March 8 marks International Women's Day (IWD), a day to encourage overall gender parity as well as to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. It’s a day to reflect on how far we’ve come, applaud acts of courage and determination, and recommit to another year of moving toward gender equality.
Both inside the agency and out, we’ve seen women stepping forward and pushing for change. As our CEO, Gina Michnowicz, noted when she considered the impact that 2018 Cannes Lions had on her, we were especially inspired by Madonna Badger, Katie Couric, and Queen Latifah—women who are driving movements such as #SeeHer and #WomenNotObjects forward. They are fighting for a better, more balanced future, as we are. We too are firmly committed to eliminating female bias in marketing and advertising. We’re also striving to close the gender gap in other important ways. Part of this comes naturally to us, being an agency led by strong women. We know women are just as capable as men, and we act accordingly.
When we took a step back in 2017 to see where we were as an agency and what we wanted to accomplish in the future, we didn’t think small. We rebranded to The Craftsman Agency in 2018, with our eyes on disrupting business as usual with amazing creative, campaigns steeped in storytelling, and magical moments. We weren’t afraid to bring a more feminine look and feel to our agency brand. (And we were right to do so—we’ve found that it resonates strongly with our team and our clients.) By allowing our true inspirations to shine, we were able to showcase our talent and drive better results for new and existing clients.
This year, we’re also launching The Craftsman Collective, a curated selection of artists that span the vast possibilities of artistic expression. One of the women we’re lucky enough to work with, Jen Lindsey-Clark, crafts extraordinary sculptures from chocolate. Another female artist in the collective, Kimberly M. Wang, tells exceptional brand stories through compelling photography and video that really capture what makes a brand unique.
Internally, we always seek to empower our female staff. The UN notes that women are still underrepresented in the fields of design and technology. While we hire based on talent, we do ensure that we support female designers. (Our senior designer, Sara, is incredible. For an example of her work, check out her “Art of Deception” series for the movie Murder on the Orient Express.) In terms of technology, we place marketing innovation at the center of our business, which means that our team—regardless of their gender—is focused on integrating new technology and platforms that can drive our projects further. We also recently moved one of our marketing managers into a more analytical role, seeing her propensity and interest for metrics, reporting, and optimization.
The UN’s 2019 theme for IWD, “think equal, build smart, and innovate for change,” highlights the transformative shifts and integrated, innovative solutions that are needed to advance gender equality. When most people think of the gender gap, they may think immediately of the wage gap, but the foundational issues are much more widespread than that. According to the World Economic Forum’s 2018 Global Gender Gap Report, there are still significant gaps in political empowerment, economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment and health, and survival. While equal pay is important, it’s about more than pay. It’s about being truly equal throughout society, from childhood onward.
We know we need to all show up, individually and as a team, internally and with our clients, committed to make progress. We are inspired by agents of positive change, and we seek to be an agent of change ourselves. As Gina said in her article on Cannes Lions, “The power of people’s voices as they stand up for a purpose, especially together, can be incredible.” Join us in our commitment to empower women and create a better, more balanced world.