Jessica Hopper Discusses her Career as Female Rock Critic at Women’s Community Event

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The Isobar Women’s Community was formed to provide a forum for discussion surrounding the unique issues that women face while building a career in an agency world. With a robust mentorship program and quarterly events to support the women at Isobar US, the Women’s Community strives to bridge the gender gap.  As part of this initiative, the Chicago office Women’s Community arranged for Jessica Hopper, senior editor at Pitchfork, to speak about her journey in a male dominated industry and why she believes women’s experience in music, both as consumers and creators, is marginalized.


Hopper began her talk by outlining how she got her start in the music industry and the challenges she faced along the way to becoming one of the most well-known female rock critics. As a teenager she wrote, printed and distributed her own magazine, eschewing those that doubted her talent because of her age and gender.  Hopper offered advice on the art of giving and receiving criticism. She urges men and women alike to find a mentor and learn to take feedback in a positive way. Or even ignore it completely in some cases! Both internal and external feedback occurs regularly at Isobar and decoding that feedback is important for success. Jessica Hopper ‘s experience as a rock critic can be applied to our experiences in the digital industry as well. Our experience strategy and design director, Doug Hopkins, even wrote an article in Fast Company about decoding design feedback as an important skill for any agency professional to master. Hopkins and Hopper agree that keeping comments in perspective and asking questions are key techniques when dealing with feedback.


Currently on tour for her second book “The First Collection of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic,” the legendary Chicago-based author is also Editor in Chief of the Pitchfork Review and Music Editor of Rookie Magazine. Her essays have appeared in Best Music Writing for 2004, 2005, 2007, 2010, and 2011. Hopper was also the longtime music consultant for This American Life and the American Library Association named her book “The Girls’ Guide to Rocking” one of 2009’s Notable Books For Young Readers.


A big thanks to Jessica for speaking with us and we can’t wait for the next Women’s Community event!

Women's Community Event

Women's Community Reception