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Adland Diversity & Inclusion Index 2021: TBWA\Singapore

Adland Diversity & Inclusion Index 2021: TBWA\Singapore

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Gender equality and female leadership are two crucial focus areas for TBWA\Singapore which has impressed our judges. The agency believes that nobody earns a job based on gender and has taken active steps to ensure its initiatives champion these focus areas.

Diversity and inclusion starts from within, and TBWA\ Singapore believes that without first wholeheartedly embracing diversity, the agency cannot help its clients embrace change and become a leading company of the new world. 

Staying ahead of the curve, in 2015, TBWA\ launched the “Take the Lead” initiative globally to promote gender diversity and increase the ratio of women in leadership roles relative to men by 20% by 2020. Through this, it hoped to make real, meaningful change and take a hard look at its numbers to become a more balanced and inclusive culture. Last year, the agency’s combined efforts saw the ratio of women in leadership roles to men jump by 59%. In the strategy team, the number of women in leadership positions increased by 300%. It has since surpassed its goals this year and achieved 50% of women in its management team and 43% in its leadership team.

Another focus for TBWA\ was to increase female creative leadership and it has since surpassed its goals by achieving 45% representation of women in its creative discipline, with 59% in leadership roles. Its goal for the next 12 months is to reach a 50% and above ratio of female creatives in the agency, and to grow, retain and nurture women leaders as well as celebrate their achievements. In April this year, TBWA\ beefed up its creative team in Singapore by appointing Angie Featherstone and Eirma Webster as creative directors.

According to TBWA\, it is a known fact that attracting and retaining female creative leaders in the advertising industry is a worldwide problem and challenge. It aims to challenge both the culture and perception of the creative department as being male-dominated and favouring male creatives. For the agency, these are cultural traits that inevitably discourage female creatives to stay away in the profession, especially when approaching the next stage in their lives such as getting married, partnership or motherhood.

To grow the ratio of female creative leaders in the agency and change the perception of the creative discipline, TBWA\ kicked off a PR and social media initiative on International Women's Day this year featuring its female creatives with a campaign "Meet the Creative Disruptors". The campaign celebrated and elevated the personalities and achievements of TBWA\'s female creatives.

To amplify its diversity, equity and inclusion initiative done on social media, it aligned with the 2021 theme for International Women's Day, #ChoosetoChallenge, to highlight its priorities for the year. They included highlighting the agency's achievement of 45% female creatives, paving the way for the next generation of creative women, and attracting future female talent.

The brief was opened up to all female creatives to ensure that a collaborative and democratic creative process would garner an idea that best complimented TBWA\'s goals. It also engaged up and coming US-Singapore based photographer Lenne Chai to photograph all its female creatives to capture the spirit and diversity of the team.

A week after the campaign’s launch in March 2021,TBWA\ saw a boost in the morale of the female creative team, a heightened sense of awareness of the challenges faced, a new sense of pride and appreciation for the women in the agency.

Employees also realised the importance of supporting the next generation of female creative leaders. Not to mention, after the launch of the campaign, the company saw a 10% increase in their social media following and a rise in interest from women applying for jobs in TBWA\Singapore. At the same time, its International Women's Day social posts also received an average of 1,700 reach per post, of those 30% were not following TBWA\Singapore. An average of 200 actions were also taken per post, these included profile visits, TBWA\Singapore's website clicks, and shares.

To read the rest of the agency initiatives in the Adland Diversity & Inclusion Index 2021, click here.

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