Commentary

Survey To Determine Extent of Sexism In Advertising Agencies

The 3% Movement, the organization that produces the annual 3% Conference, has partnered with researcher Michele Medansky who examined sexism in Silicon Valley with a study called Elephant in the Valley. Medansky will field a study called, appropriately, Elephant on Madison Avenue which will examine the prevalence of sexism in the advertising business. 

Of the study, 3% Movement Founder Kat Gordon said: "There’s been considerable dispute recently about how prevalent sexism and bias are in advertising. With the very public lawsuit against JWT, and with holding company CEOs at odds about how entrenched the issue is, the time felt right to give women a mechanism to share real feedback from their own experiences." 

The results of the survey will be revealed at the annual 3% Conference in November in New York City. 

Explaining that the survey is not out to play a blame game, 3% Movement COO Lisen Stromberg said: "At a time when the retention of women is a critical business issue, we are eager to move beyond impressions and opinions to real data about the experience of being a woman in advertising. We aren’t out to shame or name agencies. We’re out to give women a safe way to report back from inside the walls of their workplaces. The Elephant on Madison Avenue survey will give much-needed insight into what women face day-to-day and offer benchmarks for how we can move forward together." 

An initial community outreach survey from the 3% Movement indicated that 23% of advertising women have experienced or witnessed sexual harassment and 25% have personally experienced gender discrimination. The Elephant on Madison Avenue study aims to dig deeper and determine the causes behind these numbers.

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