By Fou Brown, IAA UK VP of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging
Celebrating the achievements of women and focusing on challenging gender stereotypes as well as the status quo of pay and opportunities afforded to women is one hundred percent what we should do [LOVE]… but having it boil down to one day, one week or month then deprioritised until the next time we’ve orbited the sun is part of the problem [LOATHE].
In the months since IWD it has been reported that the gender pay gap has widened within the UK – with the advertising industry being 60% higher than the rest of the economy. Women are still a minority at the executive level with C-suite representation at just 3% across our 500 largest companies, and there have been more shocking revelations regarding the prevalence of sexual harassment of men against women in our industry.
We cannot sit idly by.
My belief is that we need to continue to highlight and discuss the challenges to gender equality even after International Women’s day, and to make commitments within our own circles and organisations to work towards improvement.
That is why across July and August the IAA UK in partnership with Seedtag will be delivering a program called “Hear Her Voice”. This will feature the voices of our IAA UK committee and membership sharing their view of the world as a woman in the advertising industry.
We’ll be covering the representation of women in front of and behind the camera, women and body diversity, perspectives from women of colour, career acceleration, gender and ageism and motherhood in media. It is a first part of an ongoing agenda to drive gender equality.
Excitingly, we are also launching our first annual spotlight – the IAA UK 21 Women of 2021, Women Who Empower Awards, recognising incredible women within the UK advertising industry that are pioneering ways forward for other women to succeed and thrive.
Our aim is only to inform, inspire change and celebrate. And my dear hope is that you will tune in, share, discuss and hopefully add your own voice in support of the stories you will see from us over the weeks to come.
Friday 6th August 2021