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Women's Month News

#WomensMonth: Juliet Honey; "Let's work together with the good men in the industry"

As part of our Women's Month content feature and in the build-up to our panel discussion with some of this year's Gerety Awards all-female South African executive jury members, taking place in September, Jessica Tennant, senior editor: Marketing & Media at Bizcommunity, interviews this year's jury to find out what a woman has to do to get onto an advertising jury, what the opportunity means to them and the significance of these Awards given the current state of gender equality...

The Gerety Awards, founded by Joe Brooks and Lucia Ongay is relatively new, having launched in 2019. It brings together all-female juries from across the globe to shortlist the best in advertising – all advertising, not just advertising made for women – through the female lens.

The Awards was named after Frances Gerety, the copywriter who coined the slogan ‘a diamond is forever’. So, instead of categories, the Awards are judged by cuts (as in diamond cuts), of which there are 10.

This year, there are a total of 180 new jury members from 30 different countries. Pre-Covid-19, judging sessions were hosted in each host city and the shortlists submitted to the international grand jury of creative experts for final evaluation, but of course, this year’s judging sessions are having to take a different format. Joe Brooks explains that “the judging would have taken place at the VMLY&R offices, with Jacquie as the ambassador. The date had been set for Monday, 1 June and we would have judged and discussed a number of categories of entries from around the world. The same week judging sessions would have taken place in London, New York, Buenos Aires, Bangkok, Melbourne, Milan, Istanbul, Helsinki and Berlin. Due to the ‘corona’, all judging is taking place remotely and online over a four-week period with group calls in the middle of the judging to discuss favourite pieces.”

This year’s South African executive jury includes: Jacquie Mullany, ECD, VMLY&R; Mpume Ngobese, MD, Joe Public; Sanche Jansen van Rensburg, ECD, Avatar; Simone Bosman, founder and creative, Osu & Kumalo; Neo Segola, ECD, FCB Africa; Sarah Dexter, CEO, Mullen Lowe; Nadia Mohamed, marketing director, McCain; Emma Strydom, head of design, Network BBDO; Juliet Honey, creative, Freelance; Suhana Gordhan, ECD, FCB; Linda Notelovitz, director/producer and founder, Life Design; Liezel Bygate, marketing director, Bliss Brands; Monalisa Zwambila, CEO, Riverbed; Loli Bishop, producer, Freelance; and Fiona O'Connor, creative director, Havas. Look out for our online panel discussion featuring some of these remarkable women in advertising in September after the shortlists have been announced.

Next up, Juliet Honey, freelance creative director, who believes women shouldn't have to do anything other than be brilliant at their job to be supported in their agencies and invited to judge award shows…

Juliet Honey, freelance creative director.
Juliet Honey, freelance creative director.

The Awards recognise the best advertising (not just advertising made for women) through the female lens. Comment on the significance of this given the current state of feminism / gender equality / women’s empowerment.

Honey: I think it is significant that an all-woman panel's opinions are heard. It is also an opportunity to see if there is work from around the world that may have fallen through the cracks in other award shows, due to nuances and insights that might have not been picked up on by a jury where women are in the minority.

As part of its call for entries campaign, the Awards sent purple moustaches to prominent female leaders in the advertising industry, and asked them to pose for a picture with the question: What does a woman have to do to get onto an advertising jury? How would you answer that question – what does a woman have to do to get onto an advertising jury?

Honey: I think this is a symptom of a greater problem. Although it is improving, there are generally fewer female creatives in senior roles in agencies, and more specifically fewer black, female creatives. Women shouldn't have to do anything other than be brilliant at their job to be supported in their agencies and invited to judge award shows.

What did you think of the campaign?

Honey: It was a fun and thought-provoking campaign.

What are you most looking forward to or excited about with regards to taking part in this year’s Gerety Awards judging?

Honey: I'm looking forward to seeing some great work and hearing the opinions of the smart and diverse panel of women.

What is your hope for the next or future generations of women in advertising / the advertising industry?

Honey: I hope that in the future more and more women won't need to pretend to be something they aren't to be taken seriously in advertising.

And what is your key message to fellow women in advertising this Women’s Month?

Honey: Let's be ourselves, support and stand up for each other and work together with the good men in the industry to create meaningful work and careers.

For more info, visit the Gerety Awards’ website and follow them on Twitter, Facebook and/or Instagram, and follow Honey on Twitter and Instagram.

About Jessica Tennant

Jess is Senior Editor: Marketing & Media at She is also a contributing writer. moc.ytinummoczib@swengnitekram

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