Advertising Age published a painfully lengthy portrait titled, “Cindy Gallop Doesn’t Care What You Think”—which is fine, as most clear-headed citizens don’t care what Cindy Gallop thinks.
Gallop is among the more prominent White women bandwagon enthusiasts. Don’t mean to be a female provocateur basher, but prominence doesn’t translate to credibility, despite the adoration of her +46,000 Twitter followers.
For example, Gallop gulped, “I really want to push back against the narrative that women opt out. No woman has ever said, ‘No, don’t pay me more money.’ No woman has ever said, ‘No, I don’t want to be the one in charge so I get to decide how I experience all of this.’” Um, yes, they have. In fact, plenty of women have declined a higher pay scale or bigger title for reasons covering everything from work-life balance to simply seeking to reduce exposure to the insanity generated by the industry. Sorry, but Gallop sounds like a Boomer dinosaur when spewing such uninformed proclamations. It’s true that no woman has ever said, “Please discriminate against me, subject me to sexism and inappropriate behavior and/or pay me less money than male counterparts for equal work.” Yet many have opted against advancement. Women today have greater choices and lead multi-faceted lives. Plus, the industry today is not nearly as attractive as the post-Golden Age of Advertising that Gallop experienced.
Ad Age wrote, “The push for 50-50 gender balance for employment, at all levels and within all departments, is [Gallop’s] goal.” Why is it that White women (or biracial women, as in Gallop’s case) can get away with demanding percentage increases, while minorities who make such requests are vilified as racial quota revolutionaries and Affirmative Action activists?
Ad Age also wrote, “Ms. Gallop believes once an agency has as many women as men in all roles, the issue of sexual harassment goes away. ‘You instantly manage out all of those issues. Because there isn’t the bro-y atmosphere that encourages men to only see women in two roles: secretary or girlfriend.’” Wow, what bizarro universe is Gallop living in? First, expecting equal gender numbers to eliminate sexual harassment is tantamount to believing a Black U.S. President erases racism. By golly, we’ll soon be dancing in a post-racial and post-sexual harassment society! Second, accusing men of viewing every female associate as a potential administrative assistant or girlfriend is pretty ignorant. In contrast to minorities, White women in our industry are not relegated to the roles of receptionist, cleaning lady, security, mailroom attendant or Chief Diversity Officer.
Plus, why is Gallop suddenly such a fiery change agent? Her professional legacy to date hardly warrants the label of diversity champion; rather, she’s a diverted diversity champion. Did BBH transform into an inclusive Mecca under Gallop’s watch? With all due disrespect, Sir John Hegarty displays the classic symptoms of White privilege and cultural cluelessness. And BBH is a no-show at the parties for progress. It would help Gallop’s cause if a few good adwomen acknowledged her as their inspirational mentor, crediting her with their ascension in adland. Are there any minorities in the field who directly benefited from Gallop’s original or born-again benevolence?
Is Gallop to diversity what Donald Trump is to democracy? On the one hand, rabble-rousers are always welcome to condemn the exclusivity festering on Madison Avenue and beyond. At the same time, is Gallop really the figure everyone wants to lead the charge? And to put it all into perspective, Trump boasts +11.1 million Twitter followers.
In the end, Gallop—like Trump—has not earned this blog’s vote. Which is fine, since Gallop doesn’t care.