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 Natasha Mudhar, chief executive officer and managing director of Sterling Media.
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?
I find diversity within the workplace fosters an open-thought and collaborative approach to working, which, in turn, encourages creativity, productivity and motivation. Our approach and attitude to our work is built on open-mindedness, and our best successes have been achieved when we call upon the diversity of thought within our own workplace.
How are the conversations around creativity, and specific work/projects, different with a more gender balanced team?
A more gender-balanced team can allow for a greater range of perspectives and vantage points and, as a result, ensures meaningful communications and campaigns that are relevant. This can be incredibly useful for projects such as those focused on raising awareness of social issues.
Having a gender-balanced team helps you to find solutions, address challenges and discover new methods with more a rounded point of view, than would be possible with single perspective. As we always say, we mustn't operate like a horse with blinkers.
What changes around inclusion should the entire industry embrace today?
Meaningful inclusion is often something which is overlooked by many sectors, as diversity quotas often focus on outward physical differences, meaning organisations are losing out on the vast range of cultural and skill-based experiences that a truly diverse team can provide a business.
The entire industry needs to take a more open-minded approach to diversity, which means being willing to employ staff with of all levels of ability – it shouldn’t just be about hiring women or people of a certain race, but rather people of all backgrounds and capacities, based on merit.
With all of the issues women face in the creative sector, what keeps you in the industry?
I have always sought to turn the challenges I have faced into opportunities by focusing on a positive outlook. The biggest motivation for me is working towards an industry where gender equality can only be achieved. I look forward to an industry when everyone is able to access the same opportunities and resources, irrespective of being a woman or a man. It’s not about special rights but having equal rights. That’s why diversity is such an integral part of my company and workplace.
Will greater diversity in the industry ultimately save/grow it?
Greater diversity can only be a positive for the industry. In today’s job market there exists a great deal of underemployed and untapped talent who have yet to be given the opportunity to fulfill their potential.
Embracing diversity will help businesses to access more of this talent and allow the industry to grow as a result. There are no limits to diversity – it encompasses gender, race, ethnicity or age and more, meaning organisations can only benefit from a more diverse approach. A diverse environment enriches an organisation by enabling for an interaction of ideas.
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.