The World's Most Creative Women: Becky McOwen-Banks, FCB Inferno

Becky McOwen-Banks, creative director at FCB Inferno

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.

Leading into the new year, this series will reveal more of The Drum's global Woman of the Year award nominees.

Today we speak to Becky McOwen-Banks, creative director at FCB Inferno.

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?

We all know the workings – bringing people together from differing backgrounds and experiences mean that you have more creative tools in your collective arsenal. A greater understanding of how people tick and what motivates can only make our work better and more effective. This particularly came into play in a big way on the Uefa women work – ultimately adding a voice of ‘why’ to the conversation and pushing the creative to a much better, more expansive place.

How are the conversations around creativity, and specific work/projects, different with a more gender balanced team?

There simply is more conversation: more chat, more questioning, more investigation – potentially less agreement but more areas covered and more exciting answers produced. People coming from different life experiences and discovering together where the similarities lie.

What changes around inclusion should the entire industry embrace today?

Accept that women exist. Accept that women are creative successes. Accept that women make business better. Accept that diversity is anything but boring.

With all of the issues women face in the creative sector, what keeps you in the industry?

Ha! What a question! I love this industry and just don’t think there is another like it. Being paid to solve problems large and small, for clients here and around the world, with the added potential for rosé – I love it. And also what is the alternative? It’s an industry I was absorbed by since teenage years — one that I’ve trained for and one I work bloody hard to create answers that make a difference.

Why should I skulk off? That’s not my style.

I’m not a kitting-around-the-kitchen-table sort of a person. The industry has to change and WILL change – be it unbelievably slooooowwwwwwwwwwlllllyyyyyyyyy. I stay because we are finally seeing brilliant women being celebrated and feel I have a duty to show girls of all ages that this fabulous, crazy, fulfilling industry is absolutely for them

Will greater diversity in the industry ultimately save/grow it?

Greater diversity in leadership teams has been proven to make businesses more profitable. Greater diversity in creative teams has been proven to produce more effective creative. The combination of leaders that represent the world we live in – to steer the ship with an attitude we can all be proud of; and teams of people who understand more aspects of our diverse world has to be a powerful force. It is our only answer in this super-fast changing world.

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.

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