18th July 2016 | London
Do you need a penis to be a Creative Director?

The below blog post originally appeared on Young Creative Council – here.


Last week Glug hosted an evening packed full of top notch peeps, we sent down a couple of bright young things to capture the vibes from the night. Here’s what they had to say,


What a night. It’s fair to say I was a little apprehensive, as a title as ominous as ‘Do you need a penis to be a creative director?’ could represent an evening of man-bashing, but it couldn’t have been more opposite. With working in a mixed creative team myself, it only highlighted the simple – and what should be obvious – fact that diverse creative teams produce more creative work. Much like salt and pepper. Alone they’re ok. Two of the same and you’re only getting one flavour twice. But together, they make things a hell of a lot better than when you started.


Ali Hanan from Creative Equals, and Nadya Powell from Sunshine both addressed the issue that although female creatives perform the same role as men, pay is still an issue. Now I think I can account for the vast majority when I say ‘why is this still happening in 2016?’. Nadya highlighted it would take a staggering 118 years before equal pay is adopted – wow. Incredible speakers and panelists including Jo Wallace, Kath Tudball and Helen O’Hara all passed insight that women seem to have to work at least twice as hard as men to get to the same position. And we wonder why there are less females at the top? The fantastic event by Glug not only opened my eyes to the issue, but shed light on a whole host of prejudices and glass ceilings that still seem to act as a barrier for women in the creative industry. For myself, I’ve only become a better creative being partnered with Jo (my creative other half), and it seems beyond belief that the percentage of females in these roles is so low. But one final thought that still rests in the front of my mind today, was enthusiastically said by Joan Hillery, Director at JoanJoan – ‘I’m bored of coming to these f**king events about inequality. They simply shouldn’t need to happen’.


The Glug London July event kept up with my expectations of a penis-filled fun-time spectacular with some of the most amicable people in advertising and beyond. Of course, the majority of the events attendees were female but with a title like ‘Do you need a penis to be a Creative Director?” What do you expect? Although the talks were predominantly discussing representations of gender in creative departments, each speaker was acutely aware that advertising doesn’t just have a gender problem, more a diversity problem.


Alison Hanan from Creative Equals that with 14% of London Creative Directors being female, we need to start making change. Pointing us in the direction of her 32 Things You Can Start Doing Today document on the Creative Equals website. Print it out. Stick it up. Do it.


Nadya Powell MD of Sunshine was next discussing the Great British Diversity Experiment and how diversity enables the authentic self and other insanely obvious things which = better creative work! She also topped her talk off with jelly and chocolate penises, keeping in with the theme very well.


Jo Wallace, founder of Good Girls Eat Dinner and ex Saatchi and Saatchi, brought a ton of cool GIFs to the stage, especially the very well-timed Beyonce one. She even made sure to include a sausage-based ad! Jo made the point that there are plenty of amazing female CDs out there, we just need to pay more lip service to them.


In the panel talk, everyone involved came to a very similar conclusion that the more diversity there is in advertising, the more we can push boundaries with our work as an industry. The final thought being that the more diversity there is in all industries, the better they will be, we just need to start doing something about it.


The Panelist and Hosting team post the event: Keith, Malin, Helen, Rafaela, Joan, Charlotte, Jo, Sarah, Kath and Ian

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