Right now, according to the Government Equalities Office, there are 1.9+ million women in the UK who aren’t working for caring reasons – a large number of which have professional experience. #CreativeComeback seeks to put creatives that have been out of the workforce back into work, and Wavemaker UK is one of 36 agencies partnering with Creative Equals, Facebook, D&AD and Diageo, to support 47 women this year.
Last week saw the first class of the Creative Equals #CreativeComeback returners scheme come together to work in teams on a live brief from Diageo, honing their skills with a mentor at a number of agencies including Wavemaker UK. This came following an extensive selection process which saw 196 applicants narrowed down to 47, and intensive training to bring them back up to speed on the industry. On March 14th they took part in a speed-dating event where the founding partners, including Wavemaker, were able to meet 121 with the candidates with the view to discussing possible opportunities.
Creative Equals initially set up the scheme as a way to address a significant gender imbalance in the creative industries. Only 12-16% of creative directors are women, and there’s an industry pay gap of 45%. With over 1.9 million women in the UK not working for caring reasons (according to the Government Equalities Office) and many with professional experience that would like to return to work, Creative Equals and its partners saw opportunity in investing in this large talent pool with a programme to address the barriers which stand in their way.
Wavemaker UK hosted the #CreativeComeback sessions, which saw Dame Cilla Snowball,the former group chairman and group chief executive of Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, call on the industry to back the #CreativeComeback returners scheme.
Snowball said: “We’re always moaning about the glacial pace of diversity progress in our industry and country – that it is all too slow, that nothing has changed, that we’re tired of trying to get our voices heard. Well, today we have shown what a ‘trisector’ approach can do in three years, when government, industry and charity work together to help women and drive change. This is fast-track diversity at its best. Never let it be said again that the dial can’t be shifted quickly.”
She added: “The catalytic effect of this – from idea to strategic priority to policy, to funding to sponsorship to action – is testament to just how much you can do when good people work together to turn words into deeds.”