Creatives on Reddit Discuss Getting the ‘We Need a Girl There’ Meeting Invite

By Erik Oster 

Reddit’s advertising subreddit, r/advertising (Yes, we browse it from time to time. No, we’re not telling you our usernames) recently hosted a thread in which one user asked the group’s female participants a crucial question: “Have you gotten the “We need a girl there” meeting invite? How do you feel about it?.”

Unsurprisingly, the poster of the question was not the only one who has gone through this experience.

“Currently I am working on a video about menopause because none of the guys wanted to touch the subject,” wrote one redditor.

She goes on to describe her look as “jeans and t-shirt, no makeup,” and explains, “What’s infuriating is, when we are pitching new clients and we need to put our pitch deck together, my photo and bio are not in there. Instead they put the office manager for the ‘face’ due to her more stereotypically feminine appearance.”

Another women added, “I’m the only female creative at my agency, and there are times that I’ve thought ‘Jesus you guys really do need to talk to an actual woman’ – things like proactive female equality ideas that only make the matter worse, menstruation product scripts that show they have never heard of a cramp, etc.,” another creative chimed in. “I’m not at all saying put me on the projects, but maybe just pick my brain to see if your idea of a safari animal being paid instead of women is as empowering as you think.”

Wait, what was that bit about safari animals?

Another Redditor gets to the point of what can make such tokenism feel so disheartening, saying, “I don’t have a problem being invited as a different point of view at a discussion or meeting, but I don’t like when I’m invited only to be a ‘female face’ in front of a client. You hired me because of my skills and ideas, and it feels awful to just be a prop to sit, nod and smile.”

“Sometimes they do admit it at my agency,” adds another user. “We had an all female business we were working with, so I got to lead. And then they proceeded to ask me: ‘Am I being misogynistic, or does the client have a hard time making decisions because the business is run by women, and women have to ask a few friends before making a choice?'”


Others see the potential benefits of being included in such meetings.

“As the token female creative on many teams, I say milk it. There should be a woman in the room. And there’s no reason that woman can’t be you,” added another female creative. “In fact, we’ve lost pitches because they happened to not have a female on the pitch team. Use the opportunity to kick ass. And make the case that you’re an ACD but doing CD-level work (i.e. presenting in important meetings) and expect to be compensated/rewarded accordingly.”

Of course, the thread is not without its share of mansplaining, but we’ll avoid getting into that here.

Now send us some anonymous tips on this topic for a little Facebook workaround.