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Is gender parity a reality in China’s ad industry? | 中国广告业男女平等了吗?

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There has been a positive trend in advertising lately, especially in the West, which is addressing the inequalities women face. In 2016, #WomenNotObjects and #IStandUp ignited the gender conversation and became an ambitious campaign to stop the objectification of women in advertising. These campaigns and changes bring up an important question: “If we can’t create media that is respectful to women, how can we expect women to be respected within the industry?” Gender equality in the creative workplace has long been a hot-button issue, and will take years to correct, but the move is definitely on the rise.

近来,广告中出现了一种可观的趋势,特别是在西方,这种趋势正在解决女性面临的性别歧视问题。在2016年,“女性不是附属物”、“女人站起来”激起了关于性别的话题讨论,并成为了一场来势汹汹的旨在阻止广告将女性形象物化的运动。这些运用和改变引发了一个重要的问题:“如果我们不能创造出尊重女性的媒体,我们又怎么期待女性在业内受到尊重呢?”长期以来性别平等在创意领域一直是一个热点话题,实现性别平等亦将花费很长时间。 但是可以确信的是这个问题正在逐步改善。

There are a number of global initiatives that have been created recently in the advertising industry to address the issue, and take action. Last year, in the wake of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, 180 women executives launched Times Up Advertising with the mission to “drive new policies, practices and decisions to address workplace discrimination, harassment and abuse”. OWNED was founded at the end of last year as an initiative of global inclusion, aiming to support and promote women-owned companies in the ad industry. Beginning of this year 2019, The Gerety Awards was announced specifically to support initiatives that champion diversity in the creative industries and features an all-female jury for their first ever selection of winners.

Most recently, ad-women.com, the ad world search engine officially launched on International Women’s Day, putting female talents in the spotlight.

广告行业近年来出现了一些全球性的举措,通过采取实际行动来解决这一问题。去年,紧随“还有我”和 “该停止了”的活动之后,180名女性高管带着“推动新政策、新实践、新决策的实施,解决工作场合中的性别歧视、性骚扰和侮辱”的任务,发起了“广告界该停止了” 的活动。去年年末“属于我”成立,作为一项全球性的举措,来支持和促进业内女性创办的公司。2019年初,盖雷娣奖成立,创意产业中的女性也能获得该将项的冠军,并且该奖项以全部由女性组成的评审团为特色,来选拔有史以来首批获奖者。

最近,ad-women.com(女性广告人,一个网站),和广告世界搜索引擎正式设立了国际女性日,让女性的才能得到充分的关注。

Even before these most recent initiatives, #FreeTheBid was created to unite brands, ad agencies, and production companies to pledge to include at least one woman director every time they triple-bid a commercial production. And 2017 saw the rise of Chicks in Advertising (CIA), MORE GIRLS, Where are The Boss Ladies,  and SheSays, all created to push for parity in the industry. This all strongly indicates that the industry is striving for equality. What, though, about the industry in China? 

甚至在最近的这些活动之前,就联合品牌,广告商,制作公司创立了“自由投标”,来保证每当商业产品被投标三次的时候,就有一位女性竞标人。2017年见证了“小鸡广告”,“更多姑娘”,“女老板在哪里”,“她说”的设立,来推动性别平等。这些都有力的证明这个行业在努力为性别平等做斗争。那么,在中国的行业内,情况又是怎样的呢?

The idea of gender equality was introduced and largely widespread in the People’s Republic of China during the Cultural revolution. As a result, in the 1980s, China’s female employment rate became one of the highest in the world – much higher than in the US, UK and even Sweden. Generations of Chinese women and men since have grown up with the idea of gender parity in the work force, which has largely contributed to this issue to be perceived as nonexistent in China, or at least, less concerning. Last year, The Drum conducted a study to point out that the advertising industry in China has achieved a “gender balance unmatched in other markets”.

