February 22, 2017

Key Takeaways for Women in Advertising

By Megan Egan, Dayna Hawco, Elizabeth Howarth, Paige Miller and Caity Smith

Earlier this month, the Philly Ad Club hosted its annual “Women in Advertising” event at the Courtyard Philadelphia Downtown. A panel composed of six successful women in advertising and communications imparted their knowledge to the female (and male) marketers in the room. The panelists—each with her own unique personality and job description—shared how they successfully handled adversity throughout their careers and overcame self-doubt to achieve their goals.

Key Takeaways
A group of women from AB&C were fortunate enough to attend the event and brought home a short list of takeaways. Here are our favorites.

Megan Egan, Account Executive, Public Relations
To deal with people successfully, we must understand their points of view. As Dale Carnegie said in How to Win Friends and Influence People, “You can’t win an argument. You can’t because if you lose it, you lose it; and if you win it, you lose it.” In other words, you may prevail with logic or reason, but you are unlikely to change another person’s mind. And in attempting to do so, you may cause the other person to feel resentful or, worse, inferior. The powerful and inspiring women at this event are where they are today because of their ability to listen to and respect other people’s opinions.

Dayna Hawco, Account Executive
Passion will take you places that ambition will never reach. Being successful in the marketing industry takes more than drive and skill. You need to enjoy the work and the process of learning and growing your business. Because marketing is always changing, you must be resilient. If you don’t adapt, you’re going to get left behind. And part of being able to adapt in this fast-paced industry is to learn as much as you can about what is changing and what is coming next. Surround yourself every day with people who can teach you. Find a mentor that keeps you excited about working hard, supports your goals and gives you useful advice. If you’re working in a place where you’ve lost that passion or don’t have someone encouraging your growth, get out. It’s time for a new experience and an opportunity to feel uncomfortable and challenged again. Change is good. Keep moving forward. Be resilient. Stay passionate.

Elizabeth Howarth, Manager, Marketing and Inbound
Overcome self-doubt. Avoid gossip. Make yourself uncomfortable. As women, we can hold ourselves back in the workplace by lacking self-confidence and underestimating our abilities. We need to seek out advice, support and mentorship from others who have been in our shoes, because self-doubt is not a unique feeling. Next, we need to be impeccable with our words. Speak with integrity. Choose words wisely. Gossip affects productivity and spreads negativity around the office. Lastly, a little bit of discomfort goes a long way in personal development. Sure, it may be difficult and even painful to deal with challenges, but overcoming obstacles—whether frustrating situations or negative people—makes us stronger, smarter and more successful.

Paige Miller, Account Coordinator, Public Relations
This wasn’t my first time hearing from a panel featuring the best of the best from the advertising world, but it was the first time I left such a panel feeling truly inspired. Each of the six women we heard from had her own story and advice for us, but a few things resonated with me that I hope to incorporate throughout my career. While telling the audience about her career journey, one of the panelists said it’s not just about being in the right place at the right time, it’s how you react. We may all get a lucky break at one time or another in our careers, but women who use their passion and ambition to take a situation to the next level are the ones who will thrive in this male-dominated field.

Caity Smith, Account Project Coordinator
If you want to bring something rich to your career, you need to participate in more than your career. You are a culmination of your experiences—which means your skills are based on what you’ve exposed yourself to. But remember that your experiences are not limited to projects you work on inside the office. Join a nonprofit. Try to understand their unique barriers and strengths. Go to networking events. Befriend someone from another generation to bring perspective to your career and goals. Talk to your friends about what they’re working on at other agencies. Take pictures of your favorite ads and billboards. Experience virtual reality. And never stop putting yourself in situations to get inspired.