Women Agents Of Change

10 Ways to Be An Agent of Change

By Nicole Marquis, 3% Conference

As a 3% blogger, I’m constantly amazed and inspired by all the women and men who not only believe in our vision, but also jump right in to further the cause — writing for our blog, speaking at our events, and sponsoring our conferences. Many of these luminaries have shared their wisdom and insights with us over the years. Here are a few of their tips for creating the change we want to see in ourselves and in the world.

  • Talk About Money.  Women earn less than men for doing the same work — 77 cents for every dollar that men earn. And this will never change unless we talk about it. Do your homework — find out what men are earning in your position. Then ask for a raise! As our 3% Chief Social Advocate Laurel Stark Akman says, “Do your part to close the gender gap and make this the year you get comfortable talking about money.” If your company won’t pay you fairly for your work, then they don’t deserve you. There are plenty of other companies out there which will value your worth.
  • Light Bulb It.We can accelerate change by illuminating things that happen around us,” notes Cindy Gallop, founder and CEO of IfWeRanTheWorld. Give it a try — make light bulbs go off when women are getting great results or when you notice lack of female representation. Ms. Gallop recommends starting with the phrase “Have you noticed?”  As in “Have you noticed that when we have at least 50% women on an account, the work is more effective?” or “Have you noticed that there are no women on that jury but the audience is 53% female?”
  • Create Your Own Board of Directors. The most successful executives have a group of trusted advisors they turn to before they make important decisions. Even if you’re not a president, or a CEO, or a celebrity (yet), you can still have your own personal board of directors that you can go to for advice and to bounce around ideas. When assembling your team, pick people who are honest, insightful, and supportive. These are the people who will champion your professional and personal growth — and you can do the same for them.
  • Set Boundaries. “You’ll never hear the Fred Flintstone whistle announcing quitting time in an ad agency,” says 3% Founder Kat Gordon. That’s why you need to set your own boundaries. “Decide when you will head home and — major catastrophes notwithstanding — honor that cutoff. Until we start guarding our time like it’s the border to a very rich country (which it is), we will never be done, be happy or be free.”
  • Be Authentic.  “Authenticity is so important,” says transition coach Jen Ostrich. “At the end of the day, it’s all we have. Take the time to truly figure out who you are. Own your story and embrace what is possible for you. That’s where you will find peace and feel free. It’s the most exhilarating experience you’ll ever feel — to be one with yourself and live a life that’s truly authentic to you.”
  • Rethink the Rolodex Hire. If you’re in a position to hire, hire women. Research has proven, again and again, that the “good output” of homogenous teams falls short of the great output of diverse ones.
  • Stop Worrying About What Other People Think. Author Tara Mohr says that when we fear criticism and are addicted to praise, we avoid controversy — and we also avoid innovation — which keeps us connected to our fears rather than our dreams. One way to unhook from praise and criticism is to realize that all meaningful work brings criticism. Once we get unhooked, we can more easily challenge the status quo.
  • Pay It Forward. Have you been in the ad business for over 5 years? Are you thankful for all the help and insight you’ve received from other creatives? Then maybe it’s time to become a mentor. When you mentor another creative, you’ll get as much out of the experience as you give. Even more.
  • Take Your Vacation. If your company pays for you to take a vacation, then what are you waiting for? Seriously, the agency can get along without you for a week! “Your job is to be inspired,” says Design Director Jen Maer, and traveling is one of the best ways to find inspiration.
  • Fill Your Tank. Surround yourself with great thinkers and doers. Spark new ideas. Fill up your bucket.

Want even more inspiration? Download our 50 Things list of micro-actions that you, your company, and your client can do right now to drive the 3% number upward. Have tips to help change the ratio? Share them in the comment section below.

Source: 3% Conference




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