Women in Digital

Taking a look at our own sector: How's gender parity in digital agencies?

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Over the years, I’ve received pleasantries and flowers for Women’s Day. I was, of course, taught to be grateful, however, I couldn’t help but feel a profound discomfort towards this calendarized compliment that only seemed to objectify women.

Today, I embrace and respect Women’s Day, but I don’t want any flowers. International Women’s Day is a worldwide event that celebrates women’s social and political achievements while calling for gender equality. So yes, there are reasons to be happy and thankful to every woman that bravely took a step towards the place of empowerment where we stand today.

However, the aim – to achieve full gender equality – is still far from becoming a reality as the World Economic Forum’s 2017 Global Gender Gap Report indicates that gender parity is over 200 years away.

UK workforce and pay gap

The team wanted to take a closer look at the facts and figures around our industry with regards to gender parity. Crab has always tried to build an inclusive and friendly environment, where every member of our team feels comfortable to express his or her individuality. By doing some research, we noticed that the salary gap in Digital is better than the national UK average, but there’s still a long way to go before the sector is fully egalitarian and inclusive. We feel it’s our responsibility to spread the results and work towards change.

pay gap in digital agencies

The results show that there’s still a huge disparity between genders in representation, wages and seniority. Most digital agencies are headed by men and have men in directive roles, while women are mostly in junior to mid-weight roles and occupying the so-called ‘soft skills’ roles, such as Communications, Social Media and PR, at a lower pay rate than the more technical roles.

As you climb the professional ladder, you’ll find even fewer women. 70% of Graphic Design students are women, while only 11% of Creative Directors are women. So, where did the rest of the women go? And more importantly, why? It may be due to attitudes about gender roles, lack of flexible working or women taking time out to look after their families.

analysing the pay gap in digital

The numbers shouldn’t bring us down. Across the world, women are making positive gains day by day. This years theme for IWD is #PressForProgress, a global call encouraging people to demand equal opportunities in education, health and work.

As a woman, I know why I #PressforProgress. I see the need for progress when I enter a bookstore and find a small shelf of ‘female authors’. When advertising defines femininity, instead of women defining it, just by being true to ourselves. When I see women competing for men’s attention instead of personal achievements. When a talented professional has to give up her job because of being denied the flexibility she needed to be able to continue working whilst looking after her family, or because her male partner doesn’t have the opportunity to take paid time off – paternity leave. When my loving friends have to stay up to receive my message saying I got home safely.

Today, let’s celebrate all the women that fought for us to be heard, by raising our voices to call out for gender equality.


Sources: Office of National Statistics and Design Council



Juana Isola is a creative writer from Buenos Aires, based in London. She works as a copywriter at Crab Creative and specialises in digital and interactive experiences.

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