Older women in adland, with their wealth of talent and experience, are a valuable commodity that agencies overlook at their peril.
You won’t want to discount Madeleine Morris. In ‘Campaign’ from London she writes her personal account in the advertising industry as a creative professional. A professional who is over 50.
She was let go from an agency known for their diversity, at least when it came to women. They did have 7 creative professionals over 45 and 5 were even women. They seem to have stumbled when they made 3 of the women redundant.
It’s easy to see me as a working mum who lives in suburbia and happens to be the wrong side of 50. And I agree I’m not a cool, young creative. But I am a pretty cool 51-year-old creative.
She believes that living a full life, as mundane as that might seem to her younger colleagues in the pub on a weeknight, actually gives her a more holistic approach to her work. Morris thinks she could have even been more aggressive in positioning herself for the bigger projects or taken more risks.
She describes the fact of many women in professional settings, especially older women.
Instead, I put my head in the sand. I worried I wasn’t good enough. I wasn’t perfect. My opinion wasn’t valid. I suffered from imposter syndrome so I didn’t step up. I was shit at self-promotion and I was shackled by fear of failure. All things that women traditionally suffer from at work.
Her lesson is to speak up and be noticed in the future. But she won’t lie about her age.
On the way out the door her superior noted that she’d “be fine”, that she was a unique entity in her industry. Morris read that as notice that she’d be filling a quota for some company with diversity goals.
We think Madeleine will be just fine and we hope to hear about her triumph over her next creative challenge.
Read the full article: The truth about being made redundant as a female creative in your fifties