How We Will Foster The Next 100 Years Of Ad Women
This week, Advertising Women of New York (AWNY) celebrate a monumental event -- their 100th anniversary. AWNY was founded in 1912 as the first women's association in the communications industry, and today has grown to over 1,600 members.
This is an important milestone and an opportunity for us to acknowledge the growth and advancement of women in advertising, media and communications. Over the first 100 years, we have seen how much our roles have progressed. It is therefore natural to ask: what will the industry look like in 100 years? How will women lead media, advertising, and digital marketing over the next century?
With the advertising landscape changing dramatically and innovations in technology shifting so rapidly, predictions for 2112 are faulty at best. But as the pioneers at AWNY and so many of today's prominent role models such as Marissa Mayer and Sheryl Sandberg have taken charge and led the way, I believe it is our collective responsibility to support the next 100 years of successors. We are fortunate to have the century's strongest group of extraordinary women, and the onus is on us to steer the next generation ahead.
Organizations such as AWNY that champion networking, mentoring, and learning will play a significant role in the lives of ad women since specialized skills, professional growth, and ongoing career development are required to stay ahead and relevant in the field. Employers will always be looking for women in advertising and media who can adapt to the changes in today's marketplace. Networks like AWNY help to connect the next generation of women leaders with today's industry greats.
It is important for tomorrow's innovators to take advantage of any opportunity to learn. Conferences, seminars, and events are all critical to gain knowledge, given the lightning speed at which advertising is evolving. We are fortunate with the number of choices available for staying informed and keeping up with the pace of change. From breakfast panels, to lunch and learns, there are plenty of options to continue to grow. Even if it's studying Mary Meeker's insightful deck on Slideshare, or watching an IAB webinar from the comfort of your own desk, we are lucky with the range of options that today's technology has provided to connect us and help us learn from each other.
To develop the next 100 years of women leaders, we have to lead by example. Key to professional development is gaining skills from firsthand experience, but also from building relationships. Industry relationships are a major source of invaluable advice. By meeting others, or offering our time or help in some capacity, we can help prepare those young women to move our industry forward for the next 100 years.
We belong to a strong community built from the organizations and relationships that bind us together and connect us to our forebears. We are indebted to the efforts of the 100 years of industry women who have paved our way; it is our duty to build on this to help foster the next century of industry leaders.