Is there a Harvey Weinstein of the advertising industry? If there is Cindy Gallop is looking to identify them and hold them to account.
Gallop yesterday posted a plea on Facebook urging men and women in the industry that have suffered sexual harassment or abuse at the hands of another to come forward and name names.
Gallop has long campaigned for equality across the industry, and has been vocal about her own experience of harassment in the past. Now she’s hoping that the allegations being made about Weinstein’s conduct over the past 20 years in Hollywood will give women in the advertising and media industry confidence to call out similar behaviour.
Weinstein has been accused of sexual abuse, harrassment and rape by a number of Hollywood actresses over the past two weeks, which was first exposed by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey in The New York Times.
In the post she said: “Women - and men - of the ad industry, I've been contacted many times over the years by women who've suffered appalling sexual harassment in our industry. Historically, women have been reluctant to speak out and name names. I'm hoping that the current climate may now have changed that - because it's not until the first brave women are willing to speak out, that many others will, to end the Harvey Weinsteins of our industry once and for all.”
There has long been an issue around sexism and the lack of equal representation for women across creative departments in agencies and the ‘mad men’ character is often said to be alive and well.
Earlier this year, AdNews reported on the findings of the first Agency Circle benchmarking survey in Australia that asked agency employees and leadership questions around diversity, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, disability, gender and age.
One of the most concerning areas for Agency Circle chair and Clemenger Sydney CEO Emily Perrett, was around sexual harassment.
- A staggering 42% of female employees across all agencies reported they have experienced sexual harassment at some point in their career in advertising.
- A total of 20% said they had experienced it “more than few times”.
- A third of senior management know women who have experienced sexual harassment.
- Almost half (45%) of women said they feel vulnerable because they are women.
Clemenger issued a follow up survey for its own employees to find out more. It’s available for other agencies to use and carry out. It’s probably something agency leaders should take the time to do. You can contact The Agency Circle for advice here.
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