Marketing Island chats with Jo Wallace, founder of Good Girls Eat Dinner, a unique, powerful and female-centric community which hosts dinner party speaking events for women in the creative industry. We talk with Jo in a bid to discover new wisdom and opinion. Touching upon her unique industry knowledge and experience, inspiration and valuable advice.
Good Girls Eat Dinner on... Inspiration.
Marketing Island: Good Girls Eat Dinner is a kick-ass, stylish and unique community for women in the creative industries. What inspired you to set up GGED and why was it important to create a community of this kind?
GGED: I started Good Girls Eat Dinner in 2015, not long after I’d been asked to give a talk about being a female Creative Director.
"Only 12% of creative directors in advertising are women. Yet more than 80% of purchasing decisions are made by women."
Rather than give a talk to the converted, I wanted to reach a wider audience and underline the fact that women can be creative (just like they can be funny).
I decided to put on an exhibition to showcase and celebrate female creativity. A great team of women I worked with at the time helped me bring that idea to life. The exhibition was called ‘There’s a Good Girl’, named after a book by a woman called Marianne Grabrucker, which is about gender stereotyping.
Twenty incredible female artists exhibited work, including Alison Jackson, Sara Pope, Hattie Stewart and Pam Glew.
The exhibition received wide ranging press coverage, including a double page spread in The Independent, articles in Creative Review and interviews on BBC London Radio.
It was incredible seeing how women reacted to seeing an all-female line up. It was like they could suddenly breathe. Like they were suddenly aware that they could do anything. Like they realised that they didn’t have to be overwhelmed by being in the minority in the industry that they worked in.
I wanted to capture that feeling and spread it to more women. I’d had an idea in mind for a while, for a dining event, where I’d get kick-ass, female role models from the creative industries (not just advertising) to speak between the courses of a meal.
"So I did it. And called it Good Girls Eat Dinner."
Good Girls Eat Dinner on... Females in the industry.
Marketing Island: When the gender pay gap is still so often an issue within the ad industry and a ‘Mad Men kind of culture’ still sometimes exists, why is it so important communities like GGED Dinner exist?
GGED: What I think is most important is that women leave GGED feeling f*@king inspired – not only from the speakers, but from the women around them. The feedback I get is amazing. It’s the positive energy that spills out of GGED and turns into action that makes it so important.
Good Girls Eat Dinner on... Being put in a box.
Marketing Island: Many go by the motto ‘Creativity can come from anywhere or anyone’. What advice would you give to those in traditionally less creative departments in the agency world who still want to be involved in creative communities, in and outside of the workplace?
GGED: What is creativity anyway? I think it’s different things to different people. I think anyone can be inspired to do something brilliant. Something outside of their comfort zone, that may or may not be stereotypically ‘creative’. It doesn’t matter so long as it has a positive impact.
"You don’t have to be labelled as creative to get inspired and change how people look at something."
Good Girls Eat Dinner on... A successful career.
Marketing Island: As the Founder of GGED, the Creative Director of JWT, Women of Tomorrow Finalist, Campaign & Creative Equal’s Future Female Leader, one of Young Creative Council’s Badass Gals, and one of Pitch Magazine’s ‘Superwomen’, what is the one lesson you have learnt throughout your career you would pass on to a female just starting out in the industry?
GGED: Find what you love doing. Do that. And try to have fun while you’re doing it.
Interested in getting involved with Good Girls Eat Dinner and attending their events? You can explore more here. (We've been and we can vouch for it - a lot of fun and super inspiring!)
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