Ageism in the advertising and marketing industry is oh so very prominent. It applies to people on both sides of the spectrum, those who are deemed “too young to have an opinion”, and those who are “too old to have innovative thoughts and ideas.”
As Cindy Gallop, a very distinguished voice in the industry who actively can be seen on social media advocating for equality for women, says it, “you are never too young or too old to do anything.” The concept of ageism is very toxic for any industry, as it keeps people out of the equation based off of an unfair bias that doesn’t even pertain to skillset. As a young professional who has had only 1-3 years of experience in the industry, I don’t ever want to be belittled or ignored in the workplace or anywhere else for that matter. This also goes for those who have had 30 or more years in the industry. The very assumption that older people cannot be innovative is toxic and serves as a setback. I believe that diversity applies to not just the color of one’s skin, but also to experiences and diversity of thought as a whole is crucial. The agency I interned at last summer, MEC, undertook research firsthand on ageism and the results turned out to be not too great. 79% of respondents thought that the advertising industry is ageist. 25% of respondents had been turned down based off their age at least once in their lives. Ageism is particularly prominent for women, as almost half of women do not see themselves staying in the marketing or advertising industry past 50 years of age. This belief contributes to the inability to properly represent the demographic of older women in advertising, and it is becoming a greater issue. It seems we have lost basic respect and appreciation for people as individuals who come together with different experiences, ages, beliefs to work together, when this diversity is the main reason advertising prospers and properly represents its target markets.
As a young 21 year old creative, I believe I have a lot I can bring to the industry. My internship at Motoza has given me the confidence to really go for my goals, as I have been given an immense amount of responsibilities as a digital creative intern. My responsibilities I’ve been given at Motoza have really opened my eyes to how important trust and communication are within a company, and how rewarding hard work is. Trust needs to be built on both sides, between leaders of companies and their employees in order to run efficiently and deliver the best work they can to their clients.
At the end of the day, where you work is where you spend a majority of your life and there isn’t a reason to stick around if you aren’t happy or treated with fairness. It really does make a difference when you are surrounded by people who are caring and seek value in your opinions, no matter what age or how much experience you have previously had. It really is about how much talent and passion you hold in your specific industry, and what you can personally bring to the table.