This International Women’s Day, women in the creative industry are taking stock and making a stand about the unequal impact of the the Covid-19 pandemic. A series of lockdowns and school closures have exposed systemic sexism. Working mothers are 47% more likely to lose their jobs during the pandemic, and are alsp more likely to be furloughed and their hours have been cut back 50% more. Women currently in their 30s will likely never know pay equality in their working lives
The film features 38 prominent women from the design and creative industries who want to use their platforms to fight for working women.
Rebecca says she was inspired to create the campaign having interviewed many women about the challenges they’ve faced this year. “Listening to my podcast guests and the women at events I was running throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, it was clear how extremely tough this year has been on women. As a ‘lockdown baby’ mum myself, contemplating going back to work and my daughter’s future, I couldn’t sit idly by. I wrote this manifesto to create a new conversation around the gender pay gap, to dismantle damaging stereotypes and make womens’ careers more visible in the public eye. This is only the beginning and I hope to empower many women in the year to come by giving them a platform to share their stories through This Way Up”.
Laura Jordan Bambach - President & Chief Creative Officer at Grey London and Co-Founder of SheSays – says that the backslide on progress made in years past was an important motivating factor for getting involved.
“COVID has hit men and women unequally in the workplace, and the growth of opportunities and equality that once seemed unstoppable has gone backwards, fast. That’s why I was proud to lend my voice to this brilliant campaign,” says says.
Vicki Maguire, CCO at Havas London, says that she has a deep sense of frustration. Covid hasn’t created inequalities out of thin air, it has exposed the industry’s failures to make meaningful change despite years of lip service.
“To quote a banner that’s been kicking around women’s marches since the early ‘60s, ‘I can’t believe we’re still protesting this shit’,” she says. “We’ve all seen what this pandemic has done to lives, families, and economies.. This film highlights what it is doing to equality and careers. Every woman on this film, in your agencies, studios and beyond is saying let’s stop playing lip service and start to sort out our own industry.”
Caitlin Ryan, Director EMEA of Facebook Creative Shop, says that while the pandemic has had a toxic impact on women’s careers, the experience of working from home has also presented a potential solution. “My hope for the industry is that kindness is seen, not as a weakness, but a corporate strength,” she says.
The aim of the ‘We are Not a Stereotype’ film is to create greater awareness of the unique challenges women experience, as well as highlight the impact of gender inequality in the workplace and drive this subject back on the agenda. Other women are also being encouraged to share their own story of how they have experienced discrimination in the workplace, using a specially designed Instagram filter that replicates the look of the film. Rebecca hopes that these stories can provide comfort to women at all stages of their careers, showing that not only have others faced the same challenges, they have come through them.
Furthermore, Rebecca is pledging to feature 100 leading creative women on her This Way Up podcast and via its Instagram Stories before IWD 2022. Women are invited to get involved by visiting @thiswayuppodcast on Instagram.
Full List of Contributors
Debbie Millman - American writer, educator, artist, curator, and designer who is best known as the host of the podcast Design Matters
Pip Jamieson - CEO & Founder of the Dots
Vicki Maguire - Chief creative Officer Havas
Caitlin Ryan - Director EMEA Facebook creative shop
Nishma Robb - Marketing Director at Google
Laura Jordan Bambach -President & Chief Creative Officer at Grey London, Co-Founder of SheSays
Sereena Abbassi - Inclusion and diversity consultant
Jade Tomlin - Group Creative Director AKQA
Mylene Sylvestre - Publishing Director at Guardian News & Media and co-Founder of the Women of Colour Global Network
Victoria Brooks - Strategy Consultant | Strategic Advisor & Trustee @Bloom UK
Nana Bempah - Founder of Pocc (@wearepocc) | Executive Producer
Shannie Mears - Co‑Founder & Head of Talent The Elephant Room
Nicola Kemp - Editorial Director for Creative brief
Victoria Buchanan – Executive Creative Director tribal DDB
Carina White - Co-Founder Black Mums Upfront, Senior Influencer Talent Manager at RAPP
Rebecca Rowntree - Creative Director and founder of This Way Up
Emma Gardner - Co-Founder at Born Equal Consults | Accessibility Advisor
Lizi Hamer - Regional Creative Director Octagon
Kate Goodrum - Investor Relations Executive
Anna Urik - Photographer & Filmmaker
Cicely Ryder-Belson - Project Coordinator at Arts 4 Dementia
Dvora - Fashion Photographer
Pippa Bhatt - Founding Partner of MADAM & Coterie
Tasha Cronin - Head of Interactive Production at Droga5 New York
Joyce Kremer - Creative and president of Shesays organisation
Isobel Watkins - Editorial Assistant at DesignMyNight
Susannah Coe - Development Director
Alicia Cordell - Producer at This Way Up
Melissa Wong - Social creative / Social creative for Shesays
Nelta Kasparian - Creative Content Coordinator Mad Cow Films
Una Cottrell - Founder and MD at Authentic . Podcast Founder and Creator 45Not.Out
Rebecca Duncan - Graphic Designer
Carmen Stacey - Creative Director - StayCarm
Haseena Farid - Co-Founder of the Women of Colour Global Network
Tea Uglow - Creative Director Google Australia |Transgender activist
Ilaria Guerra - Fashion and Print Designer
Zoe Moncaster - Freelance Graphic Designer (IG @zoebydesign)
Jennifer Hayashi - Senior Graphic Designer, We Are Social