在文化大革命期间,性别平等这一主张在中国得到了广泛的宣传和推广。因此,在二十世纪八十年代,中国成为世界上女性就业率最高的国家之一,远远高于美国,英国甚至瑞典。从那以后,一代又一代的中国女性和男性都是在男女平等就业的观念中成长的,这在很大程度上让性别歧视这个问题在中国无足轻重,至少不那么令人担忧。去年,《The Drum》开展了一项研究,指出中国的广告领域已经实现了其他领域无法企及的性别平等。

A relatively large number of industry giants such as BBDO, Carat, Cheil, Dentsu Aegis Network, Publicis Media, and Grey are just some of the agencies helmed by women in China. And even on the less official scale, when asking female creatives, producers, or managers in China about parity in the industry and what kinds of discrimination they might face in the work place they will often mention that it’s generally not something they have encountered.

在中国, 一大批行业巨头,如天联广告、克拉广告、杰尔广告、电通安吉斯媒体、阳狮广告、和精信广告,都由女性掌管。并且甚至在不那么正式的场合,当问及中国女性创意人员、制片人或管理人这个行业的性别平等程度,以及她们在工作中可能会遇到哪些歧视时,她们也总会表示,她们在业内不常遇到这些问题。

 

Carol Lam, chief creative officer and president of Leo Burnett Greater China was quoted by The Drum:  “I remember, when I was starting out, there were a lot of outstanding women role models and as a young woman, seeing is believing. We were lucky to have a handful of extraordinary women in our industry in the beginning. We grew up seeing so many women in leadership roles. The idea of inequality never crossed my mind’.

《The Drum》引用Carol Lam—李奥贝纳大中华区的董事长和首席创意官的话来讲:“我记得在我刚开始的时候,有很多杰出的女性榜样,而且她们很年轻。眼见为实。我很庆幸起初在我们行业里就有一些出色的女性。我们从小就看到很多女性担任领导角色。我从来没有想过不平等。”

Christine Ng, CEO of BBH China mentions in the same article, “As the industry took off with the increase in domestic consumerism and influx of more international agencies, the demand for trained talent was far greater than the supply. The focus of any agency management in China would be on skill and experience regardless of gender.”

Christine Ng, 百比赫中国区域的首席执行官,在同一篇文章中提到,随着国内消费的增长和更多国际机构的涌入,该行业开始腾飞,受过培训的人才往往供不应求。在中国,任何机构管理的重点都将放在技能和经验上,而不是性别。”

Publicis Media Greater China restructured its leadership team last year, promoting four women to CEOs. Overall women broadly make up 74% of the company, with 69% representing mid to senior ranks. Bertilla Teo, CEO of Publicis Media Greater China, says the promotions are in line with the company’s gender-neutral attitudes. “Market competitiveness, especially in fast-growing Asian markets like China, encourages gender-neutral hiring policies. When I look at the business and company, I look at building a team based on merit. I am gender agnostic”.

阳狮广告大中华区去年改组了领导团队,将四位女性提拔为首席执行官。女性在公司中整体占比为74%,其中69%处于中上阶层。张敬鸾,阳狮广告大中华区的首席执行官,她表示此次的提拔体现了公司对性别所持的中立态度。“市场竞争,尤其是在像中国这些快速增长的亚洲市场,遵循性别平等的用人政策。当我审视企业和公司时,考虑的是根据业绩来组建团队。我是无性别主义者。”

The SHP+ directory lists about 60 major production companies in Mainland China, about 20 of which are owned by women. Pauline Sun, producer with 10 years of experience and now the owner of production house FlyOver Films in Shanghai, and also a member of OWNED, says:  “I never felt or thought that gender was an obstacle for me to access good leading positions, and I’ve never experienced any salary discrimination at work. It’s all about mind-set, I think that in work and in life, women and men are equal. If you want to gain a better salary or achieve more, work hard and keep learning, develop your professional skills and most importantly, self-confidence and self-esteem. In Shanghai, I think most of us think this way”.

