte Khushi of the Young Creative Council, are now on their way to obtaining one of the industry’s benchmark qualifications.

AnalogFolk, Mr President and JWT are among the agencies already signed up to Creative Equals, which wants agencies to create tangible action plans and pathways for female creative talent.

Ali Hanan, founder of Creative Equals, said: "We plan to provide training, mentoring and support to help more women come into creative departments and stay. We believe - as an industry - we need to pick up young female talent faster."

"Right now, just 14 per cent of London's creative directors are female. This is just one of many tangible things we can do to tackle the lack of female creatives."

And the Huff Post too! Five Statistics That Show Why Young Female Creatives Drop Out of Adland

Scarlett - taking our message to Huffington Post. 


Young Creative Council and Creative Equals noticed that there seems to be an even number of girls and boys in advertising courses, yet few of them make it into the industry. Why are they dropping out before they've even got past the first hurdle? Is it so awful that they turn and run during their first internships?

I don't need to tell you why this is a terrible thing but more women in advertising means more women in the workforce, more women represented fairly in the media and more women going on to become C-Suite, money making superheroes. If they drop out before they've signed their first contract the future looks bleak.

Charlotte Kushi and I, working on behalf of the YCC partnered with Ali Hanan of Creative Equals to release a survey to find out exactly what was causing it. Here's what we found.

1. 88% of young female creative say they lack role models
Without visible role models in the industry, there are few paths to follow. I know this only too well from my own experiences in agencies.

2. 70% of young female creatives have never worked with a female creative director or executive creative director

'With so few mentors within a business, young female creatives aren't given the right skills, advice and tools get their careers on an upward trajectory,' says Charotte Khushi, lead at the Young Creative Council, 'which is why young female creatives need mentors to not only help them but supply a vision of where their careers could lead.'

Creative Equals Ali Hanan takes the message to The Guardian readers

The Young Creative Council (@YC) & Creative Equals (@creativeequal) have been tackling how the ad industry fails women. 

Five facts that show how the advertising industry fails women

Females make 85% of all purchasing decisions, yet are woefully underrepresented in creative jobs in advertising.

Women are the most powerful consumers on the planet, making 85% of all purchasing decisions. Across any sector you can think of – technology, cars, houses, pharmaceuticals – women hold the household purse strings.

In the advertising industry, however, there are very few female creative directors making the adverts that women see. In 2008, just 3.6% of the world’s creative directors were female. Since then it has tripled to 11%; in London, my research shows, the figure is about 14% – still shockingly low.

Unsurprisingly, according to research, 91% of female consumers feel advertisers don’t understand them. Seven in 10 women go further to say they feel “alienated” by advertising. Men overwhelmingly dominate creative departments and their output, which can’t be good for creativity, audiences or the way adland solves business issues.

I know this firsthand, having worked as a creative director in the industry for 15 years. Over that time female representation in creative departments has barely changed: I can the count the female executive creative directors I know on my fingers. That’s why I founded Creative Equals, an initiative to provide more pathways to critical leadership roles for female creatives, by tackling culture change with charters for industry, recruitment and agencies.

To discover how the lack of female creative leads affects young women coming into the industry, we put out a survey with the Young Creative Council, an organisation supporting young creatives coming into the industry. The results say it all.

1) 88% of young female creatives say they lack role models

If you flick through the industry magazines you’ll see very few senior female faces. We’re asking award shows to consider split-gender judging panels, diverse speakers and to make sure images in the press are consciously diverse. This month, two of the industry’s organisations, Creative Circle and the British Interactive Media Association have signed up to these pledges.