Get inspired by #GirlPower and progress this International Women’s Day
This International Women’s Day, we’re celebrating progress and strides for equality. Recently, the #Metoo movement reached 85 countries with 1.7 million Tweets, Oprah’s unforgettable Golden Globes speech inspired the world and The Canadian Government made the decision to put gender equality at the forefront of this year’s federal budget. A monumental change is gaining momentum, encouraging the world to think, act and be more gender inclusive.
At Ramp, we’re lucky to work with clients like Plan Canada and Because I am a Girl that advocate for girl’s rights around the world, The Ontario Society of Professional Engineers that’s breaking barriers for women entering the Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics (STEM) fields and The Massey Centre that helps young mothers gain access to resources and support.
We’re surrounded by inspiring and talented women every day, including our president and founder Shelley Mayer:
“Earlier in my career, even in the traditionally male-dominated automotive industry, I encountered one brilliant female marketing mind after another in all aspects of advertising from strategy, to account services, to media, to creative, to digital. I’m sure all that #GirlPower was what collectively gave me the confidence to start Ramp and this network of amazing women has certainly continued to inspire and support me over the past seven years.”
This International Women’s Day, we’re reflecting on the women in advertising and communications that inspire us to #PushForProgress and continue to do strategic and creative work that makes the world a better place:
Shelley Mayer, president, and founder
The woman that inspires me the most is Helen Pak, President of Grey Toronto and Chief Creative Officer at Grey Group.
She is one of the most brilliant creative minds I know. She inspired me to really understand the power of authentic and strategic creative, to truly love the art of what we do, to take chances and defend good ideas and to approach all relationships with grace and kindness. Helen, as my creative role model, has set the bar high for what we strive for each day at Ramp. Building on what I learned from Helen, some advice I would give to women entering the advertising field would be to be smart, be authentic and do stellar work. Be kind. Recognition and rewards will follow. If the barrier doesn’t exist in your mind, then it doesn’t exist.
Sheree Stephenson, art director
The woman that inspires me the most is Paula Scher, the first female partner at Pentagram and the first woman to receive the Type Directors Club Medal among other accolades.
Her deep love of design comes through in everything she does. According to Paula: “If you look through design history and you see something that looks really radical, that’s what you’re going to be doing now. If you think that’s nice, that’s what you’ve already been doing. If you think it’s tired, that’s what you were doing five years ago. But if you think it’s ugly, that’s what you’re going to be doing in five years.”
Kelsey Blake, graphic designer
The woman that inspires me the most is Judy John, CEO of Leo Burnett Toronto.
She is the mind behind the multi-award winning, “Like A Girl” campaign for Procter & Gamble’s Always brand. The campaign attracted attention to the phrase ‘like a girl’ and its derogatory meaning, shifting its connotation to things like strong, capable, and intelligent. Among many other awards and accolades, Judy has impacted the advertising world by influencing advertisers to create socially impactful work, reshaping the way women and girls are represented. Judy is a great example of women making a mark in the world. Not only is she a leader in the creative industry, she’s also leveraging her position to create a positive impact on all women and girls.
Lisa LeBeer, Office Administrator
The woman that inspires me the most is Caroline Jones, the first African-American female copywriter.
She went on to found or help found several agencies that specialize in advertising directed at African-American people and other minorities. She began her career in the 1960’s in NYC and worked her way up from copywriter to executive vice president and creative director to president. While at an agency she co-founded, Mingo-Jones, she helped develop the slogan, ”We do chicken right,” for Kentucky Fried Chicken, which the company continued to use in all of their national ad campaigns. She also founded her own agency Caroline Jones Inc. where she was president until her early death from breast cancer at age 59. “Her importance in the industry was not fully understood. There are all too few role models for African-American men and women in this business, and Caroline was one of them.” Ted Pettus, VP/CD MultiCulturalCreative Consultants
Jennifer Paukman, Account Executive and Social Media Strategist
The woman that inspires me the most is Aline Santos, Executive VP of Marketing and Head of Diversity and Inclusion at Unilever.
She was part of the team that launched the Dove campaign for Real Beauty, which paved the way for the body confidence movement of today. Idealized beauty in advertising can cause major self-esteem issues for young people and this campaign was the first time I saw an ad that addressed this issue and took an innovative approach to marketing towards women. Aline also oversees the Unilever Foundry which is committed to incubating 50% female-led business ventures, something I’m quite passionate about. I really admire her work to launch the #Unstereotype Alliance (a joint effort between Unilever and UN Women) which aims to “break male and female stereotypes in advertising to liberate both genders from restricting social norms and achieve greater consumer empathy and engagement. “ According to Aline: “Diversity is the mother of creativity, and if we have a pool of richly diverse talent, ideas can come from everywhere. There’s still a long way to go to close the gap, and we have to be in still better shape if we hope to lead the market.”
We hope that celebrating our team’s most inspiring and influential female role models will encourage you to be the change you want to see and #PushForProgress. Together we can motivate our friends, colleagues, and industries to fuel the movement for gender equality.