A Fix for Male-Dominated Businesses: Hire Three Women ASAPS

Cindy Gallop — former chairman of the ad agency BBH New York — has penned a piece for AdWeek about what she calls the New Creativity, which she says is "female-informed." She has some ideas about how to shake up the "white male dominated industry." First: Hire at least three women.

From STEM fields to Saturday Night Live, there are plenty of businesses that could stand to open up, diversify, represent. Gallop argues that including women inspires creative product as well as more creative ways of producing it.

Her directive:

• Identify the areas within your agency/business/holding company that are all-male or male-dominated. Change that.

• Don’t change it by hiring or promoting just one woman. She’ll be isolated and surrounded by the status quo and will have to adapt to it, and she won’t be able to make a difference. Two women doesn’t work either. Make it at least three. Three or more women at the top of your creative department, on your management team, on your board begin to make a real difference and change the environment, the culture and the output.

• Do this on merit. (Nobody is suggesting for a moment that you hire or promote women just because they’re women.) Actively search out the talent overlooked in your agency because it doesn’t fit pattern matching. Tell recruiters you want to see an equal number of brilliant male and female candidates for every brief. Demonstrate publicly that you’re part of the New Creativity. You’ll attract the best women—and the best men.

Gallop ends thusly: "We urge our clients to buy great creative work that makes them uncomfortable, and run it. Well, now it's time to buy great creative women who make you uncomfortable, and run with them. Out of discomfort comes greatness—for all of us." Hell yes.

Meanwhile, elsewhere online, if you've never seen Gallop's 2009 Ted Talk, "Make Love, not porn," you should check it out.

Image by LANTERIA/Shutterstock.