Diageo sponsors global creative ‘returners’ scheme as it adapts to virtually support women after career breaks

Diageo sponsors global creative ‘returners’ scheme as it adapts to virtually support women after career breaks

16 Apr 2021
Female audience members look out off screen

Our sponsorship of the Creative Equals Returner scheme #CreativeComeback is now in its third year and will help fund the multi-market programme as it adapts to the virtual world, and address the lack of women represented in top creative leadership roles.

The scheme is designed to support women in the creative industries as they return to work after a career break of at least 12 months.

Taking place in London, New York, Mumbai and Australia, the scheme will support over 100 women globally get back into creative industries.

The initiative has continued to expand since launching in 2019, and has to date supported over 120 women.

The Creative Equals Returner scheme will support 1

Although the number has been steadily increasing, women make up only 17% of creative directors[1] in the UK advertising industry, and there are 1.9 million people out on caring breaks who want to come back to the workplace[2].

This year's 10-day programme will run in London virtually from 17 to 28 May, is free to attend and is open to all women, non-binary and gender non-conforming people who've previously worked as a creative (art director, copywriter, designer or similar role) in the advertising, marketing and design industry. 

During the 10-day programme with non-profit advertising and design association D&AD, attendees will meet other attendees, be assigned a creative mentor, spend time learning about the latest industry trends and receive a creative advertising brief from Diageo brands including Guinness and Captain Morgan. They’ll spend three days working as a team before presenting back to Diageo senior executives who will choose an overall winning presentation.

The programme concludes with a talent day for attendees to meet HR, Talent and Hiring Managers from agency partners and the Creative Comeback wider network who'll offer career advice.

Companies joining the programme include Wieden & Kennedy, Anomaly, VMLY&R, Fishawack, Adam & Eve/DDB, Edelman, Engine Group, VMLYRCommerce/Geometry, MRMMcCann, Wunderman Thompson and more, with talent agency Major Players supporting the Returner selection process. 

To find out more about #CreativeComeback or to apply to the London programme, visit:  https://www.creativeequals.org/creative-comeback-london (Deadline Friday 16th April)

Creative Comeback 2021 graphic

Inclusion & Diversity at Diageo

Support for the #CreativeComeback programme is part of Diageo’s broader 2030 commitment to improve progressive gender portrayal in content and to accelerate gender balance in the advertising 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.

We have also recently been named No 1 UK company for female leadership representation in the 2020 Hampton-Alexander Review and recognised as a leading company globally for gender equality by the 2020 Bloomberg Gender Equality Index. 


[1] http://www.creativeequals.org/#vision

[2] https://www.creativeequals.org/creative-comeback-london