Inspiration from the 3% Conference



By: Nicole Ricciardi, Isobar US Art Director

What the Conference means to me

The 3% Conference is about so much more than women. It’s about creating and upholding a workplace that is built upon empathy, unity, and champions creative thinking. The only way we can get there is together, which is why it’s so important to focus on closing the gap between male and female creatives. Its impossible for an agency to succeed creatively when they ignore half of the way the world thinks.

Who I was most Inspired by

One of the speakers that stood out to me, was Kelly Fredrickson, a Senior Marketing Executive for Bank of America. She had been working in a high powered role for many years, and found herself burnt out. “Why am I so busy?”, “Why don’t I have time for the things I really want to do?” “Why am I so unhappy?”

The answer was a simple one: You are in control of your own life. In order to change your behavior, you need to practice. For Kelly, it was about bringing a sense of balance and happiness with her to her day job. She would think of the happiest place she could be (at her family home in Maine) and focus on bringing that feeling to her work everyday, in every interaction with her team.

She participates in 30-100 day challenges of mindfulness, where she focuses on small goals working towards a larger one. Sometimes its realizing that ‘Good enough is OK’ and knowing that ‘I am the solution for me’.

One exercise we did as an audience was to write down 5-10 things about the person we admire most. After adding “I am” to each trait, it becomes clear that the things you admire most about other people are these things you admire about yourself.

I think this is a valuable lesson to carry with you not only in the workplace, but in life.

I appreciated her take on accepting your own flaws and leaning into them by turning them into goals and changes in your life.


Some memorable thoughts:

“People will forget what you did and what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou

It doesn’t matter if you are a man or a woman, focus should be on being a good coworker.

“Failure always brings you a gift. It’s called experience. Fear has no place in your equation for success.” – Carla Harris, Morgan Stanley

It can be easy to get caught up in the negative experiences we have, so it is vital to treat each one as a lesson.

“The more we continue to isolate men, that more we increase their anger.” – Erin St. Onge Carpenter, Chief Knowledge Officer, The 3% Movement

This is a great point, and generally the whole spirit of the conference: inclusion. Men and women have equal value in the scope of our field, and it’s important to remember that value and respect goes both ways.

“A willing creative will only be a b level player at best. Don’t be a yes woman.” –  Colleen Dcourcy, Global Chief Creative Officer, Wieden+Kennedy

It’s ok to stand up for what you believe and be vocal. Don’t be a doormat.