We’re proud to announce that one of our Art Directors, Zoe, has been named rising female creative star by SheSays! We had a chat with Zoe to get her thoughts on how the #IAMREINDEER initiative will affect the creative industries.

Why is it important to address gender balance within the creative industries?

Balance of any kind (not just gender) is vital to any industry, because diversity creates better workplaces and better work. It is that simple. For me, the real magic of our industry is the ability to create work that acts as a mirror, playing back creative ways of seeing the world around us. But for that to work in a meaningful way, we have a responsibility to play back a diverse world that lots of people identify with and recognise.

You simply cannot do that with a room full of the same sorts of people, with the same points of reference, and the same types of agendas. Broadening out diversity across an entire workforce creates a more enriched perspective, and will ALWAYS lead to better work.

What effect do you think this campaign/movement will have on the industry in the next 5 years?

I would love to think that seeing an increased visibility in opportunity will really inspire female creatives to invest themselves in our industry, and persevere. As a result, I would like to think we will end up with more inclusive and supportive workplaces, and spaces that embrace and celebrate the difference of perspective and opinion.

And whilst motivations should be always be to do the right thing, naturally what this means for businesses is new ways of working, new opportunities for growth and ultimately more income.

What advice do you have for young females in the creative industry or starting out in their career?

At times there is a danger of feeling like you have to be this stereotype of a #Bo$$yBitch that ‘acts like a man’ in order to get your voice heard, which is totally counter-productive to embracing the diversity and difference that women can offer.

My main bit of advice would be to work out what you are about and what you stand for, and then protect that as fiercely as you can in everything that you do. Whether that is in the purpose of the work you want to create, how you want to project yourself in meetings or with clients, even down to the ways you try to support team members around you – don’t compromise the essence of who you are, just always try to find a way to make your perspective invaluable and unforgettable.

The other bit of advice would be to get connected! We are lucky enough to live in one of the most diverse cities in the world, a city that is full of other women who want to do amazing things with people just like you. There are great initiatives that have been set up to help women network; Women Who run monthly(ish) talks that cover off fascinating aspects of creativity and business. Not only do you get to hear how super successful women have got sh*t done, it’s a great chance to meet other like-minded women, and to grow your little black book of contacts.

Utilise social networks in the way they were designed for – networking!

If you are struggling with not having much of a female mentor at work, try Twitter to get in touch with women you find particularly interesting or inspiring and see if they are free for a coffee and chat about what they do. It might feel a bit weird and stalkerish to begin with, but even if they say they are too busy you will have made them feel brilliant, and when you do meet up with someone, you’ll have genuinely interesting chats packed full of useful advice.

There are hundreds of brilliant individuals, organisations, publications, podcasts, books etc to discover and be inspired by, but some of my favourite starting places are listed below:

Cindy Gallop

Women in Advertising and Communications, London (WACL)



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