《SHP+》(一本广告杂志)和工商名录列出了中国大陆的60多个主要制作公司,其中大约20个为女性所有。Pauline Sun,是一位有着十年工作经验的制作人,现在是一家位于上海的名叫飞越电影的制作公司的所有者,也是“属于我”的成员。她说:“我从来不觉得或不认为性别是女性担任领导职务的障碍。这都是心态问题。我觉得无论在工作还是生活中,男性和女性都是平等的。如果你想获得更高的薪水,取得更大的成就,努力工作,不断学习,发展专业技能。最重要的是,自尊自信。在上海,我觉得我们中的大多数人都是这么做的。”

Women in China’s Creative Industry Speak Out | 中国创意产业女性心声征集

Perhaps even more impressive is the fact that Chinese women in ad agencies are also excelling in their work, with 33% of married women under 40 earning more than their husbands, while a further 19% of single women earning more than their male counterparts according to findings in the BBDO Voices report cited by The Drum.

也许更令人震惊的是广告行业中的中国女性在工作中也是十分出色的。根据《The Drum》所引用的天联广告公司报告中的研究结果,33%的40岁以下的中国女性的收入高于其配偶,于此同时,19%的单身女性收入高于她们的男性同行。

Although these numbers make it sound like China is way ahead of things in advertising, they are also contradictory to China’s overall recent performance in the Global Gender Gap Index. In 2018 China came 103rd out of 149 countries in the global ranking of gender equality. This index measures the national average of women’s opportunities in politics, education, health and the economy. But according to World Bank 2018 data, China still has one of highest female economic participation in the world (60.8%) compared to the world average (48.47%) or European Union (50.97%), or even countries like USA (56.86%) or UK (55.48%). Nonetheless, as a recent Chinese study reveals, China is battling a gender pay gap which is getting worse year by year. On average in 2018 women received 20% less than men. The latest Women in Work Index  also suggests that China could increase its GDP by US$497 billion by matching its female employment rate of Sweden, one of the top countries in terms of gender equality in a workplace.

尽管这些数据让中国听起来似乎在广告业遥遥领先,根据全球性别差异指数,对近期中国的整体表现依然存在着反对的声音。2018年,中国的性别平等程度在全球149个国家中排名103位。这一数据反映的是国内女性参与政治、教育、卫生和经济的情况的平均水平。但是根据世界银行2018年的数据,与世界平均水平(48.47%)、欧盟(50.97%)、甚至美国(56.86%)、英国(55.48%)相比,中国仍然是世界范围内女性经济参与度最高的国家之一(60.8%)。尽管如此,中国一项近期的研究表明,中国正受到男女收入差距的困扰,并且这一差距在逐年增加。2018年,女性的收入平均比男性少20%。最新的职业女性指数也显示,中国的GDP得增加4970亿美元,这样才能比得上瑞典的女性就业率。瑞典是世界上男女平等程度最高的国家之一。

In view of the less impressive national China statistics above, perhaps we can look at the advertising and creative industry in China as a rare phenomenon where gender parity is (at least nearly) achieved. Even though there are no 100% reliable national statistics on the industry, perhaps it should still be celebrated?

鉴于上述的那些不那么令人震惊的中国统计数据,或许我们可以把中国的广告和创意产业视为难得的行业,在这个行业中性别平等(至少接近)已经实现。尽管这个行业的统计数据不一定百分百可靠,但或许依然值得庆祝呢!

Of course, the bigger picture facts lend somewhat of a fogged lens through which to understand gender equality in the Chinese ad industry. Regardless, there’s still and always will be a great need for a dialogue and exchange.  This year’s ADFEST, which will take place in Pattaya, Thailand on March 20th-23rd, will add to the dialogue. The event will feature a panel women business leaders in the industry, organised by OWNED, discussing the importance of balanced leadership and opportunities to encourage parity. SHP+, as one of the founders of OWNED will join the line up of expert speakers. The panel will discuss why, now more than ever, it is important to continue to drive the conversation about equality forward.

当然,更宏观的事实在一定程度上为理解中国广告业的性别平等提供了一个模糊的视角。尽管如此,我们现在和将来都需要进一步的交流和意见交换。今年3月20日至23日在泰国芭堤雅举办的亚太广告节,将会增加意见交换。此次由“属于我”主办的活动,以业内女性领导组为特色,讨论均衡的领导岗位和就业机会的重要性,以推广性别平等。《SHP+》, 作为“属于我”的创始人之一,将会进行专家演讲。该小组将讨论为什么现在比以往任何时候都更有必要继续推动性别平等向前发展。

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