Gentlemen, let’s make The 3% Conference go away.

On Wednesday, April 17 we hosted the 3% Conference in Austin. With almost 100 people in attendance, Kat Gordon led the conversation about the gender gap among ad executives. Panelists included our very own Carlotta Stankiewicz, Caroline Burruss of ACL Live and more. Check out the tweets from the night here.

Here at GSD&M, we have 31 people working as Creative Directors, Group Creative Directors or Executive Creative Director.

Only one of them is a woman.

Do the math, and you’ll find that 3% of our creative leadership is female – exactly average for this industry. It’s how The 3 Percent Conference got its name. Creative Director Kat Gordon started this movement last year to help build “the business case for more female CDs.” On Wednesday night she’s bringing a mini-version of it to Austin and I’ll be a panelist, along with fellow Austin creatives Scott McAfee, Shanteka Sigers and Stefani Zellmer.

And if you’re a male creative director in Austin or nearby, I’d love to see your handsome, smiling face out there in the audience. No offense to the ladies, but I’m really looking to the men for this one.

Because, like the panelists and the other attendees, you guys recognize that something’s amiss when 97% of the people responsible for the creative product that reaches the market is male. Especially when 85% of the purchase decisions are made by females.

And because you know that men don’t have a monopoly on coming up with smart, compelling advertising — nor on leading creative teams through its development and production.

You know that more female creative directors in the industry can only help brands win the hearts and minds of that all-important female consumer — the majority of whom report that advertisers don’t understand them.

You know that having more women in creative leadership means better representation of females in the media — less sexism and objectification and more positive portrayals of women in ads.

And you know that collaborating with women brings a different, valuable perspective – and a wonderfully unique (and fun!) dynamic that you just don’t get from hanging with dudes all day.

Perhaps most important of all, you know — as the gender with more members in the upper echelons of the creative ranks — that you have a lot of power to help change our industry, for all the reasons above and more.

Come out and join us Wednesday night.

We need you to hear our stories and understand the challenges we face.

We need your input. We need your ideas. We need your support.

We need you to help us make The 3 Percent Conference a thing of the past.


Get your tickets to Wednesday night’s event here.

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