One of the topics concerning diversity and inclusion in the adland is having more female leadership. Ampersand Advisory decided to walk the talk in the area of gender diversity by empowering females within its agency and having more women in leadership. Its efforts to create a gender-balanced working environment and celebrating women’s contributions won the hearts of the judging panel.
Ampersand Advisory’s motto is “Business results now” and encapsulates its aim to impact outcomes not just outputs, deliver business ROI not just media ROI or pretty creatives, as well as create a harmonious and representative workforce that can drive results for clients. To do so, the agency felt women empowerment and gender diversity, which is one of its focus areas, was essential for the long-term sustainability of the company.
The agency understood that this would improve business because it would offer more ability to work smoothly between media, creative and data divisions, making it less territorial. It also helped in attracting, listening to and encouraging young talents, which is essential in an industry that is transforming. Meanwhile, Ampersand Advisory believes that offering more positions to women will help them wield lasting influence and will positively impact company culture, making it less authoritarian and more nurturing instead.
To walk the talk and drive change, it took on a multi-pronged approach, one of them being aggressively appointing women to the senior-most jobs in the company. They comprise head of media, head of creative services, creative director, and head of performance marketing. Ampersand Advisory empowered these female leaders to run their departments free of interference.
Overall, the company culture promoted values such as curiosity, growth, fairness, democratic opinions and a flat organisational structure. At the same time, women leaders of each department were encouraged to communicate with each other and work seamlessly together. Additionally, women leaders could freely pioneer initiatives while women leaders were encouraged to hire other women who could make suitable Ampersand employees. Thus, creating more opportunities for more women to grow.
According to Ampersand Advisory, its efforts paid off.
Within two years of launching this initiative, 75% of its employees are now women.
Women also lead all functions – media, creative, finance, and HR, with only the data function being led by a man. The agency also experienced an effortless, smooth cross-sell of media, creative and data services to the same client, with great teamwork between various divisions.
Taking it one step further, Ampersand Advisory did four pro bono ads for International Women’s Day across two years that drew over 800,000 views and PR mileage worth RM200,000. According to the agency, these championed the cause of women’s empowerment and also highlighted casual sexist practices that should be curtailed.
Founded in 2017, the agency offers media planning and buying, creative services and data consulting, all under one roof. While it has different specialists in each of these disciplines, Ampersand Advisory believes that its clients can truly unlock the power of these services when they buy more than one from us.
Ampersand Advisory is led by CEO Sandeep Joseph. He started and sold his first digital company at the age of 26 to Ogilvy and was also the former head of strategy and digital at Zenith Media. Last year, it launched Ampersand Alpha, a new AI and data management consulting division that works with global partners to collaborate and develop new-age business intelligence offered to Malaysian industries in banking, finance, insurance, securities, energy, telecommunications, retail, CPG and eCommerce clients as well as prospects.