Execs to Challenge Sexual Harassment in Advertising Industry

A group of 180 senior female advertising executives is partnering with Time’s Up to address sexual harassment and systemic inequality in the advertising industry.

In a letter of solidarity posted on the Time’s Up web site, the ad executives state:

“Hey, Sisters, we know  … As women in senior leadership positions in advertising, we’ve agreed that we have the power to change this business we love until it looks more like the industry we want to lead.”

They write that “old power dynamics are a lot of the problem. Power that blurs the lines between what you get to do/have/touch/ask for/expect and what you don’t.”

The group will hold “community gatherings” on May 14 in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago, and create an online forum for reach beyond major cities. They plan to identify policies that have failed women,  mentor people “who represent diversity across the board” and encourage the adoption of progressive agency training and education programs.

According to the group’s manifesto:

“Time’s up, Advertising.

Time’s up on sexual harassment.

Time’s up on lack of representation.

Time’s up on inequity.

Time’s up on silence.”

The organizers include Jo Shoesmith, the first female chief creative officer in the 105-year history of Detroit-based Campbell Ewald .

TIME’S UP™ was launched on January 1 by  women in the entertainment industry in the wake of a series of widely publicized sexual harassment scandals. It hopes to be a global force  to address workplace discrimination, harassment and abuse and to foster business reform. The organization has created a legal defense fund administered by the National Women’s Law Center to provide legal assistance to those who have experienced harassment or retaliation.