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Gender Balance in Advertising

Diageo has released a short film about gender balance in advertising ahead of International Women’s Day.

Feature

The short film released today discusses the role of advertising in shaping culture, the historic misrepresentation of women in advertising and strategies and partnerships to support more progressive gender portrayal in content.

The film also focuses on the importance of diversity in the advertising industry itself – highlighting the organisations working to address imbalances behind the camera and in creative departments.

“Through the millennia, culture has been shaped by the stories we tell and if you think about it advertising is telling stories that are backed by billions of dollars to have them heard. I am convinced we can normalize gender equality with what we choose to show in our ads, and who we choose to make them. We strongly believe that diverse teams create all kinds of different stories, stories which portray men and women as they really are, stories that are eminently relatable.”

Syl Saller
Syl Saller

CMO

“When we tell stories involving the full spectrum of people that we see in the world we actually make our brands seem more vibrant, more culturally connected, and just more interesting.”

Andrew Geoghegan
Andrew Geoghegan

Global Consumer Planning Director

The film is released as 50 women take part in the Creative Equals ‘Returners’ scheme called #CreativeComeback. The scheme, backed by the UK Government Equalities Office is designed to support women in the creative industries in the UK as they return to work after a career break of at least 12 months. The ultimate aim is to place female art directors, producers, copywriters, data analysts, designers and concept creators back into work.

Diageo is a sponsor of the scheme and the group of returners will work on briefs for two of Diageo’s iconic global brands – Baileys and Guinness. 

“In the creative sector one of the big challenges is that only 12% of creative directors are women. Just as women are stepping up into leadership roles, motherhood, or perhaps caring responsibilities come along and women drop out of the industry. Our programme is all about upskilling women and all the things that they need to get back into the industry, that includes digital skills, that includes getting some fresh work in their book, and we're absolutely delighted to have some briefs coming in from Diageo that are going to give them that chance to really flex their creative muscles.”

Ali Hanan
Ali Hanan

Founder of Creative Equals

“Creative Equals is celebrating the amazing creative talent that maybe might have dropped out of the industry for many reasons including childcare, illness, caring responsibilities, or just for broader reasons in - in life.”

Grainne Wafer
Grainne Wafer

Global Brand Director for Baileys

Diageo has been working to increase inclusion and diversity in marketing – both in terms of progressive gender portrayal in advertising and by supporting initiatives that contribute to gender balance in the industry itself. This includes being a member of the UN UNstereotype Alliance and a signatory of Free the Bid to help to increase the number of female directors on adverts. Diageo has also reviewed its creative work globally to see where it needs to improve on progressive gender portrayal and is training it’s 1200 marketers and agencies globally in a comprehensive framework covering Representation, Agency, Perspective and Characterization of gender in advertising.

In January 2019 Diageo was recognised in the Bloomberg Gender Equality Index. In 2018 Diageo was named by Thomson Reuters as the 4th most inclusive and diverse company in the world and ranked by Equileap as the best company in the UK for gender equality.