On 8 March every year, International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated. This year’s theme is Each for Equal – the day aims to achieve a gender equal world by celebrating women’s achievements, increasing visibility all while calling out inequality. We spoke with Laura Rogers, Creative Director at adam&eveDDB about how they’re choosing to recognise female creatives with their new initiative, #SheTakesOver.
Teaming up with a number of other agencies and not for profit organisations, #SheTakesOver is all about celebrating the role of women in the creative industry, with a focus on promoting rising talents in the areas of photography, filmmaking and musical composition. On thinking of how to mark International Women’s Day this year, Laura thought, “why limit celebrating women to one day?” “#SheTakesOver is a month to celebrate and elevate female creatives,” says Laura.
Realising that they might be on to an idea that would resonate with others, Laura and her team reached out to the industry and were joined by 28 organisations in rolling out #SheTakesOver during the month of March. “We’re often competing with one another, but this is something we can do collaboratively,” says Laura, with the collaboration enabling the message to be heard louder and clearer by the industry.
While acknowledging the importance of IWD, Laura notes that it’s important to support people all the time. “As an industry we expect everyone to bring their whole selves to work. We need to understand people with empathy and provide the tools that allow them to be their best selves.”
Laura believes that people are their best selves when they are working on something they care about. She says that it’s important for every creative to have a project they are personally passionate about, recognising that sometimes this can come through briefs, but often it’s something outside of your day job.
For Laura, her passion has always been “work that does good for the world.” Laura says that projects you are passionate about can make the more challenging aspects of a creative role feel smaller and help creative people keep sane. Her current passion project is #SheTakesOver, and she loves that so many people share her passion for supporting female creatives.
It hasn’t been hard to find female creatives who are doing great work, but the more people who know about this work the better, with the end game of #SheTakesOver to increase the visibility of female creatives. Recognising that Awards can play a big part in catapulting a creative’s career, Laura emphasises the importance of having balanced judging and the importance of recognising one’s own unconscious biases. “We need to be critical of the things we take for granted,” she says, emphasising that challenging our own thoughts and beliefs constantly makes for better work.
As a former member of the British Arrows jury, Laura has been in the room when the decisions have been made and feels that the Arrows juries are champions of creativity. “The British Arrows challenge the industry to do better. They push for creative excellence,” she says. The industry has changed, and the Arrows has embraced this change, with the way we consume film now being so different to when the awards first started, Laura notes. She says that film is now more important than ever and not only customers, but companies are demanding to see diversity in the choices made by creatives to represent the diverse audiences who are consuming the content.
With adam&eveDDB up for a number of British Arrows at this year’s awards, Laura is looking forward to the event at the end of this month. But before then, she encourages people to check out #SheTakesOver on social media to discover some of the talented women that make the industry great.