What % of women work in advertising agencies?

missgiggles's picture

i.e. Saatchi and Saatchi etc? Do you work in an advertising agency? How many women make up this industry approximately?

Thomas Phinney's picture

I'm sure that less than 1% of women work in advertising agencies.

But perhaps you're really wondering what percentage of advertising agencies' employees are women?

Cheers,

T

david h's picture

> How many women make up this industry approximately?

50% +- (even more)

Florian Hardwig's picture

Thomas, you made my day.
Did you know? More than 50% of all women are female!

missgiggles's picture

Generally working as creative designers.

dezcom's picture

I would say the majority of working graphic designers are now women. I have no empirical evidence. I have been to numerous design offices and can just say that somewhere along the way in recent years, women seem to have increased in numbers in the field.

ChrisL

HaleyFiege's picture

I think you should be doing your own research for your dissertation.

Shu's picture

There are definitely more women than there used to be working in ad agencies, probably nearing a 50/50 mark. However, it depends on whether or not you are only interested in the design aspect or the company as a whole. I find that Creative Directors are often still men, there tends to be more women Associate Creative Directors, near split in Art Directors and slightly more men in Senior Designer roles. But, beyond design there are predominantly more women in other roles - account managers, traffic managers, HR, etc.

Miss Tiffany's picture

That cuz women kick butt! :^D Seriously, before I moved to San Jose I was working in an agency.

aluminum's picture

"Generally working as creative designers."

Given then only perhaps 10% of designers in ad agencies are creative, I'd say that leaves us with about 5% of employees in ad agencies are female creative designers.

Jackie Frant's picture

By the way of those 50% women, some of them are not women at all --

clauses's picture

Old joke: So how many are working here? About half.

russellm's picture

I think you should be doing your own research for your dissertation.

Isn't asking for your opinion research? :¬)

-=®=-

Miss Tiffany's picture

@Jackie T: Why's that?

@russellm: I'd agree with that a little.

@missgiggles: You could always start calling ad agencies and ask. This would be a great way to get some real numbers.

blank's picture

Isn’t asking for your opinion research? :¬)

Cite enough forums posts in the bibliography and nobody will bother to look them all up!

mili's picture

I do a bit of freelancing at agencies here, and as far as I can tell, women are more in the role of account managers etc or in the production side of things, just as Shu wrote. Very few seem to make it through the glass ceiling to get to the Creative Director or even Art Director level (I really don't know how to call all these jobs, they seem to changing every year!). Those who make it, are often given feminine accounts, such as cosmetics, clothing, maybe travel. Mind you, I used to work with a female art director for a petrol station chain, but even that was more about gardening tools and chocolate than petrol. There seems to be more female copywriters than art directors.
All this is just my gut feeling, no science about it. Ambitious young men get hired and promoted, when young women don't. I suppose the main reason is, that the young man is unlikely to go on maternity leave (here in Finland you can be absent up to about four years and still expect to have a job waiting for you).

Jackie Frant's picture

Miss Tiffany - so many in creative possessions, I hate to generalize it, but have been gay. All my years as a typographer in New York - I had many great contacts with Art Directors, Creative Directors, Jr. Designers, Bullpen Designers, etc. etc. etc. -- and wow, what a great time!

missgiggles's picture

I have emailed about 20 ad agencies and no one has got back to me.

Ricardo Cordoba's picture

What Haley said. And research is not e-mailing 20 ad agencies.

HaleyFiege's picture

Mili, your gut feeling might be right for Finland, but not the rest of the world. I am a girl and an art director in a major canadian agency. My main accounts are General Motors, Microsoft and Nestle. And I'm not an oddity

Missgiggles who are you emailing? Most agencies have a general info email, and they probably won't answer your question because of the trouble you can get in when dealing with gender issues in advertising. Especially if it's a man doing the answering. Research what happened to Neil French. And another reason you probably aren't getting answers is because the general info lines usually go to someone who doesn't work in the creative department.

Phoning is a much better way to get a hold of creative people. If you want I can give you some names of prominent female creative directors who would be willing to maybe answer your questions about women in advertising.

Thomas Phinney's picture

To actually try to answer the question.... My impression is that the majority of students studying graphic design these days are female, and my observation is that the majority of attendees at general graphic design sorts of conferences are female - maybe 60-65%?

Cheers,

T

Ricardo Cordoba's picture

There are industry journals and organizations out there that conduct yearly salary surveys and the like... Hint, hint...

HaleyFiege's picture

Ricardo you're a liar. The only way to get hard facts is to ask other people to guess!

Ricardo Cordoba's picture

Omigosh, Ms. Fiege, you have found me out!

< runs away and hides under a rock >

ChuckGroth's picture

once again, you've amazed me, jackie.

Ricardo Cordoba's picture

Jackie, they may be gay, but they are still women.

Chris G's picture

HaleyFiege, Ricardo, the view must be great up there in your ivory tower...

Jackie Frant's picture

Chuck,

Are you still getting over nipple fonts? I hope you response means in a positive way... I can't take much more in negative statements this year. I think my quota was used up.

Meanwhile Ricardo, yes, a gay male who dresses and feels like a woman will refer to themselves as a woman. But when it comes to choosing a public restroom....

aluminum's picture

"I have emailed about 20 ad agencies and no one has got back to me."

IMHO, ad agencies still don't get the internet. ;o)

I'd suggest calling them directly and ask to speak to an HR rep within the organization who could probably directly assist you with these types of questions.

Do report back...it would be interesting information.

Ricardo Cordoba's picture

Meanwhile Ricardo, yes, a gay male who dresses and feels like a woman will refer to themselves as a woman.

