Our first event of 2015 in LA saw 80 people gather at Pitch to listen to an amazing trio of powerful women. President Rachel Spiegelman, Chief Creative Officer Xanthe Wells and Chief Strategy Officer Sara Bamossy.
No questions were left behind. We discussed everything from their career path and how they got into advertising to how to ‘survive’ in a male dominated industry and navigate power games.
We learned and shared a lot. It was inspiring and emotional.
These are some of the key take aways:
This is the biggest challenges for younger generation of women. The previous generations worked hard to eliminate it in order to strive for equality. Looking good or feeling good should not diminish your stature in the workplace.
At the same time you don’t have to be meek to be feminine. Be beautiful and feel beautiful. Be yourself. Be clear, confident and centred. Own the room as if you deserve to be there.
For the generation before there was an element of tokenism - sometimes felt like there was only one spot for a woman on the executive team and this created a lot of competition. This balance is changing and there are more opportunities for women today.
Use the competition to fuel you and make allies. Find those women as allies and rise and build your careers together.
Be honest and tough together. Find your common goal. If you all have the same end goal then it makes it easier to reach for it together.
Connecting with clients as a female team
You don’t need to push or market the female perspective, it naturally emerges and can work to your advantage when working with brands.
See negotiation as a win/win situation and not as an adversarial process.
A lot of women avoid negotiation. However negotiating your salary when you start a job is important. Every bonus and raise is based on that first number.
Nobody has it all. Be kind to yourself. Remind yourself of the good that you’re doing when you feel guilty. Figure out how these two passions (work and family) fit together.
Regardless of whether you have a family or not, you should spend time doing things you enjoy outside of the workplace to recharge and refresh. Don’t think that you should stay late simply because you don’t have a family / personal commitments.