It’s International Women’s Day, and what better way to celebrate than to recognise the massive strides that women have made within the Advertising and Digital Industry.

Our industry, more and more, has become a meritocracy. Talent and ability are starting to be rewarded irrespective of gender or ethnicity. As an Irish woman working in media, I bear testimony to that, but at the same time, we still have a way to go.

The representation of women at senior leadership level may be at an all-time high but it remains worryingly low relative to population breakdown. There are several studies across industries that have shown companies with greater equal representation, perform much better.

When you have both male and female voices equally represented at the decision-making table, it allows for a mutually enhancing, stronger, happier & more evolved organization. And, as a result, companies better serve their clients and teams too!

Women are changing the advertising industry in two different but important ways. They are shifting the workplace culture to be more inclusive for underrepresented people and they are changing the advertising that is being produced. Brand messaging, particularly for ads targeted primarily towards women, has become more authentic and effective. Campaigns such as Sport England – This Girl Can, Dove – Real Beauty, and Women’s Aid – Look At Me are all great examples of this.

The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is #BreakTheBias and this is certainly a challenge that all women will have experienced in their careers at some point.

Don’t just be a bystander. We all need to stand together to break the bias. These are social responsibilities for which businesses have a significant role. Governments may set policies, quotas, and targets; but it’s businesses that must make the change.

Simply bringing more chairs to the table, means more voices will be heard.



Collette Symonds



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