Women of Tomorrow 2016: Let’s #ChangeTheStats

Achieving gender equality continues to be a big issue, globally and across industries, and advertising is no exception. Hanson Search has teamed up with the IPA and Campaign Magazine, along with Google, Sky Media, Lida and M&C Saatchi, in support of the Women of Tomorrow Awards 2016. The awards are designed to find the female leaders of the future, champion exceptional female talent, and shine a light on the staggering gender differences still prevalent in the industry.

These differences are exposed in this film by the IPA, which debuted at the awards’ launch in November. The film reveals uncomfortable statistics: 74% of agency chiefs are men; women only apply for jobs they feel 100% ready for while men go for jobs when they feel 60% ready; and women are paid an average £12,000 less than men nationally.

Our industry is better at putting women into board-level positions than businesses generally. But those who do make it are often portrayed as ‘superwomen’ – making it more daunting for those following in their footsteps to imagine themselves in their roles.

women of tomorrow 2016

So what is holding women back? There are a number of factors. Many women suffer from ‘imposter syndrome’, leading to a lack of self-belief. Women are often penalized, or considered bossy, when they assert themselves. In general, women ask for around £5-7K less than their male counterparts when negotiating a salary. And studies show that women’s reluctance to negotiate for higher pay has to do with the real “social cost” that it has on them. When reading the social environment, women accurately perceive that “self-advocating would present a socially difficult situation for them – more so than for men.”

Even in this day and age, while it is rarely verbalized, women of childbearing age are often passed over for promotion in favour of male colleagues who won’t need to take time off to raise a family. And when women do take time off to have a child, they often experience a knock in confidence, making it harder to go back to work or to negotiate a good deal on their return.

We need to do more to close the gender gap in the creative industries – to empower women to rise through the ranks without having to navigate an obstacle course along the way.

To help in this mission, I am proud that Hanson Search is sponsoring the Women of Tomorrow Awards 2016. We’re calling on everyone across the industry to identify themselves, or colleagues, and help us recognise and champion the exceptional female talent working for agencies, media owners or client companies.

The awards highlight the great work by women in the middle echelons of management – the next generation of leaders. The Women of Tomorrow Awards enable women to demonstrate their potential and their brilliant contributions to the advertising industry. By supporting these women now, we aim to build an arsenal of female talent rising to the executive level.

We are looking for entrants from the mid-to-senior level of company structures, who demonstrate exceptional leadership qualities. Past winners have stood out by showcasing excellence in their roles, courage, creativity, and leadership potential. Women like Vicki Maguire at Grey who won multiple awards and helped save lives with her 2012 ad featuring Vinnie Jones for the British Heart Foundation, and Shelina Janmohamed at Ogilvy Noor who helped found the world’s first specialist consultancy for building brands with Muslim consumers.

The deadline for entries is 18:00 (GMT) Friday 15th January 2016. Winners will be announced on International Women’s Day in March. Apply now


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This article was written by

Alice Weightman

Alice is a talent expert with over 20 years of experience working in the recruitment industry. As Founder and CEO of Hanson Search, Alice has met with over 3000 individuals globally - helping them transform their careers - and she's gained a reputation as one of the leading search professionals in senior appointments across strategic communications. She was named 'Entrepreneur of the Year' by the FSB London Business Awards in 2016.

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