In a continuing drive for greater diversity and inclusion in marketing and advertising, a new feature by The Drum highlights conversations with top creative women in the industry.
All were nominated for The Drum’s global Woman of the Year award at The Drum Creative Awards, sponsored by Facebook, One Minute Briefs and in partnership with Creative Equals. The award is designed to push equality boundaries within the creative industry to spark discussion and action.
From icons and pioneers to prominent creative directors and designers, we asked each of them how diversity creates better work, the positive changes the industry can make, what keeps these creatives going in an ever-changing world and how greater diversity can grow the business.
This series will reveal more of The Drum's Creative Women over the next few weeks.
Today, we speak to Clarisse Fenart, corporate communications, PR & reputation management of Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group.
From your experience and point of view, how does a more diverse creative team create better work? What have been some examples of that in action?
Creativity is about problem solving and creating something that has not been done before; so a more diverse team will bring different sensibilities and references to be able to suggest more diverse solutions to the creative problem.
Great art and creative campaigns offer something personal and universal at the same time. Therefore, for creative work to be relevant to people today, and offer something of value, it needs a more diverse team to bring the essence of representation that makes a population.
In addition, when you have a team of diverse people, with different backgrounds and cultures; you will always learn or discover something new and you extend the possibilities for creativity.
How are the conversations around creativity, and specific work/projects, different with a more gender-balanced team?
At the most basic human level, gender equality is important to ensure that work is representative of a population. Work should not ignore or devalue the lives and experiences of half of the population. How can a creative team add value to a project (and society) if they don’t even understand the needs and desires of their target population?
We’ve all seen the latest backlash against the ‘bro-culture’ coming out of the technology industry. If you work in a company that is not gender-balanced, you will not even notice that despite efforts on the surface to promote a balanced workforce and leadership, equality will not be present. Most of the appointments and promotion will be reserved for one side of the population.
Having both men and women in a team will add at least two perspectives, rather than one, which makes things much more interesting! If you are aware of the issue, and understand the other perspective, it will motivate you to try to change and improve the situation.
What changes around inclusion should the entire industry embrace today?
First, we need awareness about inclusion of people from different genders, backgrounds and cultures. I’m convinced that women and men with totally different backgrounds and cultures have huge value to add, but we have to understand the biases that prevent inclusion.
In a globalised world, creativity can’t be limited to only some genders, cultures and geographic backgrounds. Inspiration comes from everywhere and everywhere.
With all of the issues women face in the creative sector, what keeps you in the industry?
I am at the beginning of my journey and my career as a creative person; but I hope that I will find a creative path in a professional world that promotes gender equality and wider diversity.
Although I see a lot of men in leadership roles in agencies, I work mostly with women. This encourages me to believe that the industry is also for women.
Creativity is not a question of gender; it is mostly a question of character, passion and courage.
Will greater diversity in the industry ultimately save/grow it?
Creativity spans so many industries, in so many ways. By essence, creativity is diversity! So I absolutely believe that greater diversity will evolve and grow the creative industry.
Updated: Since this piece went live, it has come to The Drum's attention that Fenart has nowleft the business.
The Drum Creative Awards puts creativity back in the spotlight and flies the flag for creativity during the digital revolution. These global awards are open to advertising agencies, design consultancies, digital agencies, production companies, marketing agencies, PR and more.
To register your interest for 2018, go to the event website.
This years awards were sponsored by: Facebook Creative Shop and One Minute Brief and partnered with: Creative Equals.