CINDY GALLOP FOUNDER, IFWERANTHEWORLD AND MAKELOVENOTPORN TIME FOR AFFIRMATIVE ACTION
There is zero pipeline problem with female commercial directors. There are plenty of brilliant female directorial candidates – they just fall prey to the perennial vicious cycle: white, male creatives say “There just weren’t any female directors with great reels”, but female directors don’t get the jobs, so they don’t get to put together great reels, so they don’t get the jobs.
And there is zero point bringing more female commercials directors into the pipeline at the bottom, when they see nowhere to go at the top. That’s why we need affirmative action. We need four things:
Female industry creative leaders like Kate Stanners and agency initiatives like the New Directors’ Showcase to promote female commercials directors to the industry as a whole, all day, every day – not just at Cannes.
Every single agency in our industry to take Alma Har’el’s “Free the bid” pledge, ensuring that more female directors are considered for jobs.
Clients to put their foot down. HP chief marketing officer Antonio Lucio’s public support for “Free the bid” means the company is committed to hiring female directors across the board. Unilever: the quickest way to “unstereotype” is to mandate to your agencies that female creatives and female directors must be used.
Gender-equal juries to break the “awards for the boys” paradigm and bring more brilliant female directors to public attention and acclaim.
For anyone who tries to respond with “It’s all about the work” and jumping to that classic white-guy pushback of “Let women and people of colour in and the work becomes shit”, two sets of two words for you: Patty Jenkins. Wonder Woman.
“There are plenty of brilliant female directorial candidates – they just fall prey to the perennial vicious cycle”