Our Industry Has a Great Debt to Society: Agustina Militerno, Havas Media Group

by Dasha Ovsyannikova

To mark International Women’s Day, AdForum is gathering opinions from women working in advertising and marketing communications. We asked women from a range of job roles both agency- and client-side, for their view of the state of the industry.

Havas Group
Full Service
Puteaux, France
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Agustina Militerno
Business Manager Havas Group

How would you describe the overall culture at your agency / company?

Our mission is to create meaningful connections between people and brands through creativity, media and innovation, this forces us to be very dynamic and foster collaborative work between diverse teams.


In your opinion, what do you see as the biggest change in the advertising industry since women have begun to break the glass ceiling?

I think there is still much to do, and our industry has a great debt to society, we must assume the responsibility, scope and implications of our work.

Not only is it a question of quotas by gender, as communications professionals we have the responsibility of training ourselves so as not to run the risk of continuing to replicate stereotypes that are then culturally normalized.

Academically we were not formed with a gender perspective, and that is a risk that we can no longer take. The challenge must be met with the campaigns we work for, being able to count on the eyes of specialists in gender issues is essential. And on the other hand, we need to do that same review inhouse, in our work teams, agencies and companies.

Make sure we have adequate policies for guidance and support, stablished protocols for filing complaints, extension of maternity and paternity leave, adequate building facilities to support nursing mothers at the workplace, and review of quotas in leadership positions, among others.

We need to adjust the lens and perspective, that's what it takes to have a take on gender perspective, and that is something that we can trained every day.


Do you think that women still face challenges in our industry, and if so, what are they?

According to the World Economic Forum in one of its latest updates, it estimates that it could take 99.5 years to achieve gender parity globally, the advertising industry is no stranger to this.

The reality of our industry can be clearly illustrated in that 58% of the graduates of the Advertising major are women, but only 4% reach CEO positions or owners of agencies. They are 32% of those who work in the areas of Creativity, but only 8% of those who run them.


How should we tackle an issue such equal opportunity?

I find it more interesting to think about what we can do to generate equal opportunities, and we need to anticipate, it´s key that we can have mandatory educational training, as well as gender offices, protocols to address gender and diversity issues.

We need to add gender specialists to our teams to help us change our mindset, it is not easy, as any topic that has been standardized and culturally accepted takes many years to change.


How did you find your way into the marketing communications industry and what professional achievement are you most proud of?

I find myself in this industry mainly by a family legacy, although initially I tried to avoid, I luckily ended up finding my way.

I am proud to lead interdisciplinary teams, to have worked in beautiful campaigns with social impact, but what I value most is each of the teams I worked and worked on, because with them I learn daily and together we achieve great results.


Who inspires you the most, either inside the industry or outside? Why?

I find this question very interesting because when trying to answer it I realize that there are many bright women in this industry, but they have no visibility, there are many voices that we need to be heard.

I think it poses a great challenge to the media to think of women's voices beyond March 8.