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 Fara Warner, vice president of custom content at Dow Jones.
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?
A more diverse team offers more insights and experiences than would come from a less diverse team. In action, this means that — for writers and editors — it gives us access to bigger 'Rolodex' of sources, so we quote from and gain insight from a more diverse group of people.
For video and photography, it helps us make certain we show diversity in the programs we create. For instance, when we source talent for programs, we make certain we look for diversity and that shows in the work we create for our clients. It also helps us help our clients so they are reflecting the more diverse population we have in the United States, and of course, globally.
How are the conversations around creativity, and specific work/projects, different with a more gender balanced team?
I think the conversations are deeper, more diverse and resonate with a broader audience when we have a gender-balanced team. For example, when we are working on programs for the financial sector, a more gender-balanced team will bring the insight and perspective from how women think about money and investments, not simply for the traditional male point of view.
What changes around inclusion should the entire industry embrace today?
Hire for diversity. Be aware of your own unconscious bias. The best advice I've heard on unconscious bias is this: look at your direct reports - if they look like you, have the same experiences, the same education, and social-economic position, you may have unconscious bias.
With all of the issues women face in the creative sector, what keeps you in the industry?
I love the work. There is nothing more fun for me than being on set for a video shoot or working closely with our editors and writers. I also consider it important for senior women in this industry to sponsor and mentor other women in the industry.
Will greater diversity in the industry ultimately save/grow it?
I'm not certain the industry needs saved, but we certainly need to keep growing our business. I do think that more diversity leads to more possibility of winning more business and doing great work.
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.