Women in Agencies

In October 2019 we kicked off our mission to increase the number of women starting agencies.

We looked in depth at the reasons why there is such disparity in the number of women who are running agencies and are in senior leadership positions within our industry.

So – why is this an issue? Our industry should reflect society, and at the moment – It doesn’t.

We’ve been exploring the potential reasons why this might be the case, and in June 2020 we held our Women in Agencies month – a whole month dedicated to exploring possible causes (such as unconscious bias), addressing barriers and looking to a solution. We spent time with both female and male agency owners to talk openly – sharing stories and advice on how founders can learn, evolve and make change.

Agencies need diversity to remain relevant in an ever-changing world. The industry as a whole needs more female agency owners to help lead this change. While there is an imbalance in the number of male and female agency owners, the results they achieve are almost identical.

Agency collective women in agencies group shot

With the backing of our tremendous community we launched the #ACPLEDGE.

This is each agency owner picking an activity, or a change they can make to not only affect their agency but to promote gender equality industry wide.

We urge you to get involved – here is our list of suggestions and how you can possibly help.

Regularly champion female team members on social media

Regularly champion women you admire in our industry and highlight why

Have a female audience in mind when you write your job ads

Research gender bias detection software and use it for recruitment

Work towards a 50% male to female ratio in your team

Appoint a female advisor to work strategically with your agency

Organise a women in agencies event for your team, inviting inspirational women to speak

Calculate your current gender pay distribution and make changes if unbalanced

Start career development programmes for all staff - supporting women to pursue career progression

Look to up and coming talent - can you form an alliance with local educational institutions?

Offer a CV clinic for young women looking to work in our industry

Give young women an opportunity to present ideas to your agency

Shout about it, let others know.

It is simply not enough to think ‘we hire the best person for the job’ or ‘we just dont get any women apply’.

Diversity takes hard work – but ultimately your agency will be stronger for it.


Get involved in The Agency Collective and feel supported in making a difference.

#ACpledge: Women Who Help Agencies: Anne Harlow & Ellie Hale

#ACpledge: Women In Agencies. Sue Keogh founder of Sookio

#ACpledge: Women In Agencies. Kelly Molson Co-founder Of Rubber Cheese

#ACpledge: Women In Agencies. Liz Corless founder of ICHI Worldwide

#ACpledge: Women In Agencies. Rebecca Brennan Managing Director Of Cubo

Did you know that 47% of agencies don’t have an active plan to support the next generation of women entering the industry?

Read the full results from our gender equality survey by filling in the form.