The chairman of advertising agency Saatchi and Saatchi, Kevin Roberts has been shown the door for his comments on women in leadership positions.
I don’t think his opinions are mysogenistic, just lacking in facts and figures, and any connection with real people. But that’s advertising for you.
In UK advertising, women make up more than half of junior agency roles, but this drops to 30% for women in leadership positions, according to the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA).
When it comes to those from black or Middle Eastern backgrounds, the numbers are even smaller, accounting for only 13% of agency staff, according to the IPA.
Almost 2,000 Black and Middle East people have left the creative industry since 2009, now they’re just 5.4% of the total workforce.
Overall, women in the creative industry increased from 53,750 in 2009 to 69,590 in 2012. Women represented 36% of the workforce in 2012 compared to 27% in 2009.
Advertising has always been a bit of an elitist industry. But surely it is one of the industries that should be more sensitive to the man and woman on the street.
Without an understanding of their everyday needs and desires, how can they be expected to communicate and ‘sell’ to them.
I’ll be interested to see what happens to Kevin Roberts now after his amazingly naive comments.
Could it be a good thing? Will it open up the advertising industry to more scrutiny about its hiring policy?
Will they ask the question, ‘Could the best man for the job be a woman?’