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 Melissa Ditson, Executive Creative Director at 360i Europe.
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 not acceptable to not have diverse creative teams anymore. I’m amazed when I hear stories of agencies that are still living this stereotype.
Without diverse teams, you’re only getting a tiny view of the world and can’t expect to create work that will make sense to the rest of it.
We’re doing some important work for the men’s mental health charity CALM launching on International Men’s Day and it’s critical that we recruit women and men to support this cause. Gender issues are everyone’s issues, and that goes for men’s issues too.
We just launched our first Facebook AR effect to promote TSB’s sponsorship of the Pride of Britain awards. We needed to think through a different kind of AR user behaviour and experience. We couldn’t have done this effectively without a diverse team.
How are the conversations around creativity, and specific work/projects, different with a more gender-balanced team?
There is always healthy debate amongst our creative team around the work. As well as having diverse individuals we also have diverse skillsets with creative technologists, content managers and traditional creatives on every brief. It’s good to mix things up and necessary in today’s digital landscape.
What changes around inclusion should the entire industry embrace today?
We need to stop talking about inclusion and just start doing it.
Speeding this up can also be helped by rolling out agency-wide unconscious bias training. Everyone can learn and benefit from this kind of training.
With all of the issues women face in the creative sector, what keeps you in the industry?
I want to prove everyone wrong and be an inspiration to my two-year-old daughter when she grows up.
Will greater diversity in the industry ultimately save/grow it?
Greater diversity in the industry, in my opinion, is one of the few things that might save it.
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.