Last week, The 3% Conference kicked off its third year in San Francisco and Duncan/Channon was not only proud to host their VIP Party at the Tip (see above), but several of us were able to attend and be inspired. A recap of some of our favorite moments is below.
Anne Elisco-Lemme, Creative Director
The thing that sits with me the most can be summed up by something John Gerzema of the Athena Doctrine said in his keynote: “We are in a new world with many old minds.” WE ARE IN A NEW WORLD! So stop being satisfied with old-mind thinking. Be a force towards solving your problems — and the problems of others. Cindy Gallop speaks about the New Creativity. Kristen Cavallo of Mullen spoke about how we experiment with creative and technology, but not HR. Pay attention and see what needs to be changed. Then go about changing it. Jenn Maer of IDEO spoke about going from “Yay” to “Doh” — the process in which we move from the excitement of the conference to getting stuck back in the routine. Don’t go back to doh. Every minute of every day, keep the yay.
Jessea Hankins, Senior Copywriter
Here are a couple moments that stood out: (1) Dyllan McGee’s keynote talk was quite moving. I was pretty flabbergasted to learn that women weren’t allowed to run in the Boston Marathon until 1972. (2) Eliza Esquivel’s comment that as soon as she briefs her agency that the target is moms, “The creativity level drops 70%.” We need to remember that moms also happen to be human beings. There is no monolithic mom council. Also, would a brief ever say the target was dads, full stop? I doubt it. (3) The Superbowl audience is 40% female. I personally hate sportsball so I’ve never given it much thought. But the general buffoonery of dude-centered beer humor that runs rampant through the ads has got to be turning off a sizeable chunk of the women watching. (4) And as always, Cindy Gallop crushed it. She stomped all over it. She put a stiletto to its throat until it cried uncle.
(J) Moe, Creative Content Strategist
I loved Elena Rossini’s preview of her film The Illusionists. I thought it brought up some of the most compelling points about the pervasive beauty myths of the western world and how we’re spreading our damaging, privileged attitudes to the rest of the world. John Gerzema’s talk was very inspiring and offered a very fresh perspective on the ethos we currently worship of “learn by failure.” To paraphrase: “Learn by failure is the most male invention ever. Because it basically says you can fuck up however you want and then just go sweep it under the rug. But there would be a lot less failure if you just admitted that you didn’t know to begin with.” WORD.
Christina Chern, Art Director
I went to the 3% Conference this year excited to hear amazing women like Kat Gordon and Cindy Gallop share their wisdom with us. But I was thrilled to discover that some of the best speakers at the conference were the women sitting in the audience. Though they weren’t “the main event,” every person who stepped up to the mic afterwards to ask questions and share their own stories were incredibly articulate and awe-inspiring. And knowing that the state of our industry lays in the highly-capable hands of these women gives me a lot of hope for the future.
Adam Flynn, Brand Strategist
The Three Percent Conference is like Feminist Advertising Christmas. As important as the talks themselves is the sense of a safe space, where you can speak about things and be heard. (Being one of the few men in attendance, I tried to signal “totally an ally here who likes to kick gender nonsense in the teeth” by wearing a bright pink sweater.) But the talks were excellent. Cindy Gallop’s, as you might expect, blew the doors off. But my favorite piece of it was comparatively subtle: she highlighted the potential of “Have you noticed?” as a not-directly confrontational way to point out things. For instance, have you noticed that bosses who have daughters tend to be more open to these sorts of conversations? (Mark Arata’s talk on “Enlisting Men”) Have you noticed that putting more than one woman in the room makes it easier to voice an opinion because you don’t have to represent the entire gender? Less positively, have you noticed that most advice for women on social media ignores the realities of online harassment?
Have you noticed that when we act together, we have an opportunity to make the culture we want to live in?
Amy Petrolati, Designer
This was the first 3 Percent Conference I’ve attended and I really appreciated the opportunity to meet and listen to the female icons of the industry but also meet some very creative ladies at all levels. One discussion that really struck me encouraged changing the culture within the agency not to just foster women in their trajectory upward, but to make the agency a better balance for all people working there. The social science nerd in me was also very interested in the gender partnership discussion Ray Arata brought with him to his break out session, Enlisting Men. It was really fascinating and while it’s strange to say, next year needs more men in attendance, they need to be engaged in the discussion of gender equality.
Lindsey Butterwick, Senior Art Director
Fresh out of college and debating what the hell to do with my life, I began researching architecture and advertising. During my quest I stumbled upon ihaveanidea.org, a blog about the advertising community. On it was a column called Ask Jancy where two powerful women, Janet Kestin and Nancy Vonk, gave thoughtful advice on how to break into the industry and thrive as a creative. I was hooked. I applied to ad school and never looked back.
At the 3% Conference D/C VIP party I met Nancy Vonk (below is proof!). I almost cried. It was a surreal and defining moment that would have been nearly impossible without this conference. As a result of those few days, I’ve never felt more inspired or honored to be a female in the creative industry.
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