Foreign Female Office Director: “There is a gender issue in the Danish bureau.” Bureaubiz today presents two new studies pointing in the same direction. Industry Organization believes that earmarked childbirth rules will make a difference.
One would think that the office industry is a bliss for creative women. The industry does not belong to the traditional masculine part of the labor market, such as the construction and transport industry.
On the other hand, the American Netflix series “Mad Men” and later the Danish documentary series “Danske Mad Men: Fatter Times in the Advertising Industry” showed that the life, tone and the whole culture of the Danish advertising industry in the 70’s and 80’s was deeply rooted in a masculine worldview.
So maybe everything is not pink. In recent years, the industry has also repeatedly been characterized by debates that have criticized the lack of female jury members , as has been repeatedly pointed out that there is quite a substantial underrepresentation of women top executives in the industry .
There are no female top executives
Bureaubiz today presents a survey showing how industry employees themselves experience women’s challenges in the creative industry in Denmark. A total of 515 answers were received.
The survey has been conducted online, where industry employees have had the opportunity to respond via Bureaubiz ‘website and Facebookside as well as Bureaubiz’ Twitter and LinkedIn.
The branch has more than 7,000 employees, and we can not guarantee that everyone has had the opportunity to respond. Therefore, the study does not live up to the traditional methodological requirements that are required for a sample survey. This is therefore a survey indicating trends and should not be perceived as a statistically valid study.
How is the temperature in the industry? 88% of respondents agree / partially agree that women lack leadership in the office industry. 4% are ‘disagree’.
The perception that the bosses’ leadership is dominated by men is not new, and the bureaucracy is not the only industry that has been blamed over time.
Bureaubiz has studied how it works in the office industry, and here we can see that men perform 78% of the posts.
The survey shows that it is experienced as a problem. 77% of respondents believe that there is a need to do something about it, and they point out that family-friendly schemes should be established at work (45%), and earmarked for men should be regulated.
“I thought I came to a progressive country”
That’s how it does not surprise Clare McNally, there’s a guest teacher at DMJX. She originated originally from South Africa, where she has worked as a creative strategist for many years, but has lived and worked for the past five years in Denmark. She believes that Denmark is lagging behind countries we compare when it comes to women’s opportunities to make a career in the office industry.
She thinks there is a problem with so few female executives in the office industry. But she maintains that it is not a particular industry problem. Nor does she mean that it is a cultural problem, but rather a Danish problem.
“I come from South Africa, and we have many problems in terms of discrimination. I know how it looks. When I moved to Denmark, I thought I came to a progressive country. But if you look at gender relations in the Danish bureaucracy, that’s shocking. It’s bizarre -We live in 2018, “says Clare McNally.
She emphasizes that the conditions in Denmark are not about sexual offenses. Her criticism is not part of the # MeToo criticism. There is, however, what she calls “the good old sexism”.
“It’s a very polite form of sexism you have in Denmark. It has nothing to do with the current # MeToo debate, because it is about sexual offenses. No, what we are talking about here is the good old courteous 1950s sexism that is just hidden. It is called inequality, “said Clare McNally, wondering that she should tell her about a country that is usually associated with equality.
Christina Tønnesen, managing partner in Mensch, can not personally recognize that women are harder to gain leadership in the industry and she is not excited about the way in which the debate is based.
“To find the solution, we must agree on the problem. And I do not think diversity is a matter of a 50/50 distribution between men and women. Diversity is also about the distribution of age, cultural background, religion, sexual conviction, etc. And therefore the debate in our industry seems a little simmered, “she says.
She does not like that the discussion is constantly being divided between men and women. It’s all too simplified.
“Now I can see in the analysis that 61.86% think it is because corporate culture at the agencies is dominated by men. But it is a little too easy to say that it is the men’s fault that there are no more women in the industry. We women must also take on ourselves the responsibility to achieve what we want, “explains Christina Tønnesen.
Problems for women in making career in the office industry
77% of those who answered the survey believe that women in the office industry are harder to do a career. And they point out that the reason why there are no more female top executives in the industry is that corporate culture is dominated by men, that working hours give women challenges and women are more prioritizing the family.
