The Gender Diversity Working Group, powered by The Communications Council, has launched three industry work streams, which over the coming months will develop a set of practical tools to assist organisations’ management in securing a gender balanced workforce.
Action comes following months of research into the issue of gender diversity within the marketing communications industry, including recent findings revealing that 74% of women claimed they have been treated differently in the workplace because of their gender.1
Spokesperson for the group, Lorraine Jokovic, who will be leading one of the work streams, said: ‘While there are many contributing factors to this perception of inequality, this figure is alarmingly high – particularly when on closer inspection, almost a quarter of respondents put this down to crude sexist remarks and references to appearance (24%), 21 per cent to being paid less than men, and more than one in five stated it was due to a lack of respect, not being valued, appreciated or taken seriously (22%).”
Using the findings as a starting point, a range of agency representatives, including Brandon Bisnette (The Monkeys), Elizabeth Clerke (Ogilvy), Michelle Hutton (Edelman), Suzanne Acteson (Buchanan Group), and Suzie Shaw (Host), will join work stream leaders including Chair of the Gender Diversity Working Group, Alex Allwood (Holla Agency), Lorraine Jokovic (LOUD) and Margaret Zabel (The Communications Council) in exploring three key problem areas which have been highlighted as presenting the main obstacles facing females when it comes to retention and promotion at senior levels; ‘culture, client demands and flexible work practices’, ‘CEO awareness and building people-centricity in the agency model’, and ‘career, ambitions and leadership’.
With these titles as guide, the three work streams will assess those methods and approaches that have been successful in other industries and businesses in achieving a balanced workforce, drawing recommendations that can be applied to those businesses within the marketing communications field.
Towards the beginning of August, the group will present their findings to the national board before releasing to the wider community.