The digital ad industry seems to be waking up to the need to take action to promote a more equal workplace for people of all gender, with the topic frequently addressed at industry events and in trade publications. With the problem now acknowledged by most in the industry, what proactive steps can be taken to create a more inclusive environment for women working in TV and video advertising? VAN asked senior figures from across the industry to suggest positive actions they’d like to see taken.
Many industries are facing the equality challenge – but it certainly becomes more acute when you add technology into the mix and the TV industry is becoming increasingly technology focussed.
Tech companies have struggled with diverse workforces for many years which has recently been well documented by Emily Chang in her book, ‘Brotopia’. She clearly depicts the Silicon Valley approach of male dominated and “geek” focussed hiring policies in engineering teams and the celebration of male “rockstar CEOs”.
To me this is nonsense, we need to ensure that this core group are represented properly both inside the industry, as well as on-screen. Advertisers have much more power than they realise in creating this change.
I’d encourage brands to review their ads and their ad development processes to see how they really reflect their initial messaging; are the females in the ad accurately represented? Or do they play up to outdated stereotypes? The ultimate goal here is not to repeat this review process, but to normalise gender equality.
I would also hope that the TV and video advertising industry embraces female leadership – in the UK we have Dame Carolyn McCall leading ITV and Alex Mahon leading Channel 4 – this is a great start and let’s hope it changes the industry positively for more female leadership at the top and throughout the business.
We need more action. I for one want to see the industry represent the society we live in, not some alternative reality.
This article originally appeared on Video Ad News.
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