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According to a recent study, 53% of those employed in the creative agency sector are female, suggesting it’s never been a better time to be a creative woman. However, the creative industry as a whole still has work to do. Just one in every five films in Europe is made by a female director, despite women representing 44% of film school graduates. And, while women account for 60% of animation students in the US and Europe, the drop-off from creative education to industry placement is staggering, with only 34% of professional roles in animation being held by women. 

So, how can women support one another to achieve our full potential in the workplace?  We asked women from a variety of creative backgrounds to share their thoughts and experiences. 


Mentoring can be instrumental in helping women to flourish in an often male dominated space, helping to strengthen team connections, nurture diverse perspectives, and ultimately encourage better creative output. Studies suggest that giving young people key experiences early in their careers can empower them to excel. Izzy Goessens, Senior Producer at Mike Amsterdam, has seen the benefits first-hand: “A mentor that makes you feel like they truly believe in you can really lead to you making leaps in your career and further developing your skills. In my current role, I’ve been trusted with (and thrust into) jobs far and wide. With the help of my mentor, I’ve learned a ton in a short space of time.”

Mentorship programs also deeply benefit the mentors. Julia Arenson, Head of Creative Operations at Specsavers, is a mentor for Who’s Your Mama? and Lollipop, both networks that support young women in the creative industry. She explains “The mentorship is really valuable for them, but it’s also valuable for me. I’m building my network of women who are hungry and keen. Anybody who has put themselves out there to be a mentee is ambitious in developing their careers. These are really good people to know, who are invested and driven.”

"...Mentorship is really valuable for them, but it’s also valuable for me. I'm building my network of women who are hungry and keen." - Julia Arenson, Specsavers


The independent creative community has grown by 14% each year since the pandemic, providing many with greater freedom from ingrained biases, as well as a better work/life balance. Independent Art Director Sara Silva Santos, who runs a studio in Lisbon while raising her young child, believes that companies are realising the many benefits of more flexible work structures, “I believe the creative sector has an amazing opportunity to bring forward another model that does not thrive on meritocracy, competition, or pressure – but on collaboration, life balance, and pleasure.


For the first time in history, more than 10% of Fortune 500 companies have female CEOs at the helm. Seeing women in positions of leadership can have a hugely positive impact, with younger generations looking to those operating at a senior level for cultural and behavioural cues. Vicky Hope, Co-Founder of Creative Services consultancy, LOOP Agencies, sees it as a collective responsibility for women to raise the bar and lift one another up. “As a mum of teenage daughters starting their working lives, and a Co-Founder of a growing agency team, I believe we’re nothing without living our values. We put people first to build an authentic culture. We work hard to ensure everyone feels relevant. And, we’ll have uncomfortable conversations when we need to. We should all take accountability for creating a safe space to allow people to dream big.

"I believe we’re nothing without living our values. We put people first to build an authentic culture." - Vicky Hope, LOOP Agencies


Today, about 50% of gamers in the US are female, across all gaming platforms. Games, however, are still predominantly designed for a male audience. With MikeTeevee’s VR game title, Shores of Loci, Founder Ellen Utrecht wanted to bring a female perspective. “I’m fascinated by the whole VR industry, but finding the sort of game that would appeal to me – something creative and relaxing – was hard. So, I built the game I wanted to play.” 

Women were actively involved at every stage of development of Shores of Loci, from ideation to build. So, can authentic representation lead to increased adoption? Ellen thinks so, “I believe that encouraging more women to be involved in content creation will lead to more women consumers, some of whom may become creators. I think it’s absolutely possible to achieve a sort of ‘virtuous circle’, which can benefit us all.” 


The journey towards greater accessibility and inclusivity gives all young people entering the creative industry an opportunity to draw inspiration from positive role models. Virginia Tuckey, Creative Producer at Mike LA, encourages us all to be proactive; “It’s important to remember what control you have over your career rather than being a passive bystander. Soak up all you can from everyone around you, the good and the bad! Think of the circle of control; everything inside is what you can control, and everything outside you cannot. Other people’s actions aren’t in your circle of control, so try to move forward with purpose in your own direction.”

"Soak up all you can from everyone around you, the good and the bad!" - Virginia Tuckey, MikeTeevee

We love the ‘circle of control’ concept, which offers a compelling lens through which to navigate the industry’s complexities. By focusing our energies on what we can shape and influence, we can all help pave the way for a future where creative teams can thrive with fresh perspectives, innovation, and a celebration of diversity, throughout 2024 and beyond.