See It Be It is a programme that aims to further women in the creative industry, encouraging them to grow their careers and reach senior positions. Across three days, 12 women will be part of an inspirational programme which will take place during Cannes Lions.
We’ve reached out to these 12 selected creatives to get their thoughts on the concepts of leadership, femininity and success, all of which Getty Images continues to challenge in our latest #RePicture campaign.
Jem Robinson is a Design Director at AllofUs, London.
At Getty Images, we’ve been tracking the changing visual dialogue around females. Are you noticing shifts in how women and girls are represented in the creative industry both at the agency and client side? Are you satisfied with the way that females are currently portrayed?
I’m not really sure there is enough portrayal of women in the creative industry, so it’s difficult to judge if it’s accurate or if I’m happy with it. It’s not unusual to open an industry magazine and see a Q&A with a set of experts, all male, which doesn’t help as it reinforces the opinion of the industry, even if it’s not the truth. There are many women that work in the industry, with different personalities and opinions and it would be nice to see this diversity represented rather than one woman being expected to represent all women. We’re all different and it would be nice for any portrayal of a woman in the industry to be indicative of her opinions and experiences, rather than being expected to talk for all women, which is not useful. Essentially I’d just like to see a better balance, both in numbers and in the diversity of opinions and it would be interesting to see how that is represented visually.
This year 4 out of 17 jury presidents at Cannes Lions are women, more than any previous year. Are you seeing more women entering senior creative roles across the advertising industry? Does more work need to be done to elevate women into these roles?
I think it’s great that Cannes Lions is trying to push for greater female representation on the judging panel. I don’t know whether statistically women are entering more senior roles, but amongst my friends we are actively pursuing senior roles, really just as a natural continuation of our careers so far, so it’s not something we’re not considering and in the agencies I’ve been involved in I have also worked with some great senior women. But it is a fact that the more senior the stakeholders in a meeting the more men will be around the table. I would say that is very rare that women ever outnumber men in a meeting, but commonly the other way around. There also seems to be a definite concentration of senior women in roles that might be classed as more suited to ‘traditional female values’ – note the inverted commas and associated eye roll – so roles that involve more organization/logistics/people rather than the more obvious creative roles. So yes, I think there definitely does need to be more work done to elevate women into these roles. I’m all about logic and there is no reason that a woman can’t do the same job as a man in our world given that women are educated in the same way now and graduate at the same level so it seems odd that this doesn’t translate in the business world, so there must be something happening here that’s distorting this logic, so therefore anything that balances it is a good thing for me.
If you can visualize success and leadership for women today what would that picture look like? What would it look like in 5 years?
Equality. Images that sometimes have more women in senior roles and sometimes have more men, but it is evened out as a whole, an interchangeability that is not commented on or noticed. The same for 5 years times, in an ideal world this would just not be an issue anymore and it would not be commented on, people would just accept that there are some talented women and some talented men and both sets have been able to achieve something and reach their individual potential.
Who’s your professional female hero/crush? Why?
Not directly in my world, but in the wider creative field: Tina Fey. I’m a big fan of her work and then an even bigger fan of hers for writing a brilliantly funny book (Bossypants) that also managed to be a great statement about being a successful woman working in a male dominated industry, without reducing it to women vs men: “This is what I tell young women who ask me for career advice. People are going to try to trick you. To make you feel that you are in competition with one another. "You're up for a promotion. If they go for a woman, it'll be between you and Barbara." Don't be fooled. You're not in competition with other women. You're in competition with everyone.”
Jem Robinson is the Design Director at AllofUs, an award-winning interactive design and user-experience agency. Her most recent work can be seen in the upcoming British Museum exhibition 'Ancient Lives, New Discoveries', which AllofUs have created several digital interactive exhibits for. Jem is primarily responsible for the visual design output of the studio but her role encompasses design strategy, pitching, determining design direction and art directing individual projects as well as managing the visual design team and contributing to the overall direction of the studio.
Prior to her arrival at AllofUs in 2012 Jem worked for multi-platform digital storytelling studio, Oil Studios. In her role as Art Director, Jem was involved in projects such as a global digital art competition and travelling interactive exhibition for Infiniti cars, interactive videos 'Keeping Keeley' and 'Fallen Angel' for Lynx and the design strategy and website redesign for Conran.
Jem has a degree in Illustration and before moving into the world of interactive design she created artwork for numerous magazines and newspapers, including a two-year stint illustrating for the Independent's Opinion and Debate weekly column, tackling many political issues and learning a lot about global conflict. She still creates illustrations and is the featured artist for the New Internationalist's 2015 calendar which is released this summer and features 12 bespoke images.
With her experience and knowledge of the design industry, Jem has also worked on several arts publications as a picture researcher, sourcing and curating images for Laurence King Publishing titles Guerrilla Advertising 2, Animation In Process and How to Create a Portfolio and Get Hired amongst others.
Join the conversation online by using #RePicture, and help us challenge convention.
Widen the visual representation of Beauty, blur the lines of Family and Community, and create a new vision of Success.
To participate, upload the photo you’ve taken (consenting subject only of course) to either Twitter or Instagram, and add the #RePicture hashtag – tag the @GettyImages handle on Instagram. Our Editors will highlight their favorites.
Follow us here and on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to see all the concepts we’re discussing and find out how you can participate - or if you’re heading to Cannes Lions, join us in the Palais during the Festival.
Editor's Note: Please note, by adding #RePicture to your photos, you grant us only the right to publish your images, credited to you, on our Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook accounts.