"The Only Way is Ethics"
"Daddy, Daddy...Daaaddy!" "Yes Tabitha?"
"When I grow up, I want to work in StormLight like you."
After occurring to me that "growing-up" is hardly conducive to a career in advertising, this sweet remark from my smart, tenacious 5 year-old daughter really got me thinking.
What are our social, ethical and environmental responsibilities as business owners?
What will it be like for a young female director in 20 years time?
What will the environment look like when she's my age?
Will I still have hair?
As advertisers, we're among the most influential people on this planet.
Politicians, gods, toilet-makers all hire us for a reason.
We tell people how to think and what to feel.
We decide what's fat, what's funny, what's normal.
"Ethics" derives from the Greek "ethikos" or "habit". (I know because I looked it up)
Well, it's time we change our habits, time we question the status quo.
We're not perfect, and this is just a start, but here's what we're thinking:
"We don't like Feminists. We love them."
93% of film directors are not female.
Women do not experience equality. Discrimination is real and current. It is not a thing of the past.
The problem is it all feels nice and normal doesn't it? Like, we don't pinch bums anymore do we?
StormLight will hire at least 50% talented female directors & 50% talented male directors.
We're also actively seeking to employ capable female crews in other traditionally male roles.
Crazy huh? Reflecting the demographic breakdown of our actual society?
-It should be about talent not gender!
Damn right it should, but it plainly isn't. We're working to even the playing field.
-Isn't that discriminating against men?
Tell ya what, when we men make up 7% (or even 49%) of the industry, then we'll review our position...
"We're a family business"
We pay for childcare for any staff or crew that need it, on all our productions. Simples.
Lack of childcare cripples many people's chances at career progression. Not here it won't. (Thanks for this great suggestion Amy!)
Let's talk about flex baby.
We all need days to mind a sick child, goldfish, wife or to binge on "Breaking Bad" for 11 hours before writing the winning pitch the night before. That's cool, once a week it's your business whether you wear pants.
Mentor and shadowing programmes.
We're developing mentor programmes with our Heads of Departments with a particular emphasis on female, LGBT and minority voices.
Good cause? Great Discounts.
Serious discounts for charities and non-profits. We also donate at least one pro-bono campaign a year and give 5% of our profits to charity.
Two legs good. Four legs good too.
We don't work on campaigns supporting Whale Hunting, Seal Clubbing, Badger Baiting, Fox Culling, Dog Eating, Cow Killing, Milk Stealing or with anyone that derives their products from any of our non human buddies.
We're declaring neutrality.
The weather here is crap enough already, so by 2022 StormLight intends to be carbon neutral.
We're still making money for us and you.
You probably recycle. You probably value your daughter as much as your son. You probably love your pets. We're just encouraging our clients and our clients' clients to think like you do.
We strongly believe that ethical business is the only way forward, and if it's good enough for the FTSE4Good it's gonna be really good for your business too.
Now someone please pass me the organic wine already.
Sebastian & Tabitha 2016
"Great job Tabby!"
© 2018 StormLight
Film & TV Production Services, Ireland.