We all know how important it is to encourage equality through our culture in the workplace. But it’s no secret that women are underrepresented in senior leadership positions.
It’s everyone’s shared responsibility to become not only advocates, but champions of women from diverse backgrounds within their organisations – and in their lives at large. And in the creative sector, if we want to truly do our part to help women stake their claim, it means businesses taking ownership of their own equality scores in a number of ways – not least, by appointing women to the senior leadership positions we need them to be in.
At Proctor + Stevenson, we’re one of the UK’s longest-established independent marketing agencies. Despite this, we’ve never been conformists, and we’re a good step ahead of your traditional London-based agency in more ways than one.
A step ahead of the industry
Our Founder and Chairman, Roger Proctor, has always been an outspoken industry figure. He’s championed diverse young creative talent from the South West of England and Wales – an often neglected region for the arts – throughout his career.
Back in 1979, he laid in our bold and independent foundations in Bristol. And the rest is history. We’ve been challenging inequities and hiring diverse talent ever since – such as through hosting the South West Design + Digital Student Awards (which saw a particularly high volume of entries from young female designers this year).
In short, the talent is there. So what changes are being made?
At the start of 2021, Roger and the senior team restructured Proctor + Stevenson by splitting the larger brand into three companies: P+S Creative, P+S Technology and P+S Strategy, all overseen by the P+S Group (you can read more about these changes here). And this change marked a new milestone for the P+S team.
Time for change
Our restructuring was the perfect opportunity to progress our own equality targets across the team at Proctors. It was at this point in our journey that we ensured the P+S Group met a target of 50/50 male-to-female directorship.
So, without further ado, meet our board…
· Joy Locke is our Company Secretary. She applies her 20+ years’ experience with us to take lead of everything operations, finance, accounts, and administration. She ensures that we were keeping on track with budgets.
· Ailsa Billington is one of our Directors. She leads our client services operations and takes charge of directing major global campaigns for our multinational portfolio of clients. She directs over all teams in the P+S Group to make sure that we deliver the best campaigns to transform our clients’ businesses for the better.
· Nikki Hunt is our Financial Director. CIMA-qualified, Nikki brings a wealth of experience in management accountancy, HR, payroll, and health and safety to our business, keeping us running efficiently and safely.
· Roger Proctor is our Chairman. He founded P+S in 1979 and has continued to lead its transformation ever since. Under his leadership, the business has grown from 2 people to more than 70, plus a network of freelance talent, and has won a global portfolio of clients such as Panasonic, National Grid, Saudi Arabian Airlines, and much more. He is passionate about the power of creativity to make positive change and is also heavily involved in strengthening the links between the creative industries and education.
· Mark Jamieson is another of our Directors. He helped establish our presence in the Middle East and is an expert in developing, building, and maintaining positive client relationships in across all sectors.
· Steve King is the final member of our current team of Directors. He leads our large-scale digital projects on everything concept creation, development, and project delivery. He’s worked on many innovative and world-first technology projects.
An evolution of our commitment
At Proctors, we’ve always taken equality and diversity extremely seriously. Because when we celebrate and empower women in business, it benefits everyone.
We strive to nurture careers amongst our female talent, building them up into more senior roles within our business. And we want to continue to progress further. We’re currently building a broader, transparent picture of our teams, our diversity, and our biases to discover how we can do better.
There’s lots more to be done to help narrow the gap between women in leadership across the UK. It’s a fact that only 5.6% of women in the UK run their own business and women only account for 33.8% of positions as directors on business boards in the UK, with only 16% of creative directors reported to be female.
A view from the top
We’ve just launched the first instalment of our Women in Business interview series. In it, our own Marketing Manager, Becca Peppiatt, sits down with Peaches Golding OBE CsJT, Her Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant of the County and City of Bristol. This interview, like the rest of the series, delivers insight into the female perspective of working in business, so aspiring young women can see themselves represented in leadership roles. Stay tuned for more instalments of the series, coming soon.
We can all do our part to progress the important conversations which need to be had about an industry that is in many ways stuck in the past, ignoring some of its blatant inconsistencies. There’s lots more to be done and we intend to continue to work hard to narrow some of the gaps that exist. We need to think intersectionally about how we hire, and how we can create healthy, fair environments for women to succeed in.
For more information about Proctor + Stevenson, or to discuss our services or teams in more detail, please email us.