Venables Bell & Partners is partnering with the 3% Movement to launch Fellow, an app-based professional community for women in advertising.
Fellow was initially conceived by VB&P's senior art director Aisha Hakim and former VB&P colleague Christoph von Ruexleben, and is fully funded and developed by the independent agency.
This mentorship platform seeks to connect women across the industry with like-minded peers.
Community members will be paired together based on experience levels, location, topics of interest, and expertise. Topics include career development; salary negotiation; leadership; work-life balance; diversity/inclusion; workplace politics; networking; performance reviews; maternity leave; mental health; and side hustle.
“We believe that the diversity challenges we all face are best solved by women supporting other women across the industry, and agencies coming together to create real solutions,” says Kate Jeffers, partner/Chief Creative Officer, VB&P. “We see Fellow as an important tool in giving women access to mentorship opportunities beyond their own agency’s walls in an effort to unleash everyone’s full potential."
The agency recognized a gap within existing mentorship programs, particularly for women still unable to leverage effective personal relationships in their careers. Further, VB&P realizes most people are limited on time, so this app-based model fits within its users’ busy lives, while still delivering powerful and useful one-on-one mentorship.
Agencies such as Wieden + Kennedy, Goodby Silverstein & Partners, and RPA participated in the beta period in recent months. Now, with the full launch of the app, agencies of all sizes as well as individual professionals across markets in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, South Africa, and New Zealand are welcome to join the Fellow community. Attendees of The 3% Conference on November 7 and 8 will be given free access to Fellow for three months following the conference date.
The pricing model is designed to place the burden of cost on agencies. Their pitch to entice agencies is that Fellow will augment every agency’s mentorship program. Thus agencies, regardless of size, will be able to give their female employees access to this robust network of women across the industry, explains a platform spokesperson.