Championing Equality & Inclusivity
WiQ founders Georgiana Haig, Product Manager & Harriet Cunningham, Senior Account Manager
In early 2017 we started WiQ with three clear aims – to raise awareness of gender equality, to build and promote a supportive community, and to be an accessible platform for resource and education on diversity – but, in truth, very little idea at the time of how to achieve them. What we were sure of was that our industry still suffered from a lack of diversity and things needed to change.
Just 6.4% of Fortune 500 companies have female CEOs, and within ad-tech that number is even lower – at 2.9%. Women make up just 17% of the entire tech industry, and a female founder is 86% less likely to be funded than a male. Meanwhile in advertising, men appear in ads four times more than women and 51% of women feel that most marketing campaigns are irrelevant, despite the fact that women influence 83% of all consumer spending (in the US).
More anecdotally, looking around our industry we could see a situation where many companies seem near to a 50:50 split in terms of gender, but as soon as you take seniority into account this diversity fades away. The IPA Diversity Study findings back this up, with 30.9% of c-suite roles occupied by women in 2017 (still well below the 40% target set by the IPA by 2020). So we decided to do something about it.
Since the initial launch in London WiQ has scaled globally – with teams of WiQ Ambassadors in Bangalore, New York, Toronto, Sydney, Atlanta, Chicago and Hamburg. We have run speaker events and training workshops, with a particular emphasis on being seen as a practical avenue for advice and knowledge in order to make a difference – especially with such a young workforce as we have at Media iQ. The year has also brought some key senior female hires to MiQ who support WiQ across the business, notably CMO Rebecca Mahony who is driving the initiative forward globally as board sponsor.
Looking ahead, there is certainly still a lot to do. WiQ is now part of the culture at MiQ but we want to see it become a force for good externally too, through partnerships with other networks and businesses.
Expect to see and hear a lot more from us!