Advertising’s ‘SAS training’

On the eve of International Women’s Day, Ali Hanan and Helen James hosted a dinner in London to mark the completion of the very first Creative Equals Business collective.

Designed to provide support, mentorship and training for women beyond creative teams, the first 23 graduates included an array of strategists, client services executives and heads of new business. Helen was really honoured when one of the course participants – the brilliant Cressida Holmes-Smith at Lucky Generals – described her experience as “having gone through the SAS training of advertising and survived, indeed thrived!”

Since Ali and Helen launched Creative Equals Business in October 2018, all 23 women have been painstakingly coached through a series of modules by expert trainers, including How to Build High Functioning Teams; Mastering the Language and Structure of Negotiation, and Exploring the Art of the Sell – from Presentation to Closing the Deal. Meanwhile, a truly generous team of steering group members and industry mentors – including Ete Davies, Managing Director AnalogFolk London; Priya Matadeen, GM Dazed; and Stephen Woodford, CEO of the Advertising Association – have all provided valuable direction and encouragement for the participants and the initiative as a whole. The Creative Equals vision is to help women achieve the business skillset they will need to advance in management in the UK creative industry a reality (an industry where still only 30% of C-suite roles at UK ad agencies are held by women, with very little change from the 2016 figure).

Here’s wishing all our graduates hearty congratulations and a very happy International Women’s Day!