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16 Mar 10:00 GMT / 06:00 EST

The Drum Digital Transformation Festival launch

Gordon Young
Editor-in-chief at The Drum

Creative Equals advocates gender equality with business leadership school

Creative Equals advocate gender equality with business leadership school

Creative Equals, a body dedicated toward promoting diversity in the workplace, has launched a leadership school to offer support, training and mentorship for women in the ad industry to help advance their managerial careers.

Creative Equals/Business is being driven by founder Ali Hanan to advocate greater gender equality in the industry and will be led by Helen James, managing director of Crispin Porter + Bogusky London.

Alongside James and Hanan, steering group members of Creative Equals Business include: Desiree Lopez, chief executive, Flamingo; Priya Matadeen, general manager, Dazed; Ete Davies, managing director, Analogue Folk London; Richard Lawson, managing director of FCB Inferno; Ian Crocombe, regional head of creative Shop, Facebook; Stephen Woodford, chief executive, Advertising Association; Jo Hagger Royce, leadership consultant; Tina Fegent, marketing procurement specialist.

The launch is set against a background of a continued skew in senior positions towards men, with a recent IPA Diversity Survey finding that just 30.9% of C-suite roles at UK ad agencies are held by women – well short of the IPA’s target of achieving 40% by 2020.

James commented: “Business understanding has never truly had the platform it deserves within the creative industry. With the continuing low percentage of women in management roles, it feels particularly relevant to focus on developing their hard business skills, as they challenge the industry’s glass ceiling.”

Among the mentors already signed up for the program is The Drum’s own assistant editor, Sonoo Singh.

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