With women making up around seven percent of the population of film directors according to recent reports, the #FreeTheBid initiative calls on brands, agencies, and production companies to pledge to include at least one female director in each commercial triple bid process. Weber Shandwick made the pledge to #FreeTheBid today, joining some of the world’s top brands and leading advertising agencies in encouraging wider access and more opportunity for women in film.
“There are all kinds of big percentages associated with women and consumer spending. Some say women account for 85% of it in the US – as much as $28 trillion in spending globally. But the percentages of women involved on the creative teams that make all those films, spots and content that touch women’s lives are woefully low,” said Gail Heimann, president of Weber Shandwick. “We’re committed to fix it – by obsessively working to build in-house teams that are balanced and by including women in the bidding process for non-agency directorial talent. Every time. At Weber Shandwick, gender equality at every stage of the process has been a focus and priority for years. We’re energized to make that commitment official by taking this pledge.”
Free the Bid’s work to catalyze diversity in creative fields aligns with Weber Shandwick’s broad efforts to foster diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in marketing – among the firm’s workforce, through its work on behalf of clients and among the marketing industry overall. The agency recently launched a dedicated offering to help clients with communications strategy around DEI initiatives. The firm is also proud to partner with several organizations to foster DEI, including ColorComm, the LAGRANT Foundation, the PR Council, the Arthur W. Page Society, the Plank Center and PR Diversity 2020.
Weber Shandwick has received recognition from across the communications industry for its approach. In 2016, the firm was honored with the Best PR Firm Diversity Initiative award by the PR Council and PRWeek at the annual Diversity Distinction in PR Awards – the fifth award Weber Shandwick has received at the Diversity Distinction in PR Awards since the program was established six years ago.