Gender diversity in the workplace - particularly in the advertising industry - has experienced increased focus over the last couple of years, with the rise of the #MeToo movement and the government's stipulation for all companies with over 250 employees to publish their gender pay gap data.
The IPA's latest annual diversity survey showed a very even split in terms of percentage of staff in agencies - 50.5% female and 49.5% male. But that figure drops drastically when you look at department heads - where 38.2% of positions are held by women - and then C-suite - where just 30.9% of positions are held by women. There's a clear drop off between entry level and senior management, which is something Bloom are passionate about addressing.
On August 30th, Bloom teamed up with BelEve to run a workshop for young women aged 14 - 18. BelEve are a charity for girls whose mission is to empower girls to become leaders of their world, and the workshop was designed to give an immersive experience into the communications industry. The entrants enjoyed a full day workshop working on a real brief from Warner Brothers, followed by the opportunity to secure a work placement among top UK comms agencies and brands.
One of the participants in the day, Annie, told us how she found it:
"My name is Annie Wisbey, I am a sixth form student currently studying A-level Business, English Literature, and Geography, I also help part-time with dog walking and dog grooming. I have a deep interest in the dynamic world of marketing and advertising and hope to pursue this as my future career.
During the summer, I attended a remarkable marketing workshop hosted by Bloom and Beleve. This amazing workshop not only allowed me to network and expand on my connections but also allowed me to expand on my confidence and communication skills as well as amplifying my knowledge of the communications industry.
From my part-time dog walking and grooming job, I have learned how to throw frisbees exceedingly well and also how to give unsurpassed belly rubs. However, from the Bloom and Beleve workshop, I have learned how to stay resilient, give presentations effectively and have also learned a range of interesting tips and facts about the industry, for example, did you know that almost £22bn is spent on advertising in the UK?
In addition, as a result of the workshop, I have also acquired work experience at a brilliant advertising agency: Kinetic. Many of my burning questions about the industry have now been answered and I am also far more confident about my future steps. I hope Bloom will host many more workshops, as they are truly an amazing opportunity.
I can't wait for work experience and am extremely excited about my future with Bloom and also with the communications industry. "
Annie Wisbey, student and workshop participant
We also spoke to author and speaker Antoinette Dale Henderson, who is a trustee of BelEve, to get her take on the day:
"I'd like to extend a MASSIVE thanks to BloomUK for organising a phenomenal marketing workshop for 20 girls aged 14-18 yesterday. As Trustee of BelEveUK, the girls empowerment charity, I'm always looking for win/wins and this collaboration has been a real gift for everyone involved. Thanks to inspiring presentations by some of the industry's top female leaders, the girls were given a unique insight into what it's really like to work in marcoms. They worked on a exciting brief thanks to Warner Brothers, to come up with launch ideas for a new movie all about finding strength through adversity. By the end of the day five winners were awarded work experience with some of the UK's best agencies and brands. It was like all their Christmases had come at once. Brilliant for them, but also a fantastic opportunity to bring true diversity, fresh talent and sparkling ideas to a world that they will be leading in the not too distant future. Special thanks to Caroline Manning for organising the event, Lucy Cutter for hosting and sooo much more and to Kinetic for providing an excellent space, not to mention the VR chair!”
Antoinette Dale Henderson, BelEve Chair of Trustees
And BelEve co-founder Chyloe Powell also gave us her take on the value workshops like this can add to young women who are considering their future opportunities:
“The communications workshop highlighted how many young females are looking for role models and great opportunities to learn more about a variety of roles.
It also highlighted the fact that there are so many great women in leadership positions who are keen to give back and inspire the next up and coming generation to believe that their are no barriers to them full filling their ambitions. A great day all round”
Chyloe Powell, BelEve co-founder
Many thanks again to all those who were involved in the workshop. If you'd like to hear more about the events Bloom run, please do sign up to the mailing list to keep in touch.