Thank you to Roisin Donnelly for speaking out about the lack of females and particularly mothers in creative departments.
I will forever be in debt to my Sainsbury's client who held my head over a bowl during a bout of morning sickness
While this dull rumble has been going on for the last couple of years, and the few of us who are female creative directors have been asked ad nauseum why we think it is the case, I have always thought it depressing how few marketing directors have had an opinion on it, or at least one that they are prepared to give in industry forums.
After all, if clients were more vocal about it, I think you'd see more CEOs and ECDs scrambling around trying to fix it rather than lamely lamenting the situation every year when International Women's Week appears on the calendar and a bit of industry pinkwashing is required.
I have been lucky and most of my career worked with superb female and male CMOs (including Rosin's team at P&G), who haven't cared what my sex was or that I have three children so need to balance my clients' needs with my family's - just that I could deliver a great creative product.
And I will forever be in debt to my Sainsbury's client who held my head over a bowl during a bout of morning sickness and my Eurostar client who endured the sound of a breast milk pump whirring away while on conference calls to Paris.
I have also helped win business because clients have asked for a female creative perspective on their accounts.
So I know it matters to clients, especially the more enlightened ones. There are always the few female clients hankering after a Don Draper seducing them over a martini, or the male clients thinking 'the blonde could be fun to have along on a shoot'. But happily they are few and far between and are literally a dying breed.
But more clients need to speak out and ask their agencies what the ratio of male to female creatives is in the creative department and if below say 30% - suggest more female creatives are hired so there is a gender balance working on their accounts.
There is an extraordinary pool of male and female creative talent in this country. Let's make sure clients get exposure to both. Mothers make brilliant creatives with a unique perspective, so let's make sure clients demands are not making it difficult for them to stay in the game. This matters, not just for feminism, but for brand success and business profitability. Roisin has started it, let's hope others follow.
Caitlin Ryan, group executive creative director, Karmarama.