Last week's 3% Conference brought together incredibly inspiring speakers and rooms full of attendees hungry for positive change in the industry. To make sure that you can apply some of the larger takeaways to your own career, we gathered five of our favorite things we heard and matched them with relevant We Are Next content. This way, you too can help increase the number of women, people of color, and other marginalized communities in positions of creative leadership, while also advancing your own career.
"I don't care what level you're at, I want you to have a seat at the table, and I want to hear your opinion. [...] Please don’t be invisible early in your career. The industry needs you, the brands need you.”
- Della Mathew, Group Creative Director at Ogilvy
"Creativity at Scale" was one of my favorite panels, because it was chock-full of advice for young creatives. Della Mathew encouraged young talent to make their voices heard—not just because you have a seat at the table, but also because the industry and the clients we serve need your unique perspective.
Speaking up is easier said than done for a lot of us when first starting out. Here are a couple pieces to help you find your voice:
“The management team at Popeyes has more training than a creative director in advertising."
- Tracie Roberson, Senior Copywriter at Leo Burnett
During the same panel, Tracie Roberson brought down the room with her observation on the lack of management training for creative directors. Whether you're struggling to get what you want out of your manager, or learning to be a manager yourself, here are two pieces that might help:
"Growth following adversity is optimism with a plan."
- Amanda Enayati, Head of Culture Innovation at the 3% Conference
Amanda shared her expertise on handling stress by telling her story of being a child refugee, a witness to 9/11, and a late-stage cancer survivor. Those who are able to grow from stressful situations, she said, are able to optimistically see terrible situations as temporary, isolated, and changeable. They tell really good stories about what has happened to them, what’s happening to them, and what might come of it.
Here are some additional tips on how to bounce back from adversity and rejection:
"The industry has gotten it so wrong. We abuse our talent for the sake of the clients. And you're basically just shooting your business in the foot."
- Heidi Hackemer, Founder & Chairman of Wolf & Wilhelmine
I was really interested in seeing this panel, titled "Protecting Your People," to hear how agency leaders are walking the walk. Not only does Wolf & Wilhelmine offer unlimited vacation, but they require every employee to take the minimum two weeks off in order to be eligible for a bonus. Heidi noted that W&W also writes email and phone call cut-off times into the SOWs (scopes of work) that go to its clients to set boundaries upfront.
To make sure you're protecting yourself as you start your career, check out:
“Change the world to fit you, not the other way around.”
- Cindy Gallop
It isn't the 3% Conference without a closing keynote from Cindy Gallop. Her message was loud and clear: redesign the system and make this an industry we all want to work in. She highlighted examples of those already doing so, including agencies We Are Rosie and WhatNotToDo.
Here are a couple pieces to help you change the world, even as junior talent:
For more inspiration and ways to get involved, follow the 3% Conference on Twitter, check out its website, and look out for a very special product that the 3% team will be making free for all students.
You got this,