A Peek At Female Pressures & Opportunities, a Session for Advertising Week

September 22, 2017

“Things can only get better, but unless we do something, they won’t.”


When it comes to purchasing power, EY predicts that by 2028, 80% of all discretionary spend will lie in the hands of women. It’s more important than ever that the media industry gets to grips with its problem with gender inclusivity in advertising.

In summer 2016, we partnered with Advertising Week to carry out original research to better understand the career paths of men and women in advertising. The findings were pretty sobering.  One year on, in September 2017, has the industry done enough for gender inclusivity in advertising?  We asked over 250 executives from the US advertising industry for their view on the matter.

Fast forward to Monday 25th September, Foresight Factory’s CEO & Co-Owner Meabh Quoirin will be joined on stage at Advertising Week New York by Rebecca Mahony from Media iQ, Sarah Wood of Unruly, Inga Stenta from Reebok and Heidi Anderson from LinkedIn to discuss the findings of this year’s survey and a 360 view of Female Pressures & Opportunities.

How has our panel of female leaders succeeded in brushing gender inequality aside in their working lives? What can the advertising, creative and media industries learn from their stories? What does the data from each of these women’s businesses tell us about female purchasing power, tastes and cultural preferences?  In the context of Foresight Factory’s own analysis of global consumers, 68% worldwide are more likely to buy from a brand that reflects them. So is the advertising industry doing enough to appeal to an empowered consumer, who’s also likely to be female?

Other questions we will ask are: do women recognise themselves and their lives reflected in the media they consume? We need not look further than Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty makeup line which caters to women of all colours and became the fastest brand to gain 1 million followers on Instagram to understand the the potential rewards of getting it right or Ariel’s heralded Share The Load campaign.  And conversely that Pepsi advert for getting it so, so wrong.



An age of precariousness


While netizens love to be dramatic, gender diversity is a particularly poignant sentiment against the current political backdrop in the USA.  As the smoke cleared on movements like #WomenMarchOnWashington, so did the emergence of a new reality: it’s now up to certain industries and individuals to champion positive change. During our last discussion at Advertising Week, we asked “what holds women back from being promoted in the media, advertising and marketing industry?” and “workplace sexism” scored 53%, compared to “confidence” at 33%. If the very industries responsible for driving consumer intent and purchase aren’t flag bearers for gender equality within their own walls, are they best placed to emanate and reflect 21st cultural reality?


We’d love to see you either in-person or on the live stream at our session.  You can also join in the conversation on Twitter @futurethoughts #FFdiversity #AWNewYork



Female Pressures & Opportunities: A 360 View Monday 25th of September Advertising Week New York Bing Stage


Written by Dominic Harrison

Director of Global Trends at Foresight Factory. Wish for the future? A world where new generations of smart tech adopt a less interruptive and visible presence in our lives. No more phones at dinner!