Good Ideas Have No Genitals (But Creative Directors Do)

Every year, Advertising Age publishes a special report (and subsequent ceremonial luncheon) called Women to Watch that highlights the great work being done by women in the fields of advertising, marketing, PR, and social media. Apparently, because they are super-organized market-y type people, Ad Age also sends a question in advance to each of the honorees that they then answer in front of the group at the ceremonial luncheon. This year, the question posed was “Why do there continue to be so few female creative directors at ad agencies?”

Here is Tiffany Kosel of Crispin Porter & Bugusky with her answer:

While Kosel’s answer is pretty wishy-washy (just, you know, be women and the workplace discrimination will take care of itself), it still seems like a move in the right direction that this issue is being addressed in a public forum full of influential players in the ad world. After all, in the Mad Men era Kosel references (btw, is everyone in the world obsessed with Mad Men?) this discussion wouldn’t have been allowed to take place. (For the Mad Men obsessees: Can you imagine Roger Sterling hosting a forum wherein Peggy and Joan stood up in front of the company and gave their thoughts as to how Sterling Cooper could improve gender equality in the workplace? No way.)

What did you think of Kosel’s ideas? Do you have any of your own to add?

by Kelsey Wallace
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Kelsey Wallace is an editor in Portland, Oregon. Follow her on Twitter if you like TV and pictures of dogs.

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1 Comment Has Been Posted

so what's the answer?

wow, what a non-answer. she said genitals, tee hee. anyway, I agree with the point of women being women in the workplace, instead of trying to be men in skirts or heels or pants or flats or whatever your fancy. but that's not a new idea - if she's such a big Mad Men fan, that was a point made in season two (when Bobbi was staying at Peggy's apartment). I know it's a TV show written by people in the 21st century, but it was right before the second wave feminist movement.

I'm no expert, but I do work in a professional office, in PR & marketing no less (but our small dept is all women). I think to be seen as a good creative director, you might need "manly" qualities - confidence, almost to the point of arrogance - you have to present, defend, and sell your ideas. Are men better at that than women? I've heard over and over again that the reason single sex classrooms work is because boys will just shout out an answer ... any answer - they'd rather be first than right. but girls want to be right, and won't shout out an answer with fear of being wrong. So perhaps, as adults, there is still some of that left. being in a creative role means being able to brainstorm, to throw out ideas, even the bad ones, because they might lead to a good idea. I know I'm uncomfortable with that, but is it because I'm an introvert, or a woman? Also, when defending their creative ideas, are women more willing to give in to changes, whereas men will stubbornly stick to their idea? I don't know. Just some thoughts. Also what I would expect the creative director of an agency to say instead of her non-answer that referenced Mad Men, twitter and used the word genitals.

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