Write a blog for International Women’s Day, my team asked of me. International Women’s Day. A day of “gender parity”, a day to ‘#PressforProgress’ and, I read, a day to make the call to ‘motivate and unite friends, colleagues and whole communities to think, act and be gender inclusive.’
What in practice does this push, this call for parity, mean for Team DRIVE, a female-led marketing agency? Do we need to review the salaries of the DRIVE team? Ensure that roles, work, projects and clients are appropriately distributed? Nope. Not a bit of it. My co-Director and I are proud to lead a small but perfectly formed female team, with each recruited for their experience, skills, personalities and determination. The fact that they are all female is a (possibly happy) coincidence.
I certainly don’t believe any of them – the graduate, the marketing pro, the mums among us – need my voice to champion their rights. As strong, wilful and talented women aged 20 – 40+, they can do this on their own.
That said, I don’t want to undersell the unique nature of our agency; many companies in our field have an über male at the helm. The big boss man in the big boss man car that swans in just ten minutes before an important pitch and steals all the glory of our combined (often late night) efforts. We won a fabulous new client on the basis that she was fed up with (and I quote) ‘bullsh*t’ agencies, who would send in their best salesman to woo with a smoke-and-mirrors pitch. It was our ‘let’s just get the job done’ attitude that won the day.
DRIVE was born of a playground moan between two professional women who knew where their talents lay and wanted to go it alone, to put in the hours and the commitment but for their own gain and good not for that of the big boss man in the big boss man car.
I like to think – and I hope our team would agree – that DRIVE is a sum of its parts. And not all female parts.
Our continued growth and success is a combined effort. We have trusted suppliers with whom we have worked for 20 years. Printers, signage suppliers, exhibition and stand manufacturers, photographers, designers and digital or data specialists. All of them – the boys and the girls – make us what we are.
The result, that exhilaration when a project successfully completes, when a client whoops with delight, when we ALL end a day knowing we’ve done a great job, that’s gender-neutral.
Written by Clare Grove