Despite the fact that women here are working hard every day to break the glass barrier, Pakistan remains a patriarchal nation. Men’s misogynistic training and sexist upbringing, on the other hand, is something you cannot overcome in a few years. As a result, advertising and marketing agency remain mostly uncharted territory for women. Advertising and marketing companies are still mostly a man’s domain.
One can question what it is about advertising and marketing agency that make it so difficult for women, and why young women are hesitant to work in advertising and marketing organizations. While there is no one solution, there are a number of reasons that make it more difficult for women.
1. Women’s lack of physical comfort
In advertising and marketing agency firms, women’s physical well-being is not considered. Things have improved in terms of maternity leave being an official corporate policy, as well as WFH flexibility. However, we still need at least two days off for our periods (despite the fact that it is a common occurrence, it is still unpleasant and painful), and many firms, including the advertising sector, disregard this.
2. Married women’s conundrum
For married women, the husband’s work takes priority, especially if the job requires travel or relocation to another city. Other factors that make it tough for women in advertising and marketing companies include late working hours and erratic deadlines, particularly since most families or in-laws are not supportive. When a guy arrives late at home, he is a hero and fed a hot lunch. When a woman gets home late, she is criticized and given a to-do list before she can sleep. It’s especially challenging for women who have little children. Dealing with mom’s guilt is challenging even with a support system in place.
3. Pervasive sexual harassment
Because it is a man’s world, advertising and marketing agency is dominated by males, sexual harassment takes many forms, including improper behavior, psychological attack, and toxic workplaces where sexist jokes and actions are condoned and appreciated.
4. The absence of family support
The drawback emerges if the job necessitates traveling or working late. Many women have permission issues as a result of safety and security concerns, as well as cultural norms. Advertising and marketing organizations should offer transportation.
5. Responsibilities of the family
Yes. Women have significantly more responsibilities at home. They need a family that will support them in their careers. Help them achieve deadlines, and assists them with childcare and cleaning. These are, of course, roadblocks to professional growth. These barriers, however, remain in most male-controlled advertising and marketing organizations and have an influence on women.
6. Discrimination on a large scale
Workplace discrimination against women is a result of social and cultural conventions. They are unable to advance in their occupations due to unconscious biases. This is aggravated when a woman from a minority or underprivileged group climbs the corporate. Covid-19 has had a greater impact on women than on men.
7. Biases that aren’t even aware of then
It still persists in many advertising and marketing organizations, as unexpected as that may appear. Despite doing the same job as their male counterparts. People often remind women that they are not the major breadwinners, themselves
They are “available” if they are ambitious. Great leaders are men. Leaders that are ‘bossy’ are usually women. The list goes on and on.
8. Stereotyping based on gender
Women must show their value on a regular basis. Women must work twice as hard as men to obtain leadership positions, especially in a creative advertising agency. The company is wary of investing in women because it expects that all working women would eventually leave their employment to raise their children. ‘Will you work after marriage?’, ‘Do you plan to have children?’, and ‘Will you continue your career after you have children? And yes, to any of the three questions is an impossible aim. It’s stressful to always be under pressure to show that I’m here to stay and that my career is as important to me as it is to my male counterparts.
9. All women have to do is look attractive.
Yes. Many times, a woman’s contribution has been limited to ‘looking lovely for the meeting’ or ‘let us do the talking’; this outdated mentality must be abandoned.
Despite the challenges, the advertising industry in Pakistan is expanding, and organizations are accepting more women. In ad agencies in Lahore and Karachi, several large organizations are taking steps to make life simpler for women. It demonstrates that the situation is not completely hopeless and that there is still possibility and hope for the future.