HISTORY & HIGHLIGHTS

The 3% Movement Manifesto

Diversity = Creativity = Profitability.

That’s our drumbeat. 1, 2, 3.

The more varied the people who come up with ideas, the more varied the ideas will be. And since women control the majority of consumer spending and social sharing, it only makes sense to involve them in the creative process.

Yet, until we came along, only 3% of Creative Directors were women.

We’re changing that through a unique blend of:

  • Live Events: Annual San Francisco conference, MiniCons in 14 International cities, Super Bowl Tweetups
  • Mentorship: Speed Mentoring, Student Scholarship, CD Bootcamp
  • Microactions: Our #100Things document gives agencies a list of doable doses towards diversity
  • Community: A vibrant 21,000+-person online tribe spanning Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram and LinkedIn
  • Research: Our “Female Creatives on the Rise” report + "What Women Really Want" survey research hold the industry accountable on metrics that matter
  • Content: We give women inspiration and visibility by sharing dozens of our conference sessions via YouTube and The 3% Blog

Our goal? To put ourselves out of business. As quickly as possible. 1, 2, 3.

Join us.

A passion project that became a movement


Kat Gordon worked for 20 years as a Copywriter/Creative Director and saw firsthand how women were often left out of pitches and important meetings. She describes the “Ultimate Emperor’s New Clothes Moment” of her life as the day her agency pitched the Saab car account with 16 men and one woman and then was mystified why they didn’t get the business.

Years later, as Kat ran her own agency that specializes in marketing to women, she became aware of the snowballing power of the female consumer.

“There are only three consumer categories where men dominate purchases, yet agencies still talk about ‘women’s accounts’ as mops and makeup. The truth is that women are the superset, not the subset, and the rate at which women are amassing wealth and exerting influence is unprecedented. Yet the work that is supposed to motivate them springs almost entirely from a male perspective. The advertising business is a $33 billion industry. Misunderstanding female consumers, from a business perspective, is sheer lunacy.”

After years of wondering “why isn’t someone addressing this as the huge business issue it is?” Kat slowly realized that perhaps she was that someone. She began researching the many reasons why women only represent 3% of Creative Directors. Most of the issues start with a two-word phrase: lack of. Lack of support for motherhood, lack of mentorship, lack of awareness that femaleness is an asset to connecting to the consumer marketplace today, lack of celebration of female work due to gender bias of award juries, lack of women negotiating their first agency salary and every one thereafter.

Kat then put together an agenda to combat these issues with an equally powerful two-word phrase: how to. The 3% Conference teaches men and women in agencies and on the client side how to address these issues in new ways and offers something that has been sorely lacking for female creatives: a sense of community.

The 3% Conference Today

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Launched on September 27, 2012 in San Francisco, the 3% Conference has exploded into a 2-day, 800-person event in New York City, multi-city road shows throughout the year, a vibrant online community on multiple social platforms, a student scholarship fund, a creative award, and a business blog to support the crusade.

Our mission is to support more female creative leadership in advertising agencies because:

  • Female consumers deserve to be marketed to from a place of understanding
  • Brands deserve to not have their marketing budgets wasted in a 97% testro-fest
  • Everyone – especially children -- deserve a healthier media diet in the 3,000 ads they consume daily

Who Should Attend


Men and women alike are welcome to be part of The 3%. Folks from agencies, from the client side, recruiters, junior creatives and ad students will all benefit from our agenda and community. Simply put, if you have a vested interest in producing creative work that sells, you’ll benefit from attending our events, reading our blog, and participating in our online community.

Highlights

September 24, 2015Dan Wieden greets a sold-out crowd of 200 attendees at the Portland MiniCon, with Tig Notaro keynoting. This audience size rivals the first 3% annual event, drawing only from the Portland, Oregon market, highlighting the growing interest in our mission.

September 19, 2015Kat Gordon wins "The Change Agent" award at the annual AdColor awards ceremony in NYC.

September 9, 2015Carmichael Lynch and Colle McVoy co-host a 3% MiniCon in Minneapolis with Susan Credle keynoting.

June 21, 2015Kat Gordon serves on three panels at Cannes, including a Diversity Summit.

June 18, 2015Kat Gordon serves as the guest speaker at the IPA Council meeting in London.

June 12, 2015The 3% Conference hosts its first international event in London. 250 Europeans turn out and the event garners healthy press coverage.

