Gender-diversity organisation Creative Equals has launched the industry's first "returnship" scheme to entice female creatives back to work.
It has partnered D&AD, the IPA, the British Interactive Media Association, SheSays, Creative Social, The Industry Club, the School of Communication Arts and several agencies, including London CP+B for the programme.
This week, the programme placed its first "returnee”. Sarah Shepherd, a mother of three will be working alongside Dave Buonaguidi, chief creative officer at Crispin Porter & Bogusky London.
Buonaguidi said that talented people should not be penalised because they want to be mums or dads. He added: "There is a massive disconnect between the people in the business and the people we talk to."
Earlier this year, research by Creative Equals and the Young Creative Council revealed that 60% of young female creatives believe they can’t stay in the industry with a young family. This year, an IPA Mother’s Day survey found that 55% of mothers feel advertisers don’t understand them.
Ali Hanan, founder of Creative Equals, which is looking for women to join the scheme, urged the industry to stop mothers from leaving in the first place. She said: "We need to create the right frameworks so new parents feel they can stay and thrive in adland."