“Things can only get better, but unless we do something, they won’t.”
When it comes to purchasing power, EY predicts that by 2028, 80% of all discretionary spend will lie in the hands of women. It’s therefore more important than ever that advertising & media industry gets to grips with its gender diversity problem. And there is still a problem.
In summer 2016, we partnered with Advertising Week to carry out original research to better understand the career paths of men and women in advertising. The findings were pretty sobering. One year on, in September 2017, has the industry done enough? We asked 250+ executives from the US advertising industry for their view.
On Monday 25th September Foresight Factory’s CEO & Co-Owner Meabh Quoirin will be joined on stage at Advertising Week New York by we will be joined by Rebecca Mahony from Media iQ, Sarah Wood of Unruly, Inga Stenta from Reebok and Heidi Anderson from LinkedIn to discuss the findings of this year’s survey and a 360 view of Female Pressures & Opportunities.
How has our panel of female leaders succeeded in brushing gender inequality aside in their working lives? What can the advertising, creative & media industries learn from their stories? What does the data each of these women’s businesses have tell us about female purchasing power, tastes and cultural preferences? In the context of other Foresight Factory analysis of global consumers, which tells us 68% worldwide are more likely to buy from a brand that reflects them, is advertising doing enough to appeal to an empowered consumer who’s likely to also be female? Do women recognise themselves and their lives in the media they consume? Is a significant rethink in the name of gender equality now essential? We need look no further than Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty makeup line which caters to women of all colours and became the fastest brand to gain 1 million followers on Instagram to understand the the potential rewards of getting it right, or Ariel’s Share The Load campaign. And conversely that Pepsi advert for getting it wrong.
An age of precariousness
While netizens love to be dramatic, gender diversity is a particularly poignant sentiment against the current political backdrop. As the smoke cleared on #WomensMarchOnWashington, so did the emergence of a new reality: that it’s now up to certain industries and individuals to herald positive change.
During our discussion last fall, we asked “what holds women back from being promoted in the media, advertising and marketing industry?” and “workplace sexism” scored 53%, compared to “confidence” at 33%. If the very industries responsible for driving consumer intent and purchase aren’t flag bearers for gender equality within their own walls, are they best-placed to emanate and reflect twenty-first cultural reality without?
We’d love to see you either in-person or on the live stream at our session. You can also join in the conversation on Twitter @futurethoughts #FFdiversity #AWNewYork
Female Pressures & Opportunities: A 360 View Monday 25th of September Advertising Week New York Bing Stage