Steph Hamill, both a master and a maverick in advertising, is an influential creative who has experience with some of the leading agencies in the industry. She has worked as a producer and as a digital and social media consultant, as well as an interactive and experiential creative, with companies such as Turner, McCann London and Razorfish. Steph is currently the Creative Director at Havas helia and a guest lecturer at Central Saint Martins, a public tertiary art school in London.
In a recent top-trending , Creative Director Steph Hamill criticised the woeful ratio of men to women in the industry, saying that “traditional agencies are about as diverse as the House of Commons”. Central to her piece was the idea that if agencies want to see different and more effective results from their work, they must change their methods. In other words, diversify.
Steph joined our own Elliot Polak and the Newsroom team for a wide-ranging discussion on creativity in the workplace, the wells from which we draw our ideas and, most importantly, the current role of women in the advertising industry, both in campaigns and behind the scenes.
With 85 percent of women making key purchasing decisions in the average household, you would think that the creative forces driving such campaigns would reflect that ratio. Not so explained Steph, who said that, globally, women make up only 8 percent of the creatives in advertising, with only slightly higher numbers in larger metropolises like London. Though she has personally witnessed a positive trend toward diversification in the advertising industry, there are still hurdles to overcome such as the contrasting labels used to define strong men and women. “When have you ever heard a man, as opposed to a woman, be described as ‘bossy’?”
Steph also touched on the power of empathy when brainstorming creative ideas: “In terms of senses, people feel the same and we see the same. I’m quite an emotive person, and a lot of coming up with creative ideas is empathy. Both sensorial and emotional impact play a huge role in developing ideas.”
What advice does she offer aspiring creatives and what is her personal mantra for success? To find out, listen to our latest Masters & Mavericks podcast hosted by Elliot Polak.
Did you miss out on the beginning of Masters & Mavericks? Not to worry. Check out our inaugural podcast with Pernod Ricard’s Åsa Caap on intrapreneurship and follow it up by listening to Social Talent founder and CEO Jason Barrett discuss influencer marketing.