This article first appeared in LBB Online
When it comes to writing about creative talent in Australia, the topic comes with an intrinsic elephant in the room. ‘Where are all the women?’
With recent industry events causing huge stirs in the conversations surrounding gender diversity, there’s a spotlight on the Australian market. The ratio of senior female creatives to male creatives continues to be the most gender-imbalanced in Australian creative agencies.
The term ‘boys’ club’ tends to get thrown around when it comes to Australia, but as much as it’s a catchy descriptive that industry journalists can use to draw attention to inequalities, I feel in the same instance it also detracts from the amazing creative work that comes out of Australia by women.
There are some hugely talented creatives paving the way in Australia’s agencies and their work speaks for itself, regardless of gender. I caught up with Ellen Fromm, Copywriter from GPY&R Melbourne, on her best work, how she’d like to describe the industry they work in and where she’d like to see it go.
Labels perpetuate issues. Continuously calling Australian agencies a ‘boys club’ will only make people believe that’s what it is.
I never want to be in the situation where I feel like I’ve been hired because I’m a woman. Screw quotas, I only want to be hired for my folio!
Straight after university, Bella Caruso and I interviewed at almost every agency in Melbourne and I lost count of how many times someone said, “it would be nice to have some girls around”. I think most people are aware there’s a gender imbalance. We don’t need more light on the issue, we just need to do something about it. Oh and while we’re at it, let’s become more culturally diverse too!
I can’t tell you why less women make it into the senior creative roles. It’s definitely not because we’re any less talented. From what I’ve seen though, by the time you have the experience to become a Creative Director, you’re often at the point of your life where you want to start a family. I’m honestly not sure what the answer to that is, but better paid paternity leave would be a start.
Of course the situation will be radically different in 10 years. Golly, we might even have equal pay by then. Haha but seriously, there are so many talented women in the industry at the moment who will make amazing CDs, ECDs and CCOs. We just need the ‘boys club’ to retire so we can move on up…
I’m most proud of our work for Melanoma Patients Australia and our recent brand campaign for The Lost Dogs’ Home. It’s pretty incredible that I’ve been able to use my skills to make a positive difference. I might not be able to find a cure for cancer but I can write creepy messages on people’s Instagram photos and hopefully prevent them from getting skin cancer in the first place.