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How common is gender discrimination and sexual harassment in the ad industry?

The TV show "Mad Men" painted many pictures of the advertising industry in the 1960s. One of these pictures was that this industry was a very tough place for women workers during this period. Unfortunately, a recent survey by the American Association of Advertising Agencies indicates that women working in the advertising industry being subjected to inappropriate and unfair conduct in the workplace is not something that is a relic of the past, but rather something many current female advertising workers have faced. 

In the survey, 375 female members of the above-mentioned trade association were polled. These surveyed female workers came from all different kinds of positions and experience levels in the advertising industry. Of the surveyed female advertising workers:

  • 54 percent reported having felt somewhat or very vulnerable at work because of their gender.
  • 42 percent said they had been left out of key decision-making processes because of their gender.
  • 33 percent said they experienced gender discrimination on multiple occasions when it comes to assignment/promotion decisions in the workplace.
  • Over half said they had been subjected to one or more instances of sexual harassment.

What steps do you think should be taken within the advertising industry towards trying to stamp out such unfair and harmful conduct towards female workers?

Whatever industry they work in, female employees should have a work environment where they are safe from sexual harassment, gender-based promotion discrimination and other unfair gender-based conduct. When a worker in the advertising field or any other industry has been deprived such an environment, they should consider meeting with an attorney. Lawyers experienced in representing workers in employment law cases can inform workers who have been harassed or discriminated against in the workplace of what rights they have under state and federal law and advise them on what their legal options are as a result of these rights.

Source: Adweek, "Study Finds Most Women in Advertising Have Experienced Sexual Harassment and Discrimination," Patrick Coffee, Aug. 11, 2016

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