The 3% Conference touched down in the Big Apple last week, and was a huge success. We here at the Let's Make The Industry 50/50 Initiative thought it would be the perfect time to reconnect with one of our earliest supporting organizations.
Tell us a little bit about the 3% Conference as an organization.
Kat Gordon (3% Conference Founder) We're a social change movement that's raising awareness of the importance of having more women in creative leadership. Before we came along, only 3% of advertising creative directors were women. With our help, that number is now 11% and rising. We do events worldwide that help ad agencies, brands and other creative companies learn how to use microactions, mentorship and manbassadors to make marketing more gender-equal. We also do fun things like host Super Bowl Tweetups where female Creatives live-tweet about the ads during the game (and generate 59 million hashtag impressions), host Speed Mentoring sessions at all of our events, host a Student Scholarship and Portfolio Review at our fall event, write a kick-ass blog, and give away all our content for free on YouTube.
What has been the most surprising business return on balancing the representation of female/male voices in a "room"?
Our conference proves to events worldwide that smart, insightful, funny, compelling female voices are everywhere + they're ready to take the stage and inspire others. Any event that features almost all male speakers just isn't looking hard enough.
If it were Wednesday on social media, who would be your organization's #womencrushwedhesday?
No doubt about it: Cindy Gallop.
What was your first impression when you heard about the 50/50 Initiative?
About f'ing time! And bravo to (former ADC Executive Director and 50/50 Initiative Co-Founder) Ignacio Oreamuno for being a "Manbassador." We immediately put out an APB to our community about the historic photo shoot the 50/50 Initiative was organizing, and many 3 Percenters raced into cabs to get over there and proudly pose in that shot.
If you could give one piece of advice to young women coming up in the industry, what would it be?
Learn to be a kick-ass presenter. Portfolio schools do a great job of teaching you how to write, art direct, and concept. But learning to be a persuasive presenter is just as important. If you bench yourself and let a colleague present your work, you distance yourself from many good things: visibility, the ability to deflect criticism, and the experience of explaining your thinking, which is the best proof to a client that your idea has merit. One of the biggest impediments for many women to stay in advertising is the unpredictable hours. Being an amazing salesperson of your own work decreases the likelihood that you’ll be sent back to the drawing board and have to work all weekend long.
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