ARE WOMEN CREATIVES CRAP DOWN UNDER?
Of course not all are, but looking at the CB Top 100 Creatives chart (based on international and local award success over the last two years), there are only 12 women on the list. The highest ranked is Maggie Mouat (who got her points while at Saatchi Wellington and is now consulting with husband Gavin Bradley, former CD of Saatchi Wellington) at number 16, followed by former Saatchi Sydney creative, Jane Atkinson (now in London) at number 41. Although there are a few hot female creatives that will appear on the chart next year, including Rebecca Carrasco (Saatchi Sydney) and 2005 Gold Lion winner Bridget Short (DDB Auckland), it all looks a bit thin on the female creative front.
Only one female CD is in the Top 40 CD Chart, namely Jeneal Rohrback at number 30, who got her points while CD of DDB Auckland several years ago. She is now CD of Young & Rubicam, Auckland (and employs 6 women out of a department of 13, a percentage well above the norm). Together with Chrissie Lahood, CD at Y&R Wellington, Christine Isaac, joint CD at The Campaign Palace, Melbourne and Emma Hill (pictured), CD of Clemenger BBDO, Melbourne, they are the only female CDs of major agencies in Australasia. Clems has been a major supporter of top women creatives over the years, the likes of the brilliant Sarah Barclay (co creator of "Antz Pantz" and "Legendary Milk", now worldwide CD on P&G's Aerial and Tide, based at Saatchi New York), Lynda Thompson and Christine Isaac. All, including Hill (who will be in the Top 40 in next year's CD Chart), have great, award winning folios, unlike the majority of female creatives in OZ, as Hill herself might agree (or surely she would have employed more than one -- Linda Honen -- in her department of 13). Commenting on the Neil French incident, Hill says: "Yep, not heaps of women doing well. But then its pretty tough for men too at the moment. And as for Mr French, not the first person to get pissed and bag chicks."
Internationally, less than 5 percent of awards in the last five years (Cannes, The One Show, D&AD, Clio) have been won by women creatives, a fact Neil French should have brought up, without generalising that all women creatives were "crap".