Gender Issues: Important advice from industry leaders

The upcoming issue of Marketing (available this week) is our Gender Issue, which taps new research to explore how consumer stereotypes are breaking down between the sexes and what marketers need to know to hit their targets. With all the talk of gender marketing, we decided it was an opportune time to take stock of […]

The upcoming issue of Marketing (available this week) is our Gender Issue, which taps new research to explore how consumer stereotypes are breaking down between the sexes and what marketers need to know to hit their targets. With all the talk of gender marketing, we decided it was an opportune time to take stock of gender issues in the marketing industry itself as well. Writer Carly Lewis reached out and engaged some of the leading women in advertising, and each day this week we will post their responses to some important questions. The picture that emerges is one that suggests that while progress has been on the gender equity front, there is a lot more needed. Tell us what you think.

Monday: Today’s most urgent issues around gender in the ad world
Tuesday: Making progress. What’s changed the most in the industry?
Wednesday: Tales from the front: Maddening firsthand encounters with sexism
Thursday: Where to from here? What are the remedies?
Today: Listen up. Important advice from industry leaders

What advice do you have for women in the industry?

Jill King, president at One Advertising
Go after what you want, the way you want it.

Lauren Richards, principal at Pollin8
Don’t think about your sex. Treat everyone like you would want to be treated yourself; be inclusive. Be the damned best you can be. And you’ll do just fine.

Christina Yu, executive creative director of Red Urban
You need to be able to chip away at barriers and not let them hinder your growth. Work through it.

Karen Howe, senior vice-president, creative director at One
Do amazing work, first and foremost. Be ambitious. Work hard. Build a powerful network. Build your profile. Women need to understand that ambition is not a dirty word. This has been my mantra for 30 years now. Decide you want the top job and plot your path there.

Jill Nykoliation, president of Juniper Park
My advice to female leaders is to actively help other women become leaders, too. Mentoring is incredibly powerful, and is contagious.

Nancy Vonk, co-founder of Swim
Insist on getting what you need to succeed. Avoid taking jobs at places known for being boys clubs. Don’t stay at a job that doesn’t support your success. Network with people of influence, not just your peers or those junior to you. Get a mentor, and be a mentor. Be assertive about the money and title you want; it’s not a meritocracy. Be heard. Be visible. And please, stay. We need you.

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