Let's talk about women in business on International Women's Day. Did you know that only 1 in 10 Creative Directors are women? Women work to fill more and more leadership positions across all industries, but the journey is a long and hard one. More female CEOs, business leaders, Creative Directors, and other leaders are fighting for equality and better representation. Despite the progressive associations with the creative field, only one in ten Creative Directors worldwide are women. While we work to increase that number, it’s important to recognize, celebrate, and take inspiration from the women paving the way.

For International Women's Day, we'd like to acknowledge some influential Creative Directors who are breaking the glass ceiling for themselves and those coming next.

Jackie Dean

As the co-founder and Creative Director of the graphic design agency Dean&Co, Jackie Dean has worked with some of the world’s most well-known and respected organizations in the sports, entertainment, consumer products, and health industries. Some of the companies Jackie Dean has collaborated with include the NFL, Blue Shield, Blue Cross, and the Los Angeles Lakers. Throughout her impressive career, Jackie Dean has won over 30 awards and earned the respect and admiration of many.

Support Jackie on Instagram @thebigdeans

Maria Grazia Chiuri

In 2016, the widely admired French luxury fashion brand Dior named Maria Grazia Chiuri as their Creative Director. The Italian designer thus became the first woman to hold a position of this prestige at Dior. In this role, she has continuously brought awareness to the struggles women in the fashion industry face. Maria Grazia Chiuri uses her position to educate and inspire others, especially young girls.

Support Maria on Instagram @mariagraziachiuri

Karen Costello

Karen Costello, Deutsch LA’s Creative Chair, has been critical in numerous groundbreaking campaigns for large companies worldwide. She has worked with brands such as Volkswagen, Zillow, Target, and Taco Bell. She is best known for her work with the Star Wars campaign and Target’s Grammy Awards live music video with Gwen Stefani.

Support Karen on LinkedIn

Chitose Abe

In 1999 Chitose Abe founded the Japanese luxury fashion brand Sacai. From working as a pattern cutter for Comme des Garçons and for Junya Watanabe, Chitose Abe has grown as a leader in the fashion world. Sacai is completely owned by Abe, who has used her creative freedom and talent to collaborate with brands such as Beats by Dre and Nike.

Support Chitose on Instragram @sacaiofficial

SooJin Buzelli

SooJin Buzelli is the Creative Director of Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS). The illustrators she has worked with speak highly of the passion, enthusiasm, and guidance she brings to every project. Beyond being admired and respected by those who have personally worked with her, SooJin Buzelli has been recognized with awards from the prestigious Society of Illustrators. Her story is a great example of the success and admiration that being and applying yourself can lead to.

Support Soojin on Instagram @sbuzelli

While we still have a long way to go before people in positions of power and leadership represent the stories and people in our culture, we can take inspiration from these women. Change doesn’t happen overnight but following the footsteps of these Creative Directors can lead us to a brighter future.

Written and researched by Felicitas Angerer

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