European & International News

Art Directors Club launches 50/50 iniative

(Brussels 06 June) Late last week, the Art Directors Club, an American organisation for professionals in visual communications which “produces a wide range of programs on advertising, design, and interactive media for professionals, students, and others with a serious interest in visual communications” launched a powerful, new campaign, titled “50/50.”

The European Women’s Lobby actively monitor progress and campaigns for gender equality worldwide, so we were delighted to see this initiative from the US.

Established in 1920 for years the ADC was a man-only organization, and only began admitting women in 1942, over 70 years ago. Yet “women remain woefully underrepresented in the creative industries,” according to executive director Ignacio Oreamuno, speaking in the video below. The call is for “a 50/50 ratio of women to men in award show juries; a 50/50 ratio of women to men in board of directors; and a 50/50 ratio of women to men in event speaker lineups.”

lets make the industry 5050

From their statement, released online, the ADC goes on to explain how the

"ADC is proud to launch this initiative with the mission of making drastic and measurable changes as it pertains to the roles and participation of women within the creative industry. The ADC believes it is time for all industry organizations, associations, award shows, company boards and groups to take action and set the goal of reaching an equal level of participation for both women and men. By increasing the number of qualified women in senior positions in all facets of the creative communications industry, we believe our industries will both flourish and lay a foundation for generations of female talent."

Let’s make the industry 50/50 is an initiative founded by the ADC, with the mission of making drastic and measurable changes as it pertains to the roles and participation of women within the creative industry. They believe it is time for all industry organizations, associations, award shows, company boards and groups to take action and set the goal of reaching an equal level of participation for both women and men. By increasing the exposure and accessibility of qualified women in senior positions in all facets of the creative communications industry, we believe our industries will both flourish and lay a foundation for generations of female talent. We call upon our community to help shed light on these amazing women, because they ARE out there. By including inspired, talented women in the conversation, we change the conversation and therefore the industry and our future.

Their petition is available for signature here

This initiative is in complete accordance with the spirit of the 1996 Conclusions of the UN Commission of the Status of Women, "Women and the Media", which recommended an initiative, consistent with freedom of expression, to "support and encourage women’s equal participation in management, programming, education, training and research, including through positive action and equal opportunity policies, with the goal of achieving gender balance in all areas and at all levels of media work, as well as in the media advisory, regulatory and monitoring bodies … while public media, where they exist, should be encouraged to set an example for private media by their commitment and contribution to the advancement of women".

We understand that the European Council is currently discussing the role of women in the media, on "Advancing Women’s Roles as Decision-makers in the Media" based on an EIGE work on the same topic. Similar initiatives on an EU level would be most welcome.

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