Vanishing Acts: Creative Women in Spain and the United States

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International Journal of Advertising


This exploratory cross-cultural study examines the experiences of women in advertising creative departments in Spain and the United States. The study, an exploration of the creative environment and its impact on female creatives, is framed by Hofstede’s dimensional model of national culture (Hofstede 2001; de Mooij & Hofstede 2010) and signalling theory (Spence 1974). Interviews with 35 top female creatives suggest that the challenges women face are rooted in the ‘fraternity culture’ or ‘territorio de chicos’ of creative departments in both countries. The data further suggest that the gender-bound cultural environment of advertising creative departments may be a global phenomenon, one that may adversely affect the creative process and impact women’s upward mobility.


International Journal of Advertising, Vol. 31, No. 3 (2012): 657-679. Permalink. © 2012 World Advertising Research Center.