Look around and you’ll see startups everywhere. And they make our world more creative, powerful and innovative. Facebook, Google, and Uber all started out as ideas and then were moulded, by their founders, into the mega companies they are today. Today’s startups are tomorrow’s behemoths.
However, in today’s society, there is a visible inequality between females and males. Take gender pay gap, for instance – it puts women at an even bigger disadvantage when trying to create work-life balance. According to Fast Company and reported by AdAge, nearly 50% of women dream of opening their own businesses, but only 12% think it’s a pragmatic goal. An even smaller margin of those women end up starting their own companies. Why are there so few women in prominent roles within the creative, marketing and advertising industry? In 2016, women reportedly made up only 11% of creative directors worldwide. It seems like a chorus that is calling out the imbalance of power that moulds our institutions, shutting doors for some while opening opportunities for a few select others.
Women in many cultures are representatives of a creative force. Take Hinduism, for instance – Shakti, the great divine mother and the personification of creative power. Think of the way our bodies can create life. Well, that creative power, in some cases, is what impedes us.
So, how do we move the needle? How do we make changes in the creative industry that will motivate women to dive in feet first and chase after their dream careers? Women in this industry must be loud. Louder. We need to make ourselves known to other women starting out; write inspiring articles, sit on panels and go to events where we can show that it is possible for women to be in these positions of power. The more we show ourselves to a population of hungry, yet hesitant women, the more those women will be enliven to start fighting for positions of power within this industry.
These women are there for you to find. It is just a matter of broadening your scope. For instance, using LinkedIn as platform to engage with female founders and connect with their work – this is an easy way to extend your professional circle and can have a number of tremendous benefits. Share experiences, learn from each other and recommend one another to clients – show them that female leaders can be a wonderful resource for them as well.