Celebrating International Women’s Day today got me thinking about some of the discrimination in our industry. Here’s a few examples:

Sexism: Talk to the man

We’re in Latin-America, ready to interview an award-winning female tech department leader responsible for the innovation and roll-out of a series of new government tools. All arranged weeks on advance. On arrival the (male) boss wanted the glory and insisted on being interviewed; we then had to forcibly push more than once to ensure the real innovator (and focus of the award) received rightful recognition.

Racism: No BAME here

Sadly, I’ve seen this a couple of times; customer-approval received for a story, final artwork sent to the country contact, only to be sent straight back with the comment “People from (INSERT COUNTRY NAME HERE) don’t look like this”. And let’s be clear; on each occasion it been when an image of a BAME model/advocate has been used.

Beauty contest: Authentic as long as they look good and can perform

A medical practice agreed to participate in a video for a new-in-market solution. It’s critical. The ‘award-winning digital creative agency’ then made the customer employees spend three days auditioning via zoom, to see “who would look best on camera, and could speak the lines”. Understandably the practice backed out of the project, and a super-important and rare advocate was lost forever.

Peter Barton raised an interesting point last week: If you had to apply a diversity score/target to your advocates (or advocacy team) what would this look like?

I for one can’t wait until female advocates, especially BAME female advocates, are the norm, rather than an all-too-small minority.