One of the most striking features of our industry is that while the junior ranks are dominated by women, as you move up the pay scale we gradually fade away. By the time you get to the boardroom we are practically invisible. Some would have us believe that this is just how life is. Women are less ambitious than men, they rule themselves out of jobs, they are more focused on raising a family, it has always been like this, always will, and it isn’t such a problem. They will then likely cite one of the handful of women who have broken through the glass ceiling and are leading an organisation.
Aron Gelbard is co-founder and CEO at one of the UK's most talked about start-ups. Most known for their letterbox friendly packaging, Bloom & Wild have found ways to create a loved and trusted flower delivery brand in a commodity market. Rapidly growing the business 20x between 2014-2016, Bloom and Wild are forecast to double revenues in 2017, and with $8.56M in investment raised, are set to expand operations from the UK and Ireland, into France and Germany in September 2017. We sat down with Aron to learn the lessons for challengers from their journey so far.
While many creatives don’t like to be considered at ‘normal’ Giubilee argues that many agencies fall into the trap of hiring among their own, instead of subverting norms and causing the friction needed to create great work. Speaking to The Drum, Giubilee said that the best parts of drag as an art form exist because they subvert expectations of gender, humour, spectacle and thrill. “In my day to day life, when I go to perform at clubs and venues, there may even be some people that are afraid of it or uncomfortable with it and it’s because it is taking gender and flipping it upside down," says Giubilee. "There’s vulgarity and all sorts of things that we bring in that are improper and inappropriate and we use that for entertainment. "It’s the philosophy of drag - to take these norms and turn them upside down,”
I don't think I've been on a university campus since the 1990s, and it's a damp, misty November night when I arrive at Lancaster University, The Times & Sunday Times University of the Year 2018. It's slick: flood-lit sports courts, speed bumps and RIBA-endorsed eco-architecture. I've travelled here to discuss The Marketing Society's theme of 'Bravery' with a team of marketing undergrads. Clever bunnies. Noticeably girls (big up to brave Alex, the only guy in the group) with aspirations to join Unilever, Coke, maybe a well paying Swiss company, or advertising. I present my own case for 'Bravery' at the front of class; chat through the decline in brand trust; whether or not 'Bravery' is the right word; the steps our industry is making around gender, mental health, inclusion. And in the spirit of Open Space, have no idea what's going to come up. Our discussion ranges from everyday racism to the need, or not, for better customer service in discount grocers.
It doesn't pay to say to the CFO: These numbers on the P&L aren't true. And arguing with Walmart or Target about your market share stats doesn't work either. You can't make things better if you can't agree on the data. Real breakthroughs are sometimes accompanied by new data, by new metrics, by new ways of measurement. But unless we agree in advance on what's happening, it's difficult to accomplish much. If you don't like what's happening, an easy way out appears to be to blame the messenger. After all, if the data (whether it's an event, a result or a law of physics) isn't true, you're off the hook. The argument is pretty easy to make: if the data has ever been wrong before, if there's ever been bias, or a mistake, or a theory that's been improved, well, then, who's to say that it's right this time? "Throw it all out." That's the cowardly and selfish thing to do. Don't believe anything that makes you look bad. All video is suspect, as is anything that is reported, journaled or computed.