Who run the world? Girls. – By @carlyillston

By Carly Illston


Who run the world? Girls. 


We are so so lucky to have had masterclasses from 3 amazingly talented, badass women this week. Rosie Arnold, Vikki Ross, and Alex Mecklenburg. Not only did we learn that £100 La Mer eye cream does the same job as the £3 Nivea one at Boots, but we also saw how these three women have been making waves in their respective specialties. 

Rosie Arnold shared her wisdom on how to sneakily promote your values while still respecting a brand’s voice. She has spent her entire career fighting to make the advertising world a place that reflects the real world. 

Alex Mecklenburg taught us how to be resilient in the face of adversity, and gave us the skills to do so. 

Vikki Ross taught us to stand by our values and to do what is right, even if it means losing a venture. 

I feel so fortunate to be exposed to these role models, and this week they have really helped me with the dreaded imposter syndrome. I saw 3 women that are unapologetically themselves and are thriving because of it. 

As great as “Mad Men” is, let’s face it, women were virtually invisible in the advertising world at that time. Advertising was created through the straight white guy lens that only offers bias and a lack of perspective. Women were reflected in advertising, but existed in the following categories: the mother, the sex object, the domestic goddess, the nagging wife, the clueless girl. 

We know that women are smart, and inspiring, and beautiful, and strong, and nurturing, and powerful. But we will never see these women on screen until changes are made. But we see no change because these white guys at the top see no need to make change. We need to be seeing far more women in positions of power in the industry. A staggering 89% of senior creative positions within the top UK agencies are men, and 83% of creatives are men. (Thanks to Scarlett for the statistics!). 

At times I do feel like we haven’t made much progress since the 60s. But we know this isn’t fully true. Look at Dove’s Real Beauty, and Billie, and Always’ #LikeAGirl, and This Girl Can. I look at the amazing women I work with at SCA, and our incredible role models, and I have hope. 

I’d like to end this SCAB with a quote from Queen Bey herself: 

“Who run the world? Girls” 

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