WHERE ARE FEMALE DIRECTORS?
As the owner and Executive Producer of a commercial production company, I understand the value of matching the substance of work with the nature of audiences. Attention to diversity is key in building creative teams, approaching consumers, and in developing standout projects. Yet, as I review directors’ reels, I am puzzled by a gender-related diversity shortfall:
Why is there a near absence of work submitted by women directors?
My interest in seeing more women in directorial roles is not simply about equality, but it is also about producing very effective work. I build creative teams based not on gender, but on respective audiences and end-goals. Diversity is a natural outcome as I consolidate the perspective necessary to produce successful projects.
Few would disagree that women and men generally tend to think a bit differently. Styles of communication often contrast, a cultural phenomenon that frequently creates ample material for spoofing! Advertising banks on such phenomena, but with men predominantly at the helm of creative direction, there is a world of possibility less explored. The potential extends far beyond the fashion and beauty categories. Research I have conducted indicates that women surpass men in the percentage of household purchase decisions, even in areas such as household electronics and automobiles.
I see countless windows of opportunity for advertisers to strengthen campaigns by incorporating the distinctive wit, humor and intelligence embraced by women directors, creative profesionals, and consumers. I encourage colleagues to place qualified women in key positions, and I advise women to pursue top-ranking creative roles in the industry. As savvy advertising leaders detect the promise and profitability of updated approaches, women directors will be increasingly in demand.
Juliana Lukasik is principal and director of @Large Films Inc. in Northeast Portland.