Oh, sorry, Jackie -- I thought you were refering to lesbians! My misinterpretation.

:-/

Nick Shinn's picture

After you have figured out who's going which way, don't forget to adjust your statistics to reflect the overall imbalance of male and female in the population...

And then we can move on to agism--is it true they eat their young in ad agencies, and cast the merely middle-aged into the wilderness?

Ricardo Cordoba's picture

Chris G said... the view must be great up there in your ivory tower

You mean it's delusional to expect students to do their own research rather than to try to get all of the answers on various internet forums? Last I heard, profs still expect the former from their students.

HaleyFiege's picture

Can you image actually living in an ivory tower though? It would be impossible to keep clean.

dezcom's picture

Think of all the poor elephants who be without tusks just to build one?

ChrisL

Norbert Florendo's picture

> Think of all the poor elephants who be without tusks just to build one?

Yes, Chris, but in Alabama the Tuscaloosa!

But seriously folks... I will try to get actual stats from where I work (Mullen.com). We're part of InterPublic, who owns several major agencies.

From current view here at Mullen, I would say women hold 50%-60% of position nearly across the board (except for the "Board"). We do have a couple of managing partners who are female.

dezcom's picture

I was hoping that comment would bring you, Norbert! :-)

ChrisL

Norbert Florendo's picture

It did, Chris.
Nothing better to liven the day than the Marx Brothers or questions from Miss Giggles! ;^)

HaleyFiege's picture

I work at Maclaren MRM Worldwide - part of InterPublic as well!

*technically coworkers high five*

Norbert Florendo's picture

Huzzah! Howdy Haley!

dave bailey's picture

The current Pharma. Ad. firm I'm doing freelance for ( www.hlg.com ) is primarily female in the creative dept. We have two Creative Directors, one is female. 3 Art Directors, two are female. One full time designer, also female and a studio manager, also female. Then there's me!

Oh and Hello! (Seriously need to get back to this board more often.)

Ricardo Cordoba's picture

Norbert, Haley... until July I was at DraftFCB in New York... Also part of -- you guessed it! -- InterPublic. In fact, some of my co-workers from Draft ended up at MRM's NY offices.

Ricardo Cordoba's picture

Haley said... Can you image actually living in an ivory tower though? It would be impossible to keep clean.

Chris said... Think of all the poor elephants who be without tusks just to build one?

Tusk-tusk, we wouldn't want that!

(Sorry, I just couldn't resist.)

Jackie Frant's picture

Okay guys - for my original comment that not all of the 50% women are women - I was referring to the gay GUYS in the offices who do a lot of creative work and consider themselves women. Hope that clears it up. Never knew it could have been interpreted any other way... but hey, these are typed words - not verbally expressed ones.

Meanwhile...
Nick Shinn wrote:
And then we can move on to agism—is it true they eat their young in ad agencies, and cast the merely middle-aged into the wilderness?

I'd just like to add my comment -- growing up with designers in the publishing world this was the case. By 30 they were either made an Art Director and knew that they had found the right house to stay in until retirement -- or they were cast out into the world of freelance only to be seen during occasional lunches or cocktail parties.

I wonder if Ad agencies were the same.

I only worked with one in New York City - it was a trade to trade house - to it wasn't as crazy as the ad agencies selling to the general public. There the art dept. consisted of 4 people. All males - and three of them had the title of Art Director. I still remember the day the Mac computers were delivered...

pattyfab's picture

I’d just like to add my comment — growing up with designers in the publishing world this was the case. By 30 they were either made an Art Director and knew that they had found the right house to stay in until retirement — or they were cast out into the world of freelance only to be seen during occasional lunches or cocktail parties.

Totally disagree. One of the things I like about publishing is that it is NOT youth-quake oriented, and in fact age and experience are appreciated and respected. I was made Art Director at 30 but that was considered very young, and they let me know they felt they were taking a gamble on me cuz of my age (luckily it worked out). Five years later I lost an AD position at another publisher because I was too young. You find designers and editors of all ages working in publishing.

Ehague's picture

I hadn't thought about this until now, but in my two years', three jobs' worth of experience, I've only ever been hired or worked under women. In terms of about 30 close colleagues, my breakdown is 8 male to 21 female. The place I work now is owned by two women and is WBENC certified.

Not a representative sample by any means, I'm sure, but those are my numbers.

Chris G's picture

You mean it’s delusional to expect students to do their own research rather than to try to get all of the answers on various internet forums? Last I heard, profs still expect the former from their students.

Why not canvass opinion from a resource like this? Typophile's members can always be relied on to explore a topic in thought provoking and relevant ways. You have a narrow definition of research.

Norbert, Chris: Getting planning permission for an ivory tower these days is even more of a task than rounding up the elephants ;-)

Chris G's picture

Oh, and for the record:

My place has a design team of 7.

2 junior designers (male), 2 middleweight designers (male), 2 senior designers (female), 1 studio manager (male).

Ricardo Cordoba's picture

Why not canvass opinion from a resource like this? Typophile’s members can always be relied on to explore a topic in thought provoking and relevant ways. You have a narrow definition of research.

Well, Chris, there is nothing inherently wrong with getting opinion from this or any other forum... That's not what I was saying.

< goes back under his rock >

pattyfab's picture

Chris, Ricardo is just observing a pattern... relying on this forum to provide subjective information that can objectively be found elsewhere, through research.

Ricardo Cordoba's picture

Patty, I think Chris has missed my point, which was about laziness. Surely you can see that.

Jackie Frant's picture

Yes Ricardo - I'm sure Patty does and so do many others. Afterall, we are familiar with the helping the creator of this thread with all her school projects in the past. :-)

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