Harassment of women Violence Advertising industry Marketing

Equal and open wages, more women in leadership positions, the same job opportunities as men, ensuring gender-neutral creativity and skills – these are just some of the changes needed women indicated in the “Women’s Side” study. The authors asked women how they imagine the Polish advertising and marketing industry in 2030 and conducted research on the current state of gender equality.

– The industry is very feminized, but only up to a certain level and position. There are not many creative and management directors – says the experienced copywriter quoted in the study.

The main conclusion of the report – that women’s experiences are significantly more difficult than men’s – is reflected in most of the statistics obtained. The survey showed a significant divergence in sentiment about whether the companies we work for are equally friendly to women and men. The feeling of operating in a gender-friendly environment is almost 90%. Men. Only 65% ​​of women feel the same.

The authors of the research are: Magdalena Łukasiuk, expert in public relations and intercultural management; Dominika Nawrocka, strateżka, marketing researcher (Media Direction Group) and Artur Leśniak, marketer and consultant, who conducted them with the agency SW Research (quantitative component) and Minds & Roses and Let’s Make a Study (in-depth interviews).

Watch: Salaries in Polish advertising increased by 4%, women earn 19%. less than men (price list)

One in seven women reported being stalked

The survey carried out on a sample of 400 women shows that violation of physical boundaries or workplace harassment were reported by 14%. of them, and 2 percent. reported that you often or very often encounter such situations. For comparison, 18 percent. of men also reported experiencing such situations, and violations of physical boundaries were reported by 7%. (often – 3 percent).

The survey showed that many women cannot rely on support from their business. Assistance from external institutions or NGOs in relation to the scale of the problem – such as psycho-physical health, violence or harassment – is also insufficient on the scale of the whole country.

Therefore, abused women seek support from loved ones and family, trusted associates, or a therapist. They rarely approach their superiors or HR departments for help. They are afraid of being misunderstood or of being insensitive or even rejected.

Agencies with a men’s locker room atmosphere are still operational. I know of at least two, both quite prestigious. Young single women are the most frequent targets of sexist behavior – I witnessed vulgar and unpleasant behavior towards them. I also hear voices of girls being molested at onboarding events, who are afraid to say anything because they don’t want to lose their jobs and ‘get burned’ in the industry – says editor from one of the advertising agencies cited in the report.

Watch: Women earn less than men. “System problem”

Other forms of discrimination against women – devaluation, sexism, “maternity punishment”

Apart from cases of violence, women also face problems of discrimination at work. Men (64%) are less likely to experience unequal treatment, moreover, most of them (63%) do not see the problem of discrimination against women at work. What is striking in this context – only 20 percent. women report not encountering such situations at all.

In the study, women point to forms of discrimination at work such as devaluing their skills on the basis of gender, giving them meaningless tasks and omitting access to prestige, sexism, which went unnoticed as individuals and less frequent positive feedback, as well as “maternity punishment”.

Watch: Karolina Korwin-Piotrowska: verbal abuse on the set of “Top Model”, the second season was a horror

56 percent of women in the study said they had been silenced; questioning skills – 65 percent women, bullying, embarrassment – 57 percent women. One in two respondents, compared to 18%. men (a 33% difference) indicated in the quantitative survey that she encounters sexist comments.

Only one in four companies where respondents work has an equality code of practice.

– We discussed a problem, a situation, we exchanged comments, and when I was approached, it was indisputable – it ended with a point, but when colleagues took the floor , they waited for them to finish their speech, their arguments were taken into account, the thread was developed, they were inspired by what they said – says a specialist in the marketing department of an IT company, quoted in the report.

Watch: Polish Radio Rzeszów apologizes to former employee for mobbing

In in-depth interviews, respondents reported being treated condescendingly, and when expressing their opinion strongly, they even hear that they are overly nervous or emotional. Moreover, they are less likely to feel supported by their colleagues and superiors.

– I felt that because I am a woman, I have to work faster and better to show that I am good – says the director of the media house.

Women admit that as a result of these experiences, they more often give up asking for a raise, a promotion or simply a chance for advancement. We also know from the report that they are more likely than men to be questioned about their skills and authority. They attach particular importance to equality of language and treatment.

Watch: Nearly 23 percent women victims of workplace mobbing during the pandemic

Wages – Women still earn less than men

The report shows that 73 percent. of women believe that men working in industry receive higher wages. Most men (65%) believe that women and men are paid the same.

The #PoStronieKobiet study confirmed that the lack of pay transparency is mainly to the detriment of women. According to team leaders, women and men have a completely different approach to negotiating financial terms. Spreading their hands helplessly, they admitted that the women on their teams were paid below their skills, that at the same position they earned less than the men, or that the men had priority to raise.

– While some findings are constructive, the study shows that for many women, our industry is not as progressive and egalitarian as one might imagine. Digging deeper, we heard many stories of suffering that end with the therapist; discrimination against, for example, parents – women who complained said that their partners also could not count on the understanding of their bosses when they had to leave work early to pick up their child in kindergarden; at the same time, on the exploitation of female employees without children or inappropriate questions about pregnancy. #PoStronieKobiet sheds light on these stories in order to take responsibility for them now and take reasonable action – write the authors of the study.

Watch: Kuba Wojewódzki was to be harassed on TVP. “He was the boss, it’s important for Woronicza”


The results of the study “#PoStronieKobiet. Are marketing and advertising a world of equal opportunities for women and men?”). In the first, quantitative part, their observations of inequalities in the industry, experiences of discrimination or degrading behavior were shared with the authors and authors mainly by women – 80%, but also by men – 18% . and non-binary people – 2%

Survey participants are employees of advertising/creative agencies (36%), media houses (21%), marketing/PR departments of producers/brands (22%) and PR agencies, event agencies, production and other specialized firms (44%).

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