Whilst working at a famous publishing house, I worked for a married male company director that had an openly on-going relationship with a female account manager.

This is clearly not appropriate and caused much gossip around the office. The female account manager was promoted a few times and gave the impression if you slept with management you could also get ahead. 

It's a classic office affair situation that was glamourised by the management and no one senior challenged it. We were made to feel like it was ok because he was at the top.

The result was that other female colleagues would flirt with him and get 'cosy' at different events in order to progress their careers. All very seedy, I just couldn't do it.

I completely understand that affairs do happen at work, but within the advertising industry, the openness and acceptance of such things are far too common.

We should preserve some professionalism. It places these senior white males on a pedestal and allows them to get away with it. 

At the same business, I watched my male line manager reduced to a mental break down due to the workload and lack of support that was shown to him as he was a man.

So it works both ways - if your business is fundamentally sexist it can affect everyone because you're 'not man enough' as a man or 'not sexy enough' as a woman.

Today, with more experience and confidence I focus on finding work within businesses with an equal balance of male and female leaders and progressive attitudes.

I am drawn towards positive and grounded leadership teams that look at you as an equal. I now work within an SME in the advertising industry that is a world away from a large traditional corporation. There is definitely no history that needs re-writing.

I believe the industry can change purely because the market is changing so dramatically some of these 'old skool' types won't be able to keep up with developments and clients demands. But of course, it won't be overnight.