The Art Directors Club was founded in 1920–with a vision of “elevating and celebrating advertising and design with the same care and craftsmanship bestowed upon fine art”–but all of that elevating and celebrating was for men only until 1942, when the organization admitted its first female member. Seven decades later, there’s still plenty of room for improvement. The ADC is addressing the gender imbalance in the fields of creative communication with its new 50/50 initiative, which calls for an equal level of participation for both genders across award show juries, boards of directors, and events/speaker lineups.
“By increasing the number of qualified women in senior positions in all facets of the creative communications industry, we believe our industries will both flourish and lay a foundation for generations of female talent,” according to ADC leadership. “We call upon our community to help shed light on these amazing women, because they are out there.” In New York? Head to Thursday’s lunchtime photo shoot (think: massive class portrait of women in the advertising, design, and digital disciplines) with photographer Monte Isom that will kick off the initiative. Here’s ADC executive director Ignacio Oreamuno with more details on why now is the time to make the industry 50/50.