Although you may think the creative industry is better than most in terms of gender equality (we certainly did) there are still some pretty damning statistics…

  • Only a smidge over 25% of the digital industry is female
  • TV & film is slightly better at 37%, but still way off 50/50
  • Only 25% of senior positions are held by women in the advertising sector
Katie Sm


Although I have been told in the past, that after stressing about project deadlines, ‘that’s what girls are like’… throughout my time in design (from school to now) I have found, for the most part, no issues with being female, with every experience being positive. I have never felt that I have been at a disadvantage, which is reflective of the kind of people I have met and worked with. 

It was interesting going from being one of three girls in my graphic design class at secondary school (out of a class of about 20), to uni where 70% of my year were female. Even half of my lecturers were women and all very successful graphic designers/illustrators, and it was inspiring to hear their stories of their time in the industry and how they have got to where they are today. After my experiences, I didn’t realise the split was so unequal – shown by the facts above. But thinking about it, at design museums or art galleries, many of the famous artists or graphic designers you see being exhibited, are male. I would have guessed that the creative industry is one of the most accepting industries, due to the forward thinking and diverse approach it has. However, more obviously needs to be done to create a more equal sector.

Sophie Sm

Soph H

Coming from a sports & physical education high school, I was quite lucky to grow up in an environment that was equal in nature and free from bias. Throughout my participation in netball in particular, from a young age, I wanted to break the stereotype or even challenge it. But more importantly, I wanted to develop a strong self-worth – key areas for any young woman.

Even though I’m not so ‘sporty’ now, I enjoyed sports and it helped build my confidence and ambition in a very male-driven subject, which has stood me in good stead in my working life and beyond.

Charlotte Sm


I went to an all girls high school which really celebrated women and inspired us to achieve in whatever career path we chose. That gave me a really good foundation for the working world and I started working at Citizen without any preconceptions of the industry being more male or female oriented. Throughout my time at Citizen the split of male and female has always been fairly equal which I think has contributed to some brilliant team dynamics. I’ve also worked with some amazing clients, both male and female, but I have particularly looked up to some female clients who juggle a busy schedule with work and home responsibilities and still manage to be creative and challenge the norms in marketing. 

Recently, I’ve been really fortunate to become a part owner and we joined The Agency Collective where agency owners can meet up for support and industry talks. At my first event, I was really surprised to see so few female owners. In fact, when I think about it, all of the local agencies I know of are male owned, but seeing a group in one room made it really stand out. This year The Agency Collective is addressing the massive imbalance by promoting more female talent within the industry. It’s really interesting to hear everyone’s stories and although it would be great to see more females coming into that space, I’ve genuinely found that all agency owners are really supportive of each other, regardless of gender.