Read Alison Masters’ International
Women's Day pledge for Silver Agency
Before joining Silver five years ago, I had spent all my career working on the client side of technology marketing. The industry I had come from was traditionally very male led and in the early days, especially I was often the only female on a leadership team or in a meeting. Diversity of any nature wasn’t even on the agenda back then. If I think back to that time, many of my female colleagues and I were pleased to be included and be part of such an exciting growing industry – but imposter syndrome was prevalent for many of us.
I am pleased that over several years things have started to change, and the focus on getting women into STEM-based careers is improving – however, there is still a lot of work to be done.
So, when I joined Silver as CEO, I was new to this side of the industry but had worked with agencies all my career so had a good insight into the agency world. However, I was taken aback seeing first-hand how few women were designers, UX/UI, motion, animation and copywriters across the industry: the roles that made the marketing strategy come alive and a reality.
It hit me that during my over 25 years of working with agencies, the amazing women I had been fortunate enough to work with were on the client services side and not in the creative roles. Upon further reflection, I realised that I couldn’t recall one female creative director who presented to me.
I know from having two grown-up children of my own – a son who works in the film industry and a daughter who works in brand marketing – that it wasn’t attending career evenings at school that inspired them to follow those paths. Those events used to leave me at a loss as I had two children who were always interested in a creative career, but there was never anyone representing those paths. While careers in banking, law, accountancy, healthcare and IT are brilliant, viable jobs for people who enjoy them, where were the role models for filmmakers, animators, artists, photographers, digital designers, game designers, coders, etc.? Why is it that we inspire the next generation to follow certain job roles and often cast creativity aside? The same occurs when choosing further education courses; degrees in the arts, design, marketing and media are often looked upon as second-rate, even though digital transformation causes the need for great creative content to continue to grow as a market.
Silver has always been about ensuring we have the right talent in the business, and we have worked hard to get the right mix of talent while ensuring there’s a focus on diversity. I am really proud to say that we have a gender balance of 50/50 across every level, from senior leadership to every part of client services and the creatives.
This highlighted to me that there is an issue Silver could, in some part, address – how do we showcase to young female creatives that entering the creative workforce is a perfectly viable option for them when there are so few women in those roles currently? Silver’s 50/50 split means there is a fantastic collection of truly talented creative women in all areas, so let’s make them role models for the next generation!
For International Women’s Day 2023, we are launching a campaign designed to provide the mentor or role model that, I was sad to learn, many of our women didn’t have. By telling their stories and sharing their journeys, we hope to showcase to young female creatives that these career routes are more than possible – they are enjoyable and open to anyone with the passion and talent! I am so proud of our Silver creative women, Lulu, Nisha, Monique, Katie, Skye, Chloe and Lisa who will also, beyond sharing their story, be making a pledge to do something that will inspire the next generation of brilliant female creatives.
It is both Silver’s and my personal commitment and pledge that we will be part of the change that inspires women into this diverse and fabulous industry and help them follow their passions to the highest heights. We will be giving our Silver role models the time and support to achieve their pledges – updating you on their progress as it happens.
International Women’s Day is not just for the day. We hope this will ultimately spread beyond Silver and others will help encourage young women to fulfil roles across the creative industry. It’s time to be the change, show what’s possible and help change the face of the industry.
Some tips from Alison…
Treat others as is best for them, not how you wish to be treated.
Don’t let anyone take your energy.
Trust your instinct.
Be authentically yourself.
Work hard and stay determined.