Tine Aurvig-Huggenberger, CEO of the industry association Kreakom, is well aware of the results. But she believes that the office industry in many ways reflects the challenges of the rest of the Danish labor market, even though the conditions – according to her – may be more extreme in the office industry. Relationships that put family life on a serious test.
“Where the office industry differs from many other industries, it’s a very competitive environment because it’s so commercially rooted. It is reflected in the way in which work is being done. Many hard deadlines where employees sit at. 22:00 in the evening, “says Tine Aurvig-Huggenberger.
She emphasizes that it is not only a problem for the women who are affected, but also for the agencies themselves.
“Women are not necessarily better than men, but women have a different working life than men, and perhaps another perspective and take on many important areas. It’s silly not to use it. I think that, as a bureau, you should be fully aware that, purely competitive and earnings, you are in a bad place if you are not aware of this, “explains Tine Aurvig-Huggenberger and mentions that most studies show that the managements that are diverse in their composition simply have better earnings.
The symptom of the problem
A recurring criticism, which has been in the industry for several years, is that the proportion of female award winners has a strong list.
Bureaubiz ‘survey shows that 55% agree’ / ‘in part’ that women are harder to win awards than men have. One of the explanations could be that there are no equal distribution of men and women in the jury who hand out the coveted awards. 69% agree or partially agree that women are also harder than men to become jury members, which means that the food chain ends with fewer women winning the prices.
The food chain can be seen by Tine Aurvig-Huggenberger. She does not doubt that more women would win awards if there were more women in the jury and she believes that it is an important issue.
“If more women won awards, women’s visibility in the office industry would be bigger. There is a symbolism in it. When we, as an industry association, set Danish candidates for international awards, we always set the same number of women as men, “she says.
Clare McNally is only partially agreed. She has heard the criticisms in the industry of the missing female jury members, but believes that the problem is far deeper.
“Everybody talks about the missing women in the jury at the awards ceremony. For me, that’s not the problem. It is the symptom of the problem. Having said that, as someone who has been sitting as a jury member, I think it makes a difference to get more women, “she explains.
Early mood can make a difference
But when 77% of the survey respondents say something should be done about the percentage of women’s representation on top posts in the office industry, what will they do about it?
Establishing more family-friendly schemes at the workplace is a key priority. It is clear that the office industry is characterized by a work life with long working days and limited leisure time that pushes family life. 40% point out that legislation on earmarked maternity leave could be the way forward to change current conditions.
Tine Aurvig-Huggenberger points out that you can not force private companies to hire managers by specific gender. Kreakom is also not in favor of doing. However, according to her, it is not the same as not to focus on the issue.
“This is a lot about getting aware of what are the factors that matter. Men should have other maternity leave. It is quite obvious that it is one of the very major factors that creates a lack of equal gender representation among industry leaders. If you are going to break the old patterns, you have to give men some other maternity rights, “says Tine Aurvig-Huggenberger.
“Many people say that this kind of thing is definitely settled in the families. It is also true, but it is obvious that the one who earns at least two spouses is the one who takes the long maternity leave. And as women earn less than men on average, it ends with the woman who takes childbirth. “
Clare McNally points to the same. It is often women who take care of the young children and must override the long working days that are often associated with being an ambitious employee who can make a career.
“Most men are happy to be fathers and they talk about work-life balance while they are successful while their female spouses are put on the back of the career,” said Clare McNally, who believes it would help, If more men themselves took maternity leave so that they could see and experience what it meant to be gone for long periods of work.
Clare McNally is confident when it comes to the future. She believes that the conditions in the industry will change because the younger generations do not want to accept the conditions as they are now.
“They will talk high about this and they have the tools and support in their social networks to deal with it. It can not continue. It is not Saudi Arabia, “she says.
“Although the questionnaire is not scientific or representative of the whole industry, the figures still indicate a great need for and desire for a change in the industry. The coming generation may lead a more balanced industry, but why wait? The existing structures and generations are not powerless. Convictions can be changed, managers can become more aware of the equality issue and dialogue can pave the way for a solution. “