Diversity is a talking point. Unless your company is actively doing something about it—then, it’s a universal problem that we’re slowly overcoming.
One means of combatting inequality in the ad business is to find talented women, people of color, and people over 40, and help to support their efforts, wherever they happen to be in their career journey.
Ad agencies were once talent magnets and they can be again, with a few adjustments to business as usual.
A Scholarship That Offers More than Money
Wunderman Thompson has officially announced the five young creative women who will be this year’s recipients of the Helen Lansdowne Resor Scholarship. The scholarship, established by JWT in partnership with the 4A’s Foundation in 2014, is an international opportunity that recognizes talented female creative advertising students globally.
The 2019 winners are:
- Mariana Legaspi Jimenez (Art Direction, ITESO)
- Leda Bartolucci (Communication Design, The Glasgow School of Art)
- Sherine Y Salla (Graphic Design, German University of Cairo)
- Manasa Krishnan (Graphic Design, National Institute of Design)
- Tarika Jain (Masters of Integrated Innovation in Products and Services, Carnegie Mellon University)
Each recipient will receive a scholarship of $10,000 to be put toward her education. Additionally, she will be offered a paid summer internship with a Wunderman Thompson office in her respective region, a Wunderman Thompson mentor, and a “first look” placement consideration upon graduation.
Maree Prendergast, Global Chief People Officer, Wunderman Thompson, said, “This scholarship ensures women and their voices, in this generation and the next, are represented in leadership and work across the discipline at large.”
Since 2014, 25 young women from diverse academic backgrounds and across six regions have been named recipients of the HLR Scholarship.
The scholarship is open to eligible female students registered at an undergraduate, graduate and/or portfolio school.
Helen Lansdowne Resor was the industry’s and J. Walter Thompson’s first female copywriter. The first woman to be inducted into the Advertising Hall of Fame, she began her half-century-long career with J. Walter Thompson in 1908, and quickly became a champion for the advancement of women’s rights both inside and outside the agency.
During her tenure, J. Walter Thompson was known as the “Women’s Agency,” where bright young female talents had a chance to succeed. As a brilliant creative, working mother and icon in advancing women’s rights, she overcame significant cultural barriers while doing her job.
Lansdowne Resor is also credited with introducing sex appeal to advertising. In 1911, the Woodbury Soap Company became the first to use images of sexual contact to sell a product. Her copy promised the soap would increase the beauty of one’s skin, and it offered a color print (of the ad) and a week’s supply of the soap for 10 cents.