As we take time this week to celebrate International Women’s Day, our team at adHOME is both celebrating and reflecting on what it means for us at this point in history. Women are speaking out through the media, standing up to express their views, inspiring audiences to motivate for change in order to pave the way to the future we’ve been fighting for. And while there’s still a long way to go, this year feels different.
In the advertising industry, only 11% of all Creative Directors are female (an increase from 3% in 2012) – so perhaps that’s what makes our agency different too. We are one of the few advertising agencies across Canada that can proudly say that we have a strong, creative woman at the top. An agency with both female and male ownership, motivating our team with equally strong and compassionate voices. Leading by example in so many ways…every day.
Walking around our office, you’ll find women working in every single department (another exception in the marketing world) including designing, programming, digital marketing, client management, accounting, creative direction and strategy. Women play significant roles everywhere on our team. It’s part of our culture, it’s who we are and we’re incredibly proud of it.
Understanding the value of equality and the power of female influence is something we could all benefit from thinking about just a little bit more. And for marketers, it’s incredibly important. It’s a known fact that women are the most powerful consumers, representing over 80% of all consumer purchasing through a combination of power and influence. That’s huge! And for years, this fact has gone completely unnoticed in a variety of markets.
You’d be surprised to learn that women are key influencers in the auto industry (influencing up to 80% of all car purchases), tech industry (attributed to over 60% of all electronics purchases), and financial services too – industries that are typically viewed as male-dominated.
The thing is, women create a multiplier effect. They are individuals, but they are also caregivers for children, elderly and their partners. This creates multiple markets, each with their own unique needs and personas, within one influencer.
More importantly, it is the impact of a female voice within our industry that influences the teams and cultures that create ads in the first place. If we want our future to be filled with female brand leaders, it’s critical that we look inside of our organizations and form tribes that are filled with women and men alike.
Owners, managers, CEOs, designers, programmers…the list goes on. It’s time to start owning creative and marketing messages, starting with the teams that produce them – bringing women to the forefront where they can provide honest input and direct marketing into the future.
Reports from around the world have shown that women can be more effective leaders than their male counterparts. And while there’s no doubt that there’s value in male leadership as well, they can never truly see the world through a woman’s eyes. This makes it incredibly important for women to have a place in leadership roles, providing insights and authority behind their voices.
The timing seems right for a cultural shift that elevates more women to these positions. We’ve taken it upon ourselves to stand up and be proud of who we are as an agency. A team that thrives by allowing both men and women’s voices to be heard and by providing equal recognition and opportunities for everyone.
So today, while we empower the strong, beautiful women in our lives, we need to think about the actions we can take to move forward every day. Supporting the intelligent, insightful women around us and acknowledging their invaluable contributions. Treating each other as equals and appreciating the value we ALL bring to the table.