Introducing the WeCollective
Today is International Women’s Day, and the last time we checked, women make up 50.8% of the world’s total population (fun fact: that extra .8% is Beyoncé!). However, according to Ad Age, “across industries, women hold 23% of leadership posts at U.S. businesses, up from 21% a year earlier.”
While that’s an increase from years prior, the article also pointed out that “31% of U.S. businesses have no women in senior management, [and] of the women in senior management roles, 11% are chief marketing officers, the [AWNY commissioned research] report said.” But here’s where it gets weird, number wise: women control over 85% of all consumer purchases, are the primary shoppers for their households and buy over 50% of the ‘traditional’ male products.
When looking at the ad industry as a whole, women make up 46.4% overall but only 11% of creative directors. Simply put: not enough women are talking to the women who are actually buying all of this marketable product!
Lack of motherhood support
Lack of female mentorship
Lack of awareness that being a woman is an asset to connecting with consumers
Lack of celebration of female work due to the gender bias of award juries
Lack of women negotiating salaries they deserve
PMG is striving to combat these industry standards, and we’d like to spotlight an internal group with this mission that was formed by several enterprising women. The WeCollective began about a year ago because there was a need to grow and develop more female talent (currently at 55%!) in the agency. You can’t be what you can’t see, right? And because we’ve always operated with this run-and-gun, “let’s just do it” attitude, we felt excited and supported to gather up the women at PMG who would help to get the group going.
In order to work towards a common goal (and to have a group a bit more legit than the kickball team) the mission statement solidifies what we are working towards, which is: establishing a diverse community that supports and encourages people to go further in their careers, step outside of their comfort zones, and ask for more.
The tangible agency-wide changes that have happened in support of growing this initiative are motivating and awesome. We’ve hired and promoted 11 women to leadership roles, extended paid maternity leave from six to ten weeks, and our People Ops team has completed a high-level pay audit to assess our standing in closing the gender pay gap. We have also partnered with our LGBTQ employees to improve diversity and awareness agency-wide.
We want to grow WC’s impact on individual employees through small peer workshops, and we’ve seen positive results so far. Bringing people together from different departments to address individual challenges and provide solutions has been great. We take pages out of other female-led initiatives (such as Lean In) and repurpose them to fit our agency brand and lifestyle.
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More than anything, the support from peers and leadership alike has been outstanding. Knowing that all these people at PMG have the passion for growing and evolving into a better, equal agency model is not only encouraging on a personal level but absolutely necessary for the business to succeed.
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