Drugi jezik na kojem je dostupan ovaj članak: Bosnian
Working in the advertising industry for me is a way of life, and the fact that Alert, an independent agency that I founded in my early 30’s, and which I’ve been running for more than 13 years, became a respectable agency that has spread to the entire region, is a confirmation for every woman in this industry that with their work, focus and continuous learning they can achieve every professional goal that they set for themselves.
Even more so given the fact that I made my first agency steps under the leadership of a woman in the agency Ogilvy and Mather, in an era when advertising scene was still growing, so I learned the trade through all agency positions – from junior to director of strategic planning.
It is a great honor for me to be part of the Woman.Comm Conference – not only professionally, but also personally.
I often point out to our clients that according to research, women make 85% of all purchase decisions within any sector you can think of – from home appliances, through technology, food, cars and so on… Women are the ones who “pull the strings”. However, very few women are in top positions.
According to available data, in 2008 only 3.6% of creative directors in the world were women. Since then, that number has tripled, but the percentage of 14% still doesn’t impress, and is rather still shockingly low.
In contrast, 91% of women consider that the advertisers don’t understand them – that they address them with wrong messages.
I wonder why!
I’ve been working in this industry for 18 years now, and from personal experience I can say – and you can figure it out on your own – that you can count the women in leadership positions in agencies on the fingers of your hands, especially in the region and in the full service agencies.
Why is this conference important?
First of all, in order to encourage as many women as possible to enter the industry, to fight for the position they deserve and to make progress. In order to do that, they need to have role models.
As I write this article and rewind the movie in my head, from the very beginning I had the good fortune to meet and work with extraordinary professional women, each of whom has left a mark on my career – not only with their professional knowledge, but also with the wit and wisdom that you need to successfully swim in these predominantly ‘male waters’, and at the same time remain who you are without compromising your values and everything that is important to you outside the office environment.
In terms of attracting young talent, our industry is very attractive because of its “diversity”, its dynamics, its width and the people you work with. As time goes on, all these things become the drawback of this industry, so when it comes to retaining talented women in this business, they slowly give up, especially when they start a family. This job becomes too dynamic, too intense, and tight deadlines become the shackles that imprison them and hinder in establishing life balance, which today is almost impossible to achieve without certain sacrifices.
This job, along with formal education, excellent knowledge of communication and communication tools, also demands openness, breadth, curiosity, general culture and knowledge from various fields – not to even mention the need for ongoing work on oneself and constant education, as well as self-discipline.
To have mentors and role models in other women who will inspire and motivate is therefore very, very important. Just like this conference that will put the spotlight on them. And we, women who have managed to get to the top positions in agencies, have the responsibility to create an environment that will help others to cope with these challenges.
My personal view is that people for leadership positions must be chosen according to their abilities and experience, and not by gender. However, from personal experience, I know that it is also important that the capacities of women – who are by nature less inclined to show off their achievements and promote them – be recognized and rewarded in order for them to have an equal footing.
I am pleased that the world’s most important advertising festival, the festival in Cannes, this year paid attention to this same issue, so this year their juries are made by 43% women, which is twice as much compared to 2012.
Colleen Decourcy, creative director of one of the world’s most successful agencies, Wieden + Kennedy, and Jury President in Cannes Cyber Lion this year, last week said that ten years ago there were usually one or two women in the juries, and in 9 out of 10 cases these were women from media agencies who, because of the large traffic in these agencies, are usually perceived as more successful, which is completely irrational criteria and standard within our industry when it comes to the evaluation of any agency.
To promote women in the male dominated advertising industry is therefore a great thing for our industry and our region, and kudos to Media Marketing on this initiative.
We at Alert believe that creativity and diversity are the driving forces of any successful business, positive change and all that is good in general. And that means the inclusion of women in leadership positions, which we show by example and the percentage of women within our agency.
To work in the advertising industry is a great privilege. It’s not only about achieving business results of your clients, but also having the power to change the world.
Being part of the Woman.Comm Conference is one of those most beautiful parts of our profession, and I hope that women at all levels of our industry will get involved in it en masse!