D&AD: Graduate figures show gender divide on advertising courses

More female graduates than ever are entering the advertising industry but creative courses continue to be dominated by men, according to the latest graduate figures.

At Newcastle University - one of a number of institutes in the country that offers a creative-based degree in advertising and graphic design - men outnumber women by four to one on the course.

Likewise, at Buckingham College and Gloucestershire University, the gender gap still exists though is less obvious.

Bucks' creative advertising degree has ten women and 13 men about to complete their third year, while at Gloucester in a class of 30 students, just 12 are women.

James Murphy, the managing director at Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R, believes the gender gap on creative courses occurs largely because account handling jobs are more skewed toward women. He said: "Overall, the business is becoming more female orientated; indeed, our workforce has become more reliant on talented females.

"There are more women coming into advertising compared with ten years ago and more are going on to senior roles, particularly in account handling."

Keri Steele, a consultant at Kendall Tarrant, the specialist recruitment company said a healthy number of women enter creative-based degrees but change midway through on to account management or media planning. She said: "I think that girls drop out quite early on because they get scared. They realise how difficult it is to get into creative advertising and some of them don't have the strength of character to go that extra mile to get there."

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