Friday, October 14, 2005

What, no women?

I've just been raking through my magazine pile from the last week or two and came across Campaign from the last two weeks. With each issue, there's a supplement showcasing two awards they've recently held - Digital and Poster. "Ah, this looks interesting", I say to myself and take a look. I turn the page to see the panel of judges beaming at me from each supplement. In the Digital Awards judging panel, there are 15 judges and 1 woman (she's not pictured). In the Poster Awards judging panel, there are 16 judges and not a single woman.

Putting aside any gender discrimination issues or sexist practices, in the interests of fairness alone, wouldn't a woman's point of view be useful and/or necessary? Half of all poster viewings must be viewed by women (unless those posters are in men's urinals that is) mustn't they? Ditto digital campaigns?

What's going on here? Does Haymarket not believe in getting women involved in these things? Are women not interested in taking part (which I find hard to believe but it *may* be true)? Is our voice not relevant?

How would men in the industry feel about an all-female judging panel? I see that would be equally inappropriate. But maybe a panel that more or less represents the proportion of women in the industry. Or is the female workforce in poster and digital marketing only 3.23%? Or am I getting frustrated over nothing and that it's perfectly ok to have an all-male panel and assume that of course they'd be the best for the job?

I foolishly hoped that in the 21st Century things would be different. I'm not expecting a 50:50 ratio, but 2 or 3 women on each panel wouldn't be unreasonable, would it? There are many talented women in the marketing industry generally, let alone poster/outdoor and digital (well I met a few of them at the Geek Dinner this week). Why aren't they here? Do women just have better things to do?

Comments please! This debate is also in action over on moblog UK.