It doesn’t need to be International Women’s Day for Spoon to be immensely proud of the fact that all of our six offices are led by phenomenal female directors – but it’s a great reason to shout about it. Even though the creative industry is saturated with women, the heads of creative departments are usually dominated by men. As few as 3% of creative directors are female. A 2019 study led by Lean In found that women are 21% less likely to be promoted to management roles.
We took this opportunity to ask our female agency directors across all six offices about their roles leading Spoon offices. In this article, Oslo’s Marte Ramborg discusses her experience as a leader of a creative agency.
What do you enjoy most about leading a creative agency?
My favorite thing about leading a creative industry has to be the luxury of being amazed and impressed almost every day. Be it an important pitch, or just a fun group assignment at our internal kick-off, the teams always come back with stuff I could have never imagined and so much better than I had hoped for.
What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learnt managing multiple stakeholders and sometimes indecipherable client briefs?
Ask, and then ask again. In order to get the clients’ needs right, we have to make sure we REALLY understand the problem and what success looks like. Sometimes clients are not even sure themselves, or they disagree with your proposed direction, which is valid and understandable. The world, market, and their target groups’ preferences are constantly changing. In that case, our job is to help the client identify the problem and set the right goals, and make sure everyone with valuable input is included in the process. That makes implementation SO much easier.
Are there any changes (in mindsets or otherwise) that you would like to see, in order to help more women break into management within the Creative industry?
Definitely. Although women leaders are common in Spoon, we are a minority in this industry. And shockingly enough: the pay gap between men and women in our business is huge. And even when you have years of experience and are in leadership roles, the gap is still big. Male creativity is somehow more worth than female creativity? So that’s the change I’d like: pay equality and kickass women promoted.
Tracing back your career trajectory, do you spot any limitations you faced as a female entrepreneur? How have they shaped your career?
I have met the odd alpha male and been mansplained to, but I honestly think I have been fairly shielded. I am forever grateful to my Mum and the other women in her generation, who had to fight for the place in business and society I now take for granted. And I am proud to have a son and daughter who identify as feminists.
Gain more insight from Spoon’s agency directors: