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Diageo helps women creative leaders return to work

Diageo helps women creative leaders return to work

 November 18, 2019

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Diageo's sponsorship of the Creative Equals Returner scheme #CreativeComeback is addressing the lack of women represented in creative leadership roles worldwide.

The #CreativeComeback programme runs in London, New York and Mumbai with the objective of supporting 100 women back into the creative industries following a career break of a year or more. This is the second time Diageo has supported the scheme, with the first programme seeing 58 women complete the course in London and Manchester.

Increasing female representation in advertising

According to Creative Equals, women make up only 16 per cent of creative directors in the UK advertising industry. In the US, the ANA has found that although women comprise over half of the marketing industry’s workforce, they fall behind in leadership roles. In India, research by Kantar and Diageo into the top 150 Indian adverts across sectors found that 29 per cent showed outdated gender stereotypes or needed improvement in gender portrayal. #CreativeComeback aims to help close the sector's leadership gap and tackle these issues.

#CreativeComeback is a two-week training bootcamp with non-profit advertising and design association D&AD. Participating creative returners are brought up to speed on industry developments before responding to briefs from Diageo brands including Gordon’s, Baileys, Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff and Black & White. Returners then go on to complete an agency placement whilst being supported by a coach. 

Diversity in creative leadership leads to better work

“I’m pleased to see more women entering the boardrooms of agencies, but too few are in creative leadership positions. I am convinced that diversity in creative leadership leads to better and more effective work. It’s time for concerted action that will close the creative leadership gap," said Syl Saller, Chief Marketing Officer at Diageo.

“We were blown away by the responses to our briefs from the returners in 2019 and I’m thrilled to see women who took part go on to re-establish flourishing careers. We’re proud to be bringing #CreativeComeback to the UK, US and India – countries that are crucial to both our business, and the creative industries as a whole.”

Join a company that values women's contributions

Diageo is leading the way for a more diverse and gender equal workplace. If you want to be supported in your career, search and apply for jobs with Diageo today.


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Disclosure: Where Women Work researches and publishes insightful evidence about how its paid member organizations support women's equality.

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