Just part of the industry culture

Working on a personal project to help make adland culture safer for women. Do you have examples of when you knew something was inappropriate but let it slide or laughed it off because it’s “just part of the industry culture” and now regret it?


  1. @Georgia

    Oh so many. Soooooo many times I laughed something off or let it slide for fear of judgement (or better yet, a coincidental “firing”) from the person (and agency owner) who said it. One time he said a photographer who couldn’t come in for a job that day because he hurt his back must have been busy from bending his wife over…

    He was homophobic and sexist to the end. Always made comments that made both myself and my gay male art director embarrassed and uncomfortable. We had to restock the alcoholic bar fridge, for example. He never asked the senior (cis male) team.

    Another time (the worst of all) he said “if women didn’t have c***s I’d throw rocks at them”.

    I wish we’d collectively called him out on what a creep he was but it was a small, independent agency and we found out you don’t have that many rights when a company has less than 15 people (something he deliberately did to make it harder for people to complain/stand up to him).

  2. Tashwrites

    The older I got the less i let slide, not because I had more role models within the industry to learn from, but because I saw beyond the industry that the way we treat people is not ok.
    Creative directors giving sexualised feedback on a young designers dress sense. Hearing that a young copywriter had been told to “smile more” or people wouldn’t invite her to client meetings (she wasn’t miserable, just not playing the role they wanted in a room of men). Being invited out to drinks to discover the older account guys (married) only asked the young and single girls and then proceeded to get drunk and make inappropriate and letch-y comments (and to keep buying drinks when girls said they were done). Always inappropriate touching when out after hours. I should have stood up every single time, but it’s so toxically normalised.


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