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The World's Most Creative Women: Caroline Pay, co-CCO, Grey London


By The Drum | Editorial

December 9, 2017 | 5 min read

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.

Caroline Pay

Caroline Pay, Co-CCO at Grey London

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.

Today, we share the thoughts of Caroline Pay, co-chief creative officer at Grey London. This series will reveal more of The Drum's Creative Women over the left fortnight.

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?

It’s proven that a more diverse team delivers a more diverse output. [It's] common sense, really. The rub comes when agencies employ a broad and diverse talent base, yet treat them all the same. The best, and most exciting example of that in action was the experience, the output and findings from the Great British Diversity Experiment.

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

I think as the traditional creative team evolves, the conversations become more interesting, more fruitful. But I’m just not talking girl/boy here, I’m talking creative technologists and digital designers paired up with screenwriters and stand-up comedians — different skills PLUS different backgrounds.

But I am concerned when our conceptual thinking is expected to be different simply because we are women. It may just be different because of our personalities, experiences, upbringing, but not just because of our gender!

What changes around inclusion should the entire industry embrace today? Where do we start?

It needs to be happening at both ends of the spectrum — getting back into each of our own schools to inspire the kids of today to join our industry, but also shining a light on role models at the very top of the industry in the spirit of ‘see it be it.' I’ve never had a female boss — I’d have loved one!

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

My ambition keeps me in the industry — knowing my best work is yet to come. The amazing people. The impossible challenges to solve. The fact that every day is completely different. And most of all, the chance to learn about something new all the time.

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

Of course it will grow it. There are only so many white middle class men in the world!

Saving it is another matter, but having a more diverse workforce can only be a good thing. It’s forcing our industry to step up, sharpen up. And there are still people that don’t like it and are resistant, but one-by-one they are being found out and losing jobs, losing status, losing power. New and different people bring new and different ways of thinking, working and making.

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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