Q&A with Cindy Gallop

Our CCO hand picks teams to work on proactive ideas for awards shows. They're always all dudes. Then those dudes get promoted based on awards. How do I sign up for that?

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I recommend two things: 1) Ignore the fact you haven’t been picked, take the brief anyway, and bombard your CCO with unsolicited brilliant ideas until he picks yours to make and enter. 2) If he doesn’t, leave and go work for a CCO who’s less biased (ideally female).

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Continued: This has been the case at both (large global) agencies I've worked at. Since I'm not part of the inner circle, it doesn't seem to matter how much I raise my hand. I work my ass off and am hungry and feel constantly overlooked. I'm not trying to whine, just not sure how to change the situation, other than leaving again.

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Same

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Give an idea to a white dude and let him present it as a test

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Still, you both got the exact same presentation and persuasion abilities? Not saying there’s definitely no bias at play, but it’s not as black and white as you think. Like others have said, this happens to almost everybody.

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Fascinating thread. The advice seems to be "be better."

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As creatives, we can always, always be better. You're right. And I appreciate your encouragement. I'm fortunate that I have award winning work and can move around fairly easily. Of course I am hungry to keep making great work. I posted here, because it really bothers me that female creatives don't get the same creative opportunities men do at my current agency, and my previous one. It's a real pattern, and it's crazy to me that some people still react with "Well you must not be good enough." These are secret briefs, bestowed from the CCO to their one or two teams that he deems awards hungry. When I bring ideas, I am dismissed and waved away. And I have a track record. Imagine all the women coming up the ranks who don't have confidence in their abilities yet. I want it to change. I give all my teams proactive briefs based on things our clients might have appetite for. As a CD, I will do the same. I have women on my team and I don't want them to have to have the same experiences I've had.

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As if Arnold wasn’t depressing enough....

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likeupliftingfunny
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Maybe leave Grey?

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Op - I am sorry that some responses are condescending and most of them are just gaslighting you. I don’t think be better is the advice you were looking for. It’s pathetic.

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Not being on the awards team doesn’t mean you’re terrible, please please don’t think that. The awards team has only sluggers. It doesn’t mean everyone else on the team is terrible. Very, very few people get into those awards teams. Both men and women complain about not getting in. A LOT. It sucks. The reason why there are few women in the awards teams is that there are few women in CD-level slots to begin with, which is a major problem in advertising and is because of sexist hiring practices. Now, if your agency had a bunch of women CDs winning tons of awards for the same agency, yet none got the awards briefs, now there’s a clear-cut case of sexism for the awards team. But as it is now, it’s really, really hard to prove it’s about gender because your entire story is the same for plenty of people, both men and women alike.

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smart
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Make friends with the non creatives on those projects such as strategy and account. Get them to bring up your name not just you. Also get them to get you these briefs the minute they become reality. Don't ask to work on them just do it. Then present the ideas to the cco or whoever and say hey I heard this was going on sand wanted to help. Then they can't ignore you.

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I would pitch your own proactive ideas and nail the execution. Your CCO May be an ass but he also may just be going to proven players to get the job done. Become a proven player

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likesmart
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Ask to see the brief and work on it on your own in parallel with the “dude team.” Everyone presents the first round writeups at the same time, in the same room, to everyone, including account. You’ll then 100% know whether it’s sexism or your creative ability.

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I’m not saying this isn’t happening, but you don’t have to wait to be assigned proactive work. It’s called proactive for a reason

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Have you read OP's responses and the full discussion on here?

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Maybe you’re not selling yourself the right way. The “put your nose to grind stone and they’ll notice you working your butt off” strategy doesn’t really work in advertising. They’ll keep you exactly where you are and milk you for your efforts. The people I’ve seen move up through the ranks the fastest are very chummy and constantly dropping backdoor brags. If you’re looking to move from ACD to CD you need more than award winning work. Maybe you could improve on your leadership, client relations, or impact on the agency overall. Remember that things become exceptionally political at that level.

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Same.

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It is likely that it has nothing to do with you not being a dude, if it is for awards pretty sure they want to win at all cause, they wouldn’t care if it’s a man or a woman who came up with the winning idea, perhaps your ideas just aren’t good enough to make the team.

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smart
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VP2 It’s the culture we live in, not a type of person. It’s a systemic problem.

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