It’s the 21st century – where did all the female directors go?

As a creative industry that thrives on styling an ever-changing society, it deeply saddens me that we are neglecting the very thing that sets us apart – our vast and varied heritage.

Why? Because of a serious imbalance that seems to be emerging between the number of men and the number of women entering into the profession and moving up to senior level.

In recent years, we – like many consultancies – have advertised for positions, such as creative director and senior conceptual designer, only to be met with tens, if not hundreds, of applications from men competing for the role.

This compares to a paltry one, perhaps two, received from women applicants.

I consider this to be a sad reflection on an industry that appears to bang the drum to proudly announce its record as a socially, culturally and gender-aware profession.

Yet the reality is somewhat different. If we are to nurture and develop our sector, it’s essential that we attract a wide range of people – both male and female.
Consultancies must lead from the front in encouraging universities and our trade bodies – such as the Design Business Association and the Design Council – to highlight this serious imbalance. If not, our profession is in danger of losing its eclectic appeal due to a growing ‘Neanderthal’ attitude.

Meanwhile, our search continues for an additional creative director to head our team, so we await responses with bated breath.

Bob Wallace, Marketing director, Nicepond, by e-mail

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