Trigger warning: this article discusses sexual harassment. Australian gender equality organisation Mavens has today released a new report on the state of equality in Australia’s advertising and media industries.
Data for the 62-page report was collected late last year by Mavens founder, senior copywriter Leah Morris and creative director Chris Taylor. Together, they surveyed 237 advertising professionals with an alarming 27% citing they had been sexually harassed at work.
This statistic is exceedingly higher than the national average, which is 17% for women and 4.3% for men (ABS).
Said one anonymous respondent: “I was sexually assaulted on a work trip by a client’s colleague, and told to drop the complaint as it would reflect badly on the agency and affect the client’s likelihood of continuing to work with us.”
Allegedly high rates of abuse aren’t limited to sexual harassment, with 45% stating they had been bullied at work.
Says Morris: “The way women and minorities are treated at work needs to change. These statistics are coming from real people who are trying to tell us things are not okay. Bullying, harassment and abuse rob people’s psychological safety, which is essential to producing quality work and maintaining good mental health.”
The survey also uncovered a lack of representation, with not one of the respondents identifying as Aboriginal or Torres Straight Islander. Only 5% identified as living with a disability.
British ad maven and former BBH chair Cindy Gallop has endorsed the initiative: ‘Mavens is a terrific resource for the Australian ad industry, because no longer can any creative industry leadership say, “oh, we really WANTED to hire brilliant women, we just couldn’t find any” – they can just go straight to Mavens, see these incredibly talented women and pay them what they’re worth.’
Get your free digital copy of Mavens Gender Diversity Study here.
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