Indian Creative Women, an independent forum working towards furthering diversity in creative teams across the Indian Advertising and Design Industry, has set an end goal that they and other similar forums and organisations should cease to exist.
“Our end goal is for the Indian Creative Women to not exist. We hope there comes a time that the need for us doesn’t exist,” the Indian Creative Women team said in a Live session titled ‘Looking Within’ at Zeemelt.
Zeemelt’s two-day virtual annual meet is underway where people in positions of power are sharing their outlook towards bringing about a positive change in the Advertising and Marketing fraternity.
The ‘Looking Within’ session presented by the Indian Creative Women hosted inspirational women such as Samyu Murali (Art Director, Ogilvy), Sakshi Choudhary (Creative Director, Ogilvy), and Binaifer Dulani (Creative Director, Dentsu Webchutney), who discussed the inconsistencies that need to be made up for in the advertising industry.
Choudhary began the conversation around the measures of success in the industry and how they affect the way we define our agency culture. “To name a few elements that supposedly define our company’s culture are things like no hierarchy, open-door policy, the toxic work hustle, the language we use at work and uber-cool things along the similar lines. These are the parameters that we think define culture but no, what really should define an agency’s culture is the feeling where every individual feels like they belong. This definition of a company’s culture needs to change, it needs to go from cultural fit to standing out,” she said.
“We need to bring about a change in the perspective, be more accepting of our vulnerabilities and rawness at work, be more human, be more considerate of our mental health, celebrate moms and real families. We know that bias is systemic and it is a vicious cycle, for that matter we need to empower women leaders and push agencies to be diverse and inclusive,” she added.
By the same token, Dulani shared her perspective, “ICW is a community that is 1,500-strong women strong, we are optimistic towards bringing about a change in the industry. Initiatives such as Takeover, Unspoken, TableTalk, and Dine-in dialogue help us navigate through issues like lack of visibility, lack of mentorship, lack of female-only spaces, and lack of platforms for women.”
Dulani shared a unique initiative taken up by the Indian Creative Women community, known as Returnship; it was a back-to-work initiative for moms who needed to kickstart their careers by sharing learning modules.
Murali, who heads all the ICW partnerships, added, “Our goal is to push the industry forward as in not just be diverse but also inclusive, for that purpose we partnered with Visible Creatives. It is a platform that has the credibility and cover and is capable of bringing about a change. We faced challenges like lack of a hiring pipeline for women and visibility of Indian women on a global stage and the lack of affirmative action for women; to get past these challenges we partnered with OneClub, Wench, and initiatives that work for the same purpose as us.”
The Indian Creative Women team concluded by saying that “Our end goal is for the Indian Creative Women to not exist. We hope there comes a time that the need for us doesn’t exist.”