Originally published: July 20, 2017
New research by Refinery29, National Geographic and IPG provided fresh insights into women’s lack of representation in advertising. Refinery29’s senior vice-president of client services and strategy Hallie Johnston says this should concern us all.
Having spent the past 20 years working at ad agencies where I was often one of the few women in any room I entered, it’s no secret to me that the majority of executives are men. This remains true despite all the calls to action from internal and external groups, from Cindy Gallop to the 4As, to change this. And while the needle has been moved slightly for women, it remains largely unchanged for women of color.
Coming from a less than diverse background I was thrilled when IPG approached Refinery29 to partner with National Geographic to conduct research that would shed light on the many ways there are to experience womanhood and the various aspects of identity that play a role in individual experiences. Our objective was multi-pronged – we wanted to look specifically at how identity plays into how women see themselves and interact with the world; the impact of intersectionality and identity in the workplace and media/advertising; and explore the complex nuances that women of color face in their daily lives.