Happy International Women’s Day – a special day meant to celebrate the cultural, social, economic and political achievements of women.
Too often, this day is ignored or forgotten. But at Ideabar, that’s not the case. Maybe it’s because women outnumber men 2 to 1 in our West Palm Beach office. Maybe it’s because Ideabar’s West Palm Beach director, business development director and creative director are women.
Or maybe it’s because, regardless of sex or gender, we foster inclusivity. We support growth. And we encourage all team members to strive for greatness.
We’re a team of creative cats, research rebels and business gurus who work hard to raise each other up. And it’s made us a stronger and more unified organization because of it. As Malala Yousafzaisaid, “We cannot succeed when half of us are held back.”
According to a 2016 article, “There are no comprehensive numbers quantifying gender disparities in advertising, even if there’s a visible lack of women in senior roles.”
Some studies have found that, until a few years ago, only 3 percent of creative directors were women — a statistic that has increased to about 11 percent today.
However, these numbers are not fully substantiated. And, as Lynn Branigan, President-CEO of Advertising Women of New York, said, “Without data, you really can’t talk about the problem.”
As a research analyst, and as a woman working in this industry, I find this frustrating. Fortunately, there are data around female business leaders as a whole. According to a recent report, women hold 23 percent of leadership positions at U.S. businesses (up from 21 percent the previous year). Women also make up one-third of marketing leadership in the country.
This year’s International Women’s Day theme is #BeBoldForChange.
This means taking bold actions. Challenging bias and inequality. Campaigning against violence. Forging women’s advancement. Celebrating women’s achievement. Championing women’s education.
So, especially on International Women’s Day, I encourage you to think about the ways you’ve been bold for change, or ways you plan on stepping up to the challenge.
This morning, as I drove to work, I reflected on how grateful I am for having so many incredible opportunities throughout my life. I owe them to the men and women who fought for gender equality, and to those who continue to fight for it.
It was an insightful commute, to say the least. I headed to my desk feeling proud to be part of an organization that defies ad agency stereotypes every day, and continues to embrace that which sets us apart.