A creative worker at a top advertising agency today said he felt like he had ‘a target on my back’ when he was fired after a gay female director vowed to ‘obliterate’ the firm’s Mad Men reputation of being ‘full of white, British, straight men.’
Chas Bayfield and colleague Dave Jenner, who were among five men axed from J.
Walter Thompson (JWT) after bosses ‘urgently’ wanted to address its poor gender pay gap, have expressed relief after winning a sex discrimination claim against the company.
A damning gender pay gap report had sent ‘shock waves’ through the firm as it highlighted there was a serious lack of female representation, a tribunal heard.
Female creative director Jo Wallace, 44, was appointed to help lose the company’s ‘Knightsbridge Boys Club’ reputation and jointly held a diversity conference called ‘Crisis: The Mother of All Change’.
Ms Wallace, who introduced herself as a gay woman, told the conference: ‘One thing we all agree on is that the reputation JWT once earnt – as being full of white, British, privileged [men] – has to be obliterated.’
When Mr Bayfield, who made the famous Blackcurrant Tango ‘St George’ ad, and Mr Jenner expressed ‘valid’ concerns over the safety of their jobs, https://triadtoys.com/ bosses reacted ‘furiously’ and took it as a ‘challenge’ to their new diversity drive, then made them redundant.
Mr Bayfield told MailOnline today: ‘There is a part of me that feels guilty that these laws, that were put in place to protect minorities in the workplace as they should be, have protected a couple of middle-aged, straight, British men. But it is also right the judge found in our favour because it wasn’t right.
‘I definitely agreed that there had to be a way to address the diversity issues, but I don’t think it was gone about the right way.
‘I remember feeling like I just had a target on my back. I remember thinking, if I was a black 24-year-old woman I’d be fine.
If I had been gay, even better.
‘But as a middle-aged white man, it felt like my job was in danger and that’s why we went to a lawyer.’
A spokesman for Mr Jenner today added that he hoped the judgment would ‘encourage more people to stand up to the ‘Cancel Club’.’
Wunderman Thompson, which merged with JWT – the spiritual successor of Madison Avenue, home to a series of advertising agencies that inspired Mad Men, told MailOnline it would be appealing the ruling.
Ms Wallace, who used to work for Saatchi & Saatchi and lives with her fiancée in a £1.2 million house in trendy east London, wrote in an article last year: ‘A hell of a lot of people are literally sleeping on the job when it comes to diversifying their creative department beyond white, pale, stale males.’
Chas Bayfield (pictured above today) and Dave Jenner won a sex discrimination claim against JWT London after being fired in November 2018 for addressing concerns about job security
Jo Wallace, who introduced herself as a gay woman at the conference, was appointed to help JWT lose its ‘Knightsbridge Boys Club’ reputation
Ms Wallace founded a ‘Good Girls Eat Dinner’ exhibition every other month, where inspirational speakers including Hollywood star Amanda Foster and C4 News presenter Cathy Newman have been invited to share their stories and advice
After graduating from Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College in 1999 with a First in graphic design and advertising, she worked as a creative writer for companies such as The AA, Tango, Pot Noodle and Guinness
Mr Bayfield made the famous and multi-award-winning Blackcurrant Tango ‘St George’ advert, which aired in the 1990s
<div class="art-ins mol-factbox news halfRHS" data-version="2" id="mol-07540d20-ebbc-11eb-a97a-8b650955da85" website men win sex descrimination payout against JWT