June 8, 2015The 3% Conference publishes our Manbassadors BINGO card, a valuable tool for men dedicated to doing their part on behalf of gender equality.

April 30, 2015The 3% Conference MiniCon Miami takes place at the Miami Ad School, sponsored by Crispin, Porter + Bogusky.

March 26, 2015Kat Gordon serves as a judge and a panelist at the annual Catalyst Conference, NYC.

March 2015The 3% Conference expands its vision by becoming an LLC under the name 3% Movement.

February 2015The 3% Conference hosts its second annual Super Bowl Tweetup and generates over 59 million impressions of its hashtag.

January 23, 2015The first 3% student campus group is started at the Unversity of Nebraska, Lincoln.

November, 2014IPG CEO Michael Roth hosts a CEO Summit lunch at The 3% Conference to further the discussion about the role of senior management in supporting gender diversity.

September, 2014Founder Kat Gordon takes the 3% message to the stages of Advertising Week in NYC and AdColor in LA.

September, 2014The 3% Conference lands IPG as its first holding company sponsor, while brand-side sponsors like Adobe, Wells Fargo, Apple, and Oracle bring the "voice of the client" to the conversation.

September 10, 2014The first 3% MiniCon is held in Atlanta, hosted by Moxie. Boasting strong client support and involvement from Twitter and AOL, the event sold out and #3percentATL was a trending topic on Twitter.

July 31, 2014Kat and Rebecca took the 3% message to Salt Lake City for our first full day MiniCon where we experienced several firsts. 25% of attendees were men - the highest percentage ever recorded at a 3% road show.

July 20143% Founder, Kat Gordon, is named a Forty Over 40 winner, dedicated to women who are reinventing, disrupting and making an impact.

June 15, 2014Kat Gordon is invited to speak in Stockholm and on 3 panels at Cannes.

June 5, 2014#3percent Chicago Road Show hosted by Draft FCB sells out.

May 8, 2014#3percentNYC Road Show hosted by Ogilvy sells out.

May 6, 20143% Founder, Kat Gordon, brings the 3% message to the Creative Week stage in New York.

February 17, 2014The 3% Conference launches a CD-o-Meter that celebrates each newly minted female CD via a Facebook campaign and newsletter profile.

February 14, 2014In honor of Valentine’s Day, The 3% Conference honors 12 Guys We Love with a video tribute to their contributions for more gender equality in advertising.

February, 2014Hill Holliday (Boston) and The Hive (San Francisco) host dozen of female creatives to participate in a real-time Tweetup about Super Bowl ads. Thousands more women and men join in from their living room couches and our #3percentsb hashtagged messages reach 2.3 million people.

January, 2014The One Show announces a gender-balanced ad jury, as does Cannes and the CLIOS. Huge thanks to the ADC for their 50/50 Initiative and 3 Percenters who are making their presence known via ad juries.

December, 2013Kat Gordon brings the 3% message to the TEDx Women conference in San Francisco and is later invited to deliver it in Barcelona and other cities.

October 16-17, 2013Over 70 speakers – hailing from 10 different countries – gather together in San Francisco along with 400 Creative Directors, Creatives, marketers, and recruiters for 2 days of inspiration, knowledge sharing, and community.

September 12, 2013#3percentSeattle Road Show hosted by POSSIBLE sells out.

August 22, 2013#3percentLosAngeles Road Show hosted by Deutsch sells out.

July 15, 2013#3percentBoston Road Show hosted by Digitas sells out.

May, 2013The 3% Conference wins “Conference of the Year” at Women Entrepreneur’s Rock the World conference in New York City.

April 17, 2013#3percentAustin Road Show hosted by GSD&M.

April, 20133% Founder Kat Gordon receives “Marketers that Matter” award from Wall St. Journal and The Sage Group.

February 28, 2013First 3% Road Show debuts in Boulder, Colorado.

September 27, 2012Conference debuts in San Francisco to a sold out crowd, with over 30 agencies in attendance; 80% of attendees rated the Conference “Excellent” and 85% indicated they plan to return in 2013.

August, 2012Conference receives Proclamation from the Commission on the Status of Women at City Hall, San Francisco.

April, 2011The American Association of Advertising Agencies becomes a Founding Partner.

January, 2011First sponsor, Adobe, comes on board.

August, 2010Kat Gordon launches the conference with a single tweet while speaking at The 140 Conference in San Francisco.