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‘Concepts + Cailíní’ Launches on International Women’s Day


Female creatives from Dublin agencies united for open discussion and creative collaboration for International Women's Day

‘Concepts + Cailíní’ Launches on International Women’s Day

Females fill only 36% of creative departments in Ireland and only a handful of those have made it to creative director roles. This is not new news but we’re getting pretty bored of it. So together, the women of advertising have decided to take action.

A collective of female creatives from Dublin’s ad agencies have come together to show support for each other, in what is a challenging and male-dominated industry. Launched on International Women’s Day, ‘Concepts + Cailíní’ has formed to prompt; open discussion, informal mentoring and creative collaboration.

After returning to Ireland in Summer 2019 after years of working in London, senior copywriter Aoife McCleary (In The Company of Huskies) was surprised by the lack of female creatives in agencies. With art director Zoë Higgins (Havas), they decided to form the collective to tackle this on-going issue.

The talent and skills are available, with many women studying creative subjects, but there are so few working full-time in the industry. There is a need for a space especially for female creatives to get together and celebrate each other’s achievements and feel supported by their peers. Self-doubt can be a creative killer and that’s why we embrace open chats, where experiences can be shared and advice can be given. Some ‘Concepts + Cailíní' members are the only woman in their entire department.

‘Apart from the fortunate few who get to work with the likes of Jen Speirs and Carol Lambert, many art directors and copywriters have nobody to look up to in terms of female creative leaders in the workplace. So in the absence of this, we want to become cheerleaders for each other. Doubt can be a huge killer, so we hope the extra support will help keep everyone in the industry, and ultimately make sure more of us progress to CD roles,’ says Aoife McCleary.

Zoë Higgins adds: ‘While it’s still very early days, there’s been huge interest in the group and there are over thirty women involved from loads of different agencies. There are some amazing initiatives already out there to support female creatives, but I think the fact that the collective is so informal and friendly is a big draw. There’s no pressure on anyone to be in work-mode. And already, we’ve seen the group support some members with big career decisions. I’m excited to see what’s ahead for us.’

So instead of being competitive, we’re complimentary. We are celebrating each other’s achievements and encourage pride in our accomplishments. In the absence of female leadership, we are going to be our own role models. We are forming this collective to support and encourage each other. We will be our own role models, support each other and create the next generation of female CDs.

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The Institute Of Advertising Practitioners In Ireland, Tue, 17 Mar 2020 17:24:59 GMT