Week of advertising: Why are there not more women in senior management in communications?
Pam Hügli: Because there are more men who apply for the jobs.
How many women work at your agency, and how many men? We have more qualified women than men at our agency.
Do you have wage equality at your agency? Yes, I make sure of that.
Let’s assume your agency plans to introduce a female quota. What do you think of that? Nothing. I’m for the ability quota – always have been.
What would have to change for women to be able to find a better balance between their family and career? Employer attitudes. But also the will and the willingness of the mothers themselves to find a way to balance both. And the social framework. Working mothers are still stigmatised in Switzerland. As unacceptable as they are, phrases like “Why did she have a baby if she wants to go to work?” continue to reflect attitudes in society. Completely outdated, in my opinion. We should take a good look at our French neighbours – there, paid employment for mothers is actively promoted, and the childcare options are so much better. It’s also taken for granted that a woman will return to work after her maternity leave.
If you were a man, would you be working in a different role today? As an emancipated man maybe I’d be at home looking after the children
What could men be doing better in terms of your professional environment? Men have a “buddy gene”. All it takes is a little small talk and they’re already busy networking away, patting each other on the back ...
What could women be doing better? Women have a “trust gene”. It helps them to build up trust during a conversation, which helps them to network. As you see, there is a difference, but it’s not as big as we always think.
Why are there more male than female Advertisers of the Year awardees? Because the women aren’t nominated.
Which of your female colleagues has impressed you the most in your career so far? I admire all women who refuse to allow gender to become an issue, and just get on with doing a good job. Something that – as well all know – is really not always so easy. For men as well, by the way.
Have you ever had any negative experiences during your career that you wouldn’t have had if you’d been a man? I’ve never asked myself this question. In general, us women should stop thinking we have to constantly compare ourselves with our male colleagues.
What advice do you give to young women who are just starting out in this industry and aiming to reach your position in the medium to long term? I advise all young people, regardless of gender, to work hard to reach their goals. Nothing comes from nothing. Our business is very demanding, and passion is a must. And you also have to “suffer” a little to get to the top.
Do you encourage young women to start out in your industry? Yes, of course. I’m also happy to coach them.
What do you think of the gender discussion in the industry in general? I find the discussion pointless. Not only in our industry. Everywhere. If you want to achieve something, you have to work for it. And stand up for yourself.