Ad-women.com has launched. Because gender equality in advertising needs help. It’s a global register of female talent linked to the advertising industry. Behind the initiative are the two creators Lina Franzon and Johanna Johansson, who intend to create a more equal advertising industry.
The initiative began in the autumn of 2016, when the two friends and former colleagues launched the Swedish precursor, Kreatörskvinnor. They received very positive response and requests to scale up the project globally and include more titles. With the help of a Kickstart campaign, the backing of twenty agencies and 145 individuals, ad-women.com is now ready to provide the industry with female candidates for any position – and women with role models proving that anything is possible.
“To us, that has always been an important part of the project, since women have always been a minority amongst the creatives at the agencies we’ve worked at and female CEOs were something rare as we entered the industry,” explained Lina Franzon. “Today it’s finally beginning to change in Sweden but looking at it from a global perspective, men still dominate the highest paid positions.”
While research shows a clear correlation between equality and profitability, the gender pay gap in the largest groups, Omnicom, WPP, IPG and Havas, show a lack of enthusiasm for equality. In last year’s figures, there was a mean pay gap stretching from 20.4% (IPG) to 30.2% (Omnicom). And WPP’s latest gender pay gap report, presented last week, brought some really depressing figures. While the average pay gap had shrunk from 25.5% to 23.7%, the median gap had increased from 14.6% to 14.9%.
“If our industry keeps up with its excluding culture, women might steer clear deciding this industry is not for them and that would be an incredible loss. Since we know women to be in charge of a majority of the purchase decisions our industry must be able to communicate with and understand them,” stated Johanna Johansson.
l-r: Lina Franzon and Johanna Johansson, Johanna’s 5 month old daughter, Niki. Photo by Vanessa Tryde.
As of today, the register consists out of three hundred women spread all over the world. With the launch now fully-fledged, the duo hopes for that number to explode and the list of included titles to stretch from full stack developer and content manager to account director and directors. Any woman with a connection to the advertising industry can join by creating a profile on the site, free of charge of course.
“Our main goal is to highlight female talent in our industry and provide it with new opportunities. While all women in the register aren’t looking for a new placement, their presence might result in a job offer enabling them to put pressure on their employers and renegotiate their salary or position for the better. And one by one they will shrink the depressing pay gap we see today,” Franzon noted.
Using the search function is free for registered users and the register is searchable by country, experience and title. For those who want to, it’s also possible to support the initiative with a small sum each month that will be used to improve and develop the tool further.
Register and search for female talents here.