How Our Industry Can Better Support Women In The Workplace

From Member Cassandra Sinclair, President, North America Pharma, Grey Group

Due to the economic downfall, we are facing the world’s first-ever “She-session” – the first time in history a recession is impacting women’s jobs more than men’s. That said, what is your advice to the industry to better support women today?

As a female leader in the Health and Wellness space, I see the She-session impact as even greater than economic. The overall decline in women’s mental and physical health globally is directly correlated to the social and economic impact of the pandemic which disproportionally affects women due to the shoulder of burden of parenting and other caregiving responsibilities. Data shows that the pandemic has amplified responsibilities for working moms who are 1.5 times more likely to report additional 3 hours a day on domestic ‘chores’ – essentially another part-time job.

Even with a vaccine roll out in full swing, companies need to prioritize efforts to support women in staying in the workforce.  Some ideas could include:

  • Adjust industry thinking around work flexibility
  • Elevate female role models
  • Ensure there are male champions
  • Embrace and integrate broader care responsibilities in the workplace

Do you have any internal initiatives or other ways in which your company champions women in the industry? 

  • In 2020, Grey increased their female staff in North America to 66% of our total population with women accounting for 55% of senior roles (VP and above).
  • In the US Grey conducted an annual Gender Pay Equity Audit in 2020 and will be extending to POC.
  • Grey has placed a number of women in key leadership positions in AMEA and now have women (creative and business leaders) running many of our largest/most profitable markets in the region, including Japan, India, Thailand, Malaysia, South Africa, Pakistan, and more.
  • Grey’s strong female leadership team as well as cohesive and inclusive culture were cited as reasons behind our being awarded the Asia Pacific Regional Agency Best Culture Award @ Campaign Asia AOY Awards 2020.

Can you share an example that highlights how the advertising industry is making progress around gender equality in the workforce?

The continued work of the 3% Conference comes to mind. They are the advertising industry’s leading voice for gender equality. 3% teamed with Grey to launch “The Progress Brief” program; we were the first agency network to include 3% Movement-approved diversity language in its creative brief. Female Quotient and She Runs It are fabulous at disrupting the conversation around pay equity and female leadership – and I’m a huge fan of both powerhouse agents for change.

Why is it so important to hire, promote and retain female leadership within our industry?

Diversity and global mindedness are integral to Grey’s DNA. And we know multicultural voices and different perspectives inspire creativity and drive innovation. That’s why Grey always strives to promote diversity in our business by seeking out candidates from diverse and underrepresented groups within the industry. Our clients and their consumer base demand nothing less than accurate representation in the work and it starts with a resolute dedication to having a diversity of voices in the room each step of the way, from day one.