Creating real change in our culture requires various methods and movements, and most of all actionable engagement is required by those who care about these issues. 180 female industry leaders created Times Up Advertising. That’s incredible! And now it’s up to us, men and women alike, to show up and do our part. Changing our industry culture does not happen in a vacuum, and for this reason we support Times Up Advertising 110%.
We still strongly believe that the industry might have difficulty policing itself and that in the long run an independent 3rd party is needed to serve as a watchdog group. We hope entities such 4A’s can usher in such an entity. The list of 180 women admittedly included representation from agencies who’ve behaved complicity and done more to protect abusers and their own reputations in the past, but another powerful thing about change is that it’s never too late to better yourself, your actions, your agency, and your industry.
Ultimately, change is not a spectator sport, and the fact that Times Up Advertising has been created must be applauded and supported. Can you imagine what the industry was like when many of the 180 signatories of Times Up Advertising were starting out their careers? The various discriminatory things that many of them had to deal with? Times Up Advertising likely wouldn’t have worked 5 years ago. Even 1 year ago. But right now, in this very moment we all find ourselves in, it truly might. And think of the possibilities. Addressing sexual harassment might lead the way for us to begin the addressing of racial discrimination and other issues that lead to toxic work environments in our industry.
We should support Times Up Advertising because of all the potential that it represents. We encourage everyone to visit their website, donate, show up to the meetings that will be held across the country on May 14, and remain engaged. Real action yields real change. We are all being challenged to do better; to be better. And we can.