“I may have gotten this job because I’m a woman, but that won’t be why I keep it.”

–Kristen Cavallo

In response to recent and some not so recent events a few of the most powerful women in advertising started talking about trajectory-altering change in the industry. Those few grew to many, and those conversations became Time’s Up Advertising. On Monday May 14th the original steering committee called industry women across the nation to action with an open letter that signs off by saying:

“…As women in senior leadership positions in advertising, we’ve agreed that we have the power to change this business we love until it looks more like the industry we want to lead.“

The Richmond panel discussion held at the Byrd Theater was one of 14 events that took place and was lead by panelists Kristen Cavallo (CEO of the Martin Agency), Camille Blanchard (VP, Head of Innovation at West Cary Group), Danielle Flagg (ECD at Arts & Letters Co.) and Jessica Hyche (Director of Client Services at the Martin Agency). The meeting was a public opportunity to address terms of sexual harassment and systemic inequality in the workplace, and begin to explore tangible solutions that would result in action.

We as communicators have an incredible responsibility to humanity. We have the power to drive cultural change, and so we rise up in the face of injustice and work to have a profound impact on those who will come after us.

Gloria Steinem said it best in her letter that was read aloud at the live stream of the Time’s Up Advertising event. It read:

“I wish I could be with you today raising consciousness and standards in the ad world, the biggest influence on human behavior. Create ads with men raising children and millions know it's possible. Show girls playing sports and girls see that our bodies are instruments, not ornaments. Show diverse people together and diversity becomes community. That's why Time's Up in the ad world will create such a multiplier effect for us all."

The event was an honest exploration of real issues, one that was long overdue. And for me, only 2 years into the industry it’s refreshing to look around a room and see fiery passionate, unabashedly bold and wickedly smart women who are not just talking about taking a stand, but have taken the stand and are talking about change.

-Connor Wood
Proofreader / Jr. Copywriter