M&C Saatchi Launches W&C

A new perspective can change everything

Our vision is ‘to become the most influential creative company in Australia by 2020.’

This ambition has paved the way for the Group’s development over the past three years. As a business, we wholeheartedly believe that great work comes from having people from different backgrounds, cultures and genders.

We’ve set a goal that by 2020, we will have equal representation of women and men across all departments, and at all levels across the Group.

Over the last 12 months, we’ve taken significant steps to ensure we’re tracking the numbers and, at the same time, doing everything in our power to solve the core issues that create barriers for women in our business. Many of which are also broader industry issues.

But, there’s absolutely more work to be done.

We’ve made a number of meaningful changes to make M&C Saatchi a more diverse place to be.

No. It’s not yet enough, and we’re not moving forward as quickly as we’d like.

But there is a very real commitment at all levels of our business to making it happen.

So, what are we doing about it?

Our Leadership all have KPIs based on the diversity of their teams, ensuring change is being driven from the top.

And our Diversity Working Group exists to ensure there’s a voice from all of our businesses. At all levels.

It’s working. To date, we have introduced a range of initiatives:

– Twice a year we run a pay gap analysis across all roles to ensure any discrepancies are resolved. We’ve been doing it for 3 years, so it’s rare we see any differences these days

– We’ve made 12 weeks full pay for primary care givers, and 2 weeks full pay for secondary accessible from the day you start

– Ahead of parental leave, we’ve introduced out of cycle appraisals and salary reviews. Since October 2016, we’ve seen 50% of women promoted before commencing parental leave

– As part of our ‘Return to Work’ programme, new-parents meet with People and Diversity Advisor to discuss what coming back looks like. Giving staff, and the business, the opportunity to plan the best experience – they’re very individual conversations and range from breastfeeding rooms, flexible working options, to car parking and reduced hours on return to ease transition. 86% of returning parents requested a flexible or part-time role which we were able to provide

– Training and development focussed on our up and coming female leadership. Six of the M&C Saatchi team have attended the Emerging Female Leaders program through the Dream Collective so far this year

– Through the M&C Saatchi Culture Club we recognise there are many ways we differ from one another. Culture Club is one way we celebrate broader diversity in the holidays we celebrate, food we eat, charities and community groups we support

– A tailored Unconscious Bias training, through Diversity Australia, is rolling out across all levels of our business in September this year with the aim of empowering our staff to check their own behaviour and call out others.  The training will become mandatory for all new starters

– Blind Recruitment (no gender, age, name, etc.) on CVs

– A commitment from P&D to present a 50/50 gender equal shortlist to managers – with a specific focus on creative, PR and tech

– Curveball candidates are being put through in shortlists – inclusion of candidates with a different educational or industry background to increase diversity in our thinking

– We know that creating a culture that embraces and progresses women we need the whole department to be behind the change. So we’re running workshops with the sole focus of uncovering the cultural challenges for women in creative roles, how we grow female creatives from grassroots, and what the future of creative looks like

In August we launched W&C. Women & Creative.

It’s a three pronged platform :

– An internship built for female creatives

– Supporting our existing creative talent. The W&C Mentor Programme an extension of our internal mentor programme, focussed on developing the careers of female creatives across the M&C Saatchi Group

– Future leaders. In partnership with The Dream Collective this year we will introduce an Emerging Leaders Programme tailored for creative talent.

We believe that positivity is persuasive, and that for anything to truly change, we need to tell the real stories of opportunity we know exist in our industry. W&C puts a spotlight on M&C Saatchi’s creative women, and showcases the unique way they each got into the ad game. You will see a snapshot of those stories here on our website.

From an industry perspective, we have female creative leaders working to re-establish the AWARD school mentoring programme for female creatives and have rolled out a similar programme out internally. Our team are B&T Women in Media Mentors and our Group GM, Nat Brady, is a founding member of the Agency Circle.

This year we were the platinum sponsor of the inaugural 3% Conference in Australia – geared towards raising the number of female CDs in advertising and providing a clear road map of ways to champion female creative talent and leadership.

As part of our commitment, we invited headline speaker Cindy Gallop to present to M&C Saatchi Group on the importance of diversity in creativity.

Following an invigorating speech, Cindy sat down with Jaimes to explore this topic in further depth. This video (above) is a quick snapshot of their discussion.

We understand that sponsorship alone isn’t going to make a difference.

For us it’s about having a robust discussion, and a commitment to moving this issue forward together with our broader industry.

For that reason, we want to open the W&C platform to all creatives in our industry and encourage everyone to be involved in building these initiatives.

If you would like to be involved, register to be a mentor or a mentee or contribute to the discussion, please email wc@mcsaatchi.com.au.