Nat, Rebecca, Vanessa, Jo and Ruth are five friends, all of whom work in advertising. Today, they've launched a new website, To Work or Play (opens in new tab), which discusses life both in and outside of the industry. Covering work and play topics, we spoke to the all-female team about women in advertising, the motivation behind the site and their ambitions for it.
Q: What was the motivation behind To Work or Play?
"Having lived and breathed London for the past few years, we discovered it can be a tough, but equally inspiring place, not only to shape your career but also your identity. We wanted to share our perspectives on the industry (including how to break into it), as well as how to relax outside of it."
Q: How did you get the site up and running? Did you design it yourselves?
"Nat was responsible for the core design. But to get it built, live and kicking we, of course, had to beg, borrow & steal from friends (who we’re forever grateful to!). Oh, and do a lot of writing too..."
Q: What subjects will the site cover?
"The site is divided equally into work topics, including work we wish we’d done, newsroom, opinionate, shiggles, and workmate: our guest blogger spot, and play topics, such as style, social life, healthy living, traveller and playmate. We aim to cover a range of industry and non-industry themes in the hope that we’ve lots of relevant and interesting content for our audience."
Q: What advice would you give to women wanting to pursue a career in advertising?
"It’s equally as difficult for both males and females to get into advertising, so for the big break our advice is simple: motivation, networking, and getting as many work placements as possible to get that initial foot in the door. We’ve all had experience in unpaid interning just to get an understanding on roles and the industry on a whole. It’s all about perseverance.
"Also, you want to work in a creative industry, so find a creative way to present yourself per cent there was once a story of someone who sent a KitKat with their CV with the note ‘take a break, read my CV attached’. That’s the kind of impact you need to have.
"Once in the industry, climbing to the top proves more of a problem for females. We read an article the other day that said only 3% of directors in the creative industry are female. We’re not as natural at selling ourselves, and we’re also much more aware of our faults/limitations. Something we’re all still learning to work on is to be more bullish, be confidence, have opinions and work out a five-year plan there's a goal to aim for."
Q: Do you think the advertising industry has changed much, in terms of ratio of men to women?
"Historically, yes! Look at Mad Men, for example. The pattern is shifting, but the glass ceiling for women is still very much there, especially for those wanting to start families. However, there’s much more support for females in advertising now, and a rise of more head-strong, career-orientated women, so watch this space..."
Q: What do you think the future holds for women in advertising?
"Our biggest hope for the future is that this question becomes redundant."