Tuesday, June 19, 2018
  • Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2016
4A's Study Finds Discrimination Against Women In Ad Industry Is Prevalent
Nancy Hill, 4A's president and CEO
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In a survey which included some 375 of its female members, the 4A’s (American Association of Advertising Agencies) reported that more than half of those respondents had experienced sexual harassment at least once.

The women also shared that there have been at least a few times when they have not received desired assignments or promotions because of discrimination (33%) and that there have been times when they were not included in making decisions that they should have been included in because of discrimination (42%).

When asked to what extent they feel potentially vulnerable to discrimination at work in the advertising industry, more than half of the respondents said their gender made them feel either somewhat vulnerable (39%) or very vulnerable (15%), higher than any other attribute in the survey.

And almost two-thirds of respondents either agree somewhat (40%) or agree totally (19%) that there were times when they personally experienced discrimination without recognizing it--only now do they see it was discrimination.

Nancy Hill, president and CEO of the 4A’s, said that to properly address these issues, she challenges agencies to do the following for starters:

•”As I mentioned at this year’s Transformation conference,” related Hill, “we must start at the top, with each CEO appointing himself or herself the chief diversity officer. Until there’s better representation of gender, ethnicity and sexual orientation in an organization’s upper echelon, awareness and change are going to be harder to come by.”

•”Take a cue from Kate Stanners at Saatchi & Saatchi, and encourage young women to pursue leadership positions.”

• And "follow the example of several IPG agencies and begin unconscious bias training, and perhaps implement a blind résumé practice to eliminate any gender or ethnicity identifiers from résumés; this will help level set our hiring practices.”

Hill added that the 4A’s would release more data from its research during Advertising Week (Sept. 26-30) in New York. This additional info will center on how women are portrayed in advertising and the impact it has on our society.