The ADC launches ‘Let’s Make the Industry 50/50 Initiative’

The initiative, which launches in Canada this week, asks associations to be gender-equal when picking event speakers, award show juries and boards of directors.
50/50 intiative.  Let's make the industry 50/50 with 131 women of advertising

The New York-based Art Directors Club (ADC) says it’s time to address the lack of female professionals in senior creative positions.

The organization believes there’s a wealth of qualified women in the creative industry, and to prove this, it’s launching the “Let’s Make the Industry 50/50 Initiative” along with a soon-to-be-released online directory of talented women in the business.

The ADC will officially launch the initiative in Canada on Wednesday, Oct. 30, at The Hoxton in Toronto, with keynote speakers Janet Kestin and Nancy Vonk of Swim addressing a sold-out crowd that evening.

The initiative is inviting companies and associations to set a goal of equal representation and participation from both women and men in award show juries, boards of directors, event panels and speaker lineups. Companies that participate are granted the rights to use the ADC-developed International Badge of Recognition in their print materials, website and press releases.

Strategy magazine has signed the pledge to be gender equal, alongside Applied Arts, the Clios, Bessies and 3% Conference. And according to the website, 358 individual advertising creatives across Canada and the U.S. have also vowed to support the initiative.

The advertising industry has come under an increased amount of fire over the dearth of female in senior positions. The 3% Conference, for example, began to directly address the fact that only 3% of creative directors in the U.S. are women. In the U.K., women make up 24% of executive or managing director roles at agencies. No firm numbers exist in Canada, but a count of strategy‘s creative report card reveals that women only make up 14% of the 300+ names listed.