The 3% roadshow event in Austin was our first taste of what this movement is all about. It was incredibly inspiring to see it come to life— in the form of Kat’s persuasive keynote speech followed by a panel of three talented female creative directors (Carlotta Stankiewicz of GSD&M, Shanteka Sigers of Sanders/Wingo, and Stefani Zellmer of Zeehive) and one brave male creative director (Scott McAffee of Sanders/Wingo). Judging by the sizable turnout of women and men (woohoo!) along with the seemingly endless number of questions post-panel, we weren’t the only ones feeling the 3% mojo.
One of our favorite areas of discussion was when the female panelists gave examples of how being a woman— and specifically a mom— had actually made them more valuable in their jobs. For example, Stankiewicz mentioned a recent campaign she worked on in which her knowledge of social media became a huge asset, a skill set she credits entirely to having a teenage daughter. In addition, here’s what Kat and a few of the panelists mentioned as their key takeaways:
"The young women in attendance were clearly hungering for this content. In fact, I received a follow-up email from a copywriting intern who told me her advertising professor had told her that women couldn't achieve CD status because the field was too punishing. The 3% event in Austin changed her entire outlook on her professional future. It was the speakers on stage, the support of local agencies, and the business case for female CDs in my presentation that opened her eyes to how valuable female talent really is in our industry today." –Kat Gordon
"I really appreciated the men who showed up. I think a lot of men dismiss this community because they think it's a woman's issue and it wouldn't be macho to support it. So I applaud those who give the effort enough thought to realize it's not just a woman's thing. It's an industry thing. I saw the light go on in their eyes while Kat and the panelists were speaking. I think the ones who were there finally got it. And that's a huge victory in my opinion." –Stefani Zellmer
“There's that awkward moment when you realize the progressive, creative city you're so proud of isn't quite as progressive when it comes to women in creative leadership roles. Thankfully, there were many moments of clarity and insight at the 3% Event, from Kat's "business argument" presentation to the panelists to the audience. There is a strong generation of bright, ambitious young ladies ready to assert themselves if only the rest of us are ready to step beyond our stereotypes and comfort zones. Austin and the women in our creative community are ready to deliver on their potential.”–Scott McAfee
Long before we started TX M.I.L.K., the two of us met 12 years ago as junior copywriters at GSD&M. So for us, it was the appropriate setting for a discussion like this. We couldn’t help but scan the crowd for young female copywriters, hoping they were out there getting the advice and encouragement they needed to become the next generation of creative leaders.
A big thanks to GSD&M for hosting the event and providing such a lovely space for us to gather. And a special thanks to Steve Garcia for the lovely photography and to Tacos and Tequila for providing the food.
Watch the video Lauren Bayne and I created for this event. Another huge thanks goes to our video editor and future super star, Skylar Moran.
Claire Jordan has spent the last 11 years (and counting) as a copywriter working in Austin and NYC on brands like Delta Airlines, BMW, Reuters and Jaguar Cars. After having her son in 2011, she co-founded TX M.I.L.K. with fellow writer and friend, Lauren Bayne, as a way to combine their identities as creatives and moms. TX M.I.L.K. is a multimedia celebration of motherhood- spotlighting "Moms I'd Like to Know" through original content and signature community events. Follow them at Facebook.com/TXMILK and @TexasMILK.