To the Women of the Evolution, We’re in This Together

As a first-timer at the 3 Percent Conference, I expected to be overwhelmed with knowledge, advice and inspirational talks regarding women in advertising (and was not disappointed).

But, perhaps the most impactful wasn’t a keynote on equal pay or getting what you deserve, but rather a panel of well-respected and highly decorated industry mothers and their daughters talking openly about what it’s like growing up with a mother in advertising.

Most of the daughters agreed that advertising wasn’t for them – the amount of missed birthday parties and graduations were too large of a sacrifice for their future careers. But when asked how they felt about their mothers choosing that path, they were anything but resentful towards them, rather inspired that they are choosing to do what they love.

On the heels of the #MeToo movement, the audience was able to witness some of the most powerful women in the industry share their stories of harassment. It was both heartbreaking and inspiring to watch these women be so incredibly vulnerable in front of thousands of strangers and, more importantly, their daughters.

And when the moderator asked us all to raise a hand if we too, had ever been harassed in advertising, women shot their hands up proudly, in solidarity, showing that no one was in this fight alone and that the stigma of harassment and sexual assault shouldn’t be shame.

Because as mothers, as daughters and as women of the evolution, we’re in this together. We cannot change an industry that has been so heavily male dominated unless we’re all on the same team: cheering each other on, building each other up and making room for each other at the table.

Then, and only then, can we begin to make this industry as great as it’s supposed to be.