#FairnessFirst: Readdressing advertising gender equality behind-the-scenes, with the Gerety Awards

The global Gerety Awards have launched, signalling a marked shift in award shows themselves redefining their role, especially as much of the advertising industry is aiming to redefine itself in these tricky times.
Confirmed Gerety Awards jurors: Nunu Ntshingila, regional director of Facebook Africa; Susan Credle, global CCO of FCB; Merlee Cruz-Jayme, "Chairmom" and CCO of Dentsu Jayme Syfu; as well as Rosie Arnold, former CCO of AMV BBDO.

According to NBC News, older women sometimes feel invisible to workplaces and businesses, but they're actually the trailblazers that others should be watching.

So says Joseph F Coughlin, director of the AgeLab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and author of the new book, The Longevity economy: Unlocking the world’s fastest-growing, most misunderstood market.

But let’s be clear, it’s not just older women who tend to ‘feel invisible’ in the office, or like ‘the only’ – studies have long shown that the majority of working women, no matter the age bracket, feel the need to put in more effort for the same recognition as their male colleagues. Even in 2019.

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That’s where the Gerety Awards come in.

What the (advertising) world needs now…

Set to challenge the status quo of the international creative awards circuit, the inaugural Gerety Awards of 2019 have been named for Frances Gerety, the copywriter who coined the slogan: “A diamond is forever," back in 1947 – still seen by some as the greatest ad campaign ever.

In this light, the Gerety Awards are set to serve as a global platform for talent and support initiatives that champion diversity in the creative industries and recognise global talent, mentors and allies within the advertising industry.

In doing so, they’ll be shining a light on those who “define and refine the standard to which advertising should be held.”

Because truth be told, there’s certainly no lack of advertising award shows out there. What is missing, however, is a marked shift in award shows redefining their role, as much of the advertising industry is aiming to redefine itself in these tricky times.

You know what I’m talking about.

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So, welcome the Gerety Awards! Launched by Joe Brooks and Lucia Ongay, both most recently of the Epica Awards, the duo has more than 20 years' combined experience working for advertising awards and believe it is time to do something different.

The duo comments:
When we first started talking to key industry leaders about our ideas for the Gerety Awards, we were surprised by the passion and enthusiasm about this concept. This convinced us that what the industry needs now is a new kind of awards show.
They add: “We are very excited about the launching of this award and the support from the industry. We are looking forward to a great first year for the Gerety Awards, with an amazing worldwide jury, set to redefine what is traditionally perceived as ‘normal’ for the advertising industry”.

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That representative worldwide jury is a core aspect of the awards’ diversity, with judges including accomplished agency and brand leaders from around the world, such as Rosie Arnold, former CCO of AMV BBDO; Susan Credle, global CCO of FCB; Merlee Cruz-Jayme, "Chairmom" and CCO of Dentsu Jayme Syfu; as well as our very own Nunu Ntshingila, regional director of Facebook Africa.

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I, for one, am looking forward to the results. The best part is that the Gerety Awards are already open for entry. You can visit the website, or watch for their latest updates on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
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About Leigh Andrews

Leigh Andrews (@leigh_andrews) AKA the #MilkshakeQueen, is Editor-in-Chief: Marketing & Media at Bizcommunity.com, with a passion for issues of diversity, inclusion and equality. She's also on the Women in Marketing: Africa advisory panel, and can be reached at ...