A new collective of female creatives working in the Irish advertising industry has been set up Aoife McCleary from In the Company of Huskies and Zoë Higgins from Havas.
Launched on International Women’s Day, ‘Concepts + Cailíní’ was formed to prompt, open discussion, informal mentoring and creative collaboration.
According to the most recent IAPI Census, females fill only 36% of creative departments in Ireland and only a handful of those have made it to creative directors roles
After returning to Ireland in Summer 2019 after years of working in London, senior copywriter McCleary was dismayed by the lack of female creatives in agencies and together with Higgins (Havas), they decided to form the collective to tackle this on-going issue.
“There are so few female CDs, many art directors and copywriters have nobody to look up to in terms of female creative leaders in the workplace. So in the absence of this, we want to become cheerleaders for each other. Doubt can be a huge killer, so we hope the extra support will help keep everyone in the industry, and ultimately make sure more of us progress to CD roles,” says Aoife McCleary.
Zoë Higgins adds: “While it’s still very early days, there’s been huge interest in the group and there are over thirty women involved from loads of different agencies. There are some amazing initiatives already out there to support female creatives, but I think the fact that the collective is so informal and friendly is a big draw. There’s no pressure on anyone to be in work-mode. And already, we’ve seen the group support some members with big career decisions. I’m excited to see what’s ahead for us.”
“So instead of being competitive, we’re complimentary. We are celebrating each other’s achievements and encourage pride in our accomplishments. In the absence of female leadership, we are going to be our own role models. We are forming this collective to support and encourage each other and create the next generation of female CDs,” she adds.