Suki Thompson: why agency figures are supporting Women's Equality Party

Suki Thompson: the chief executive of Oystercatchers
Suki Thompson: the chief executive of Oystercatchers

A host of senior agency figures have agreed to help create a campaign to promote the party, writes the chief executive and founding partner of Oystercatchers.

In its mission statement, the Women’s Equality Party says: "When women fulfil their potential, everyone benefits. Equality means better politics, a more vibrant economy, a workforce that draws on the talents of the whole population and a society at ease with itself." 

You can’t argue with that.

Inspired and, I must confess, incredibly moved by the reaction to our Diversity debate at our recent Oystercatchers Club evening, here at Oystercatchers we committed to bring real change to business and help people excel no matter who they are or where they come from. As marketers, the ability to nudge behaviour really should be in our DNA.

Where to start? With 32.2 million women in the UK [according to the last Census], and as a woman and mother in business, it seemed natural to look to the fastest growing political party today – one looking to disrupt old politics and change the conversation about one of the key challenges of diversity, gender equality.  

With 45,000 members and supporters on-board since launch last year, the WEP now has over 70 branches. It’s moving the political agenda and is gearing up to run in May’s elections.  In brief, the party is campaigning for equal representation for men and women in Parliament, eradication of the sex industry, and an end to violence against women. But even the most wide-eyed optimist has to acknowledge that constructing a more equal society is a job for the long haul.

Having watched the superb Catherine Mayer, a founder of the WEP, in action at our Diversity event, combining intent, passion and common-sense, we issued a call to arms to the advertising industry to seek natural threads of partnership and help each other create tangible impact for gender equality. And earlier this month, over 20 leaders from some of the UK’s most most-profile agencies joined us at Beak Street to meet with the WEP's leader, Sophie Walker.

As a result of this breakfast, a host of individuals have agreed to develop marketing, communications and social digital strategies and be part of creating a campaign to promote the party, support the local candidates in England, Wales and Scotland and Sophie's candidacy for the London mayoral elections in May.

These include Helen Calcraft, a founding partner at Lucky Generals; Anno Mitchell, the chief strategy officer at Friday; Alex Lubar, the chief executive of McCann London; Cat Davis, the UK and Europe chief growth officer for Cheil UK; Caitlin Ryan, the executive creative director at Cheil London; Dan Shute, the managing partner at Creature; and Stephanie Brimacombe, the group chief marketing officer at VCCP.

If anyone else wants to get involved, please let me know.




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