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, Stockholm’s Maria Biesterfeldt discusses her experience as a leader of a creative agency.
What do you enjoy most about leading a creative agency?
Working in a creative agency requires you to be attentive to your clients’ needs. These needs are constantly changing and you have to be promptly responsive to them. I love being amidst all the changes and taking an agile approach.
What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learnt managing multiple stakeholders and client briefs?
Establish a good rapport with your clients and invest extra time and effort in finding out what really works for them. Don’t assume what they want. Discuss it and always be honest and transparent about what you can actually deliver.
Are there any changes that you would like to see to help more women to break into management within the creative industry?
Considerable changes in both societal structure and mindset will facilitate a faster movement of women to leadership positions. In the workplace, there is much that can be done to create an inclusive leadership that suits several different types of leaders, which everyone benefits from, not least the company itself. As a manager, I am constantly invested in developing more leaders within my team.
Looking back at your career, what hurdles have you faced as a female entrepreneur?
Since I had children, I have become more aware that there are almost certainly workplaces that would think twice before promoting me. Fortunately, Spoon is not such a workplace. Most of the time, women stand at a disadvantage without even realising it. It is so ingrained in the fabric of our society for men to be leaders.
Gain more insight from Spoon’s agency directors: