To honor International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, I wanted to showcase the incredible female leadership all throughout this agency. When first researching what DEG was and did before I started working here, I automatically looked at our leadership page and dug around on LinkedIn to see how many women were in key positions throughout the company.
What I found was amazing. Not only were there several women leaders, but they were attributed to founding some of the biggest service offerings for the agency. (I’m talking about you, Cara Olson.) This alone made me more optimistic about coming in for the interview with my soon-to-be manager, Lauren Olson.
Why? Because representation matters.
At DEG, 152 of the 323 associates are women—that’s 47%. Within the management team, 10 of the 25 managers and principals are women—that’s 36%. Here, women are encouraged, supported, and promoted.
To share more than my experience, I asked my fellow DEGeniuses to shed a light on their experiences and thoughts about women in advertising.
How have women positively impacted your workplace?
“On my direct team of consultants, 13 of the 17 of us are women. Working with so many women both on my team and on my project teams at DEG makes me feel like I have an extra layer of support, both professionally and personally.” – Kelly Stroda, Salesforce Marketing Cloud Consultant
“I work with two women on my direct team. On my full team, seven out of eight of us are women. It’s amazing to be able to work with, look up to, and get advice from these powerful and kickass women.” – Nikki Bisht, Account Manager
“When I started at DEG back in 2010, I had the pleasure of reporting to Cara Olson (no, we’re not related). She helped to build and develop the most successful practice area in the agency. I quickly learned gender wasn’t a deterrent for Cara or anyone at DEG for that matter. What mattered most was being able to come up with an idea and having the courage and drive to see it through. With that example in mind, in 2012 I helped create DEG’s first Corporate Marketing team and have worked hard to develop our team into the powerhouse it is today.” – Lauren Olson, Director of Marketing and Communications
What women inspire you?
“Hitha Palepu (@hithapalepu on Instagram) is super inspiring. She’s a mom, entrepreneur, and woman who has been building the life and career she wants. As she’s grown her career, she’s made it her mission to support women and minority-owned businesses, as well as made it more accessible to get the news that matters via her #5SmartReads series on Instagram Stories.” – Jenn Horner, Associate Director, Retail & Consumer Goods
“My grandmother—she taught me to never stop pursuing my goals through her successes.” – Megan Teeuwen, Campaign Specialist
“The U.S. women’s national soccer team members are among some of the women that have inspired me my whole life, especially today. Their fight for equal pay sets the bar for all women that they too can fight for equality in the workplace.” – Meghan Grass, Account Manager
“I’m inspired by Michelle Obama, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Ellen DeGeneres, Reese Witherspoon, Greta Thunberg, Malala Yousafzai, and Elizabeth Warren.” – Chelsea McDonald, Senior Social Media Strategist
“It sounds cliché, but my mother is my inspiration. She was accepted to medical school the year I started kindergarten; I still remember the day she got the letter. I watched her raise a family while everyday fighting for her education and then on to her medical career. She continues to inspire me today with her ongoing achievements, she is just getting started and so am I!” – Lauren Frazell, Director of Analytics and Insight
How can we continue to create workplaces that encourage gender and thought diversification?
At DEG, 152 of the 323 associates are women—that’s 47%. Within the management team, 10 of the 25 managers and principals are women—that’s 36%.
“Bring more women to the table, into conversations and decision-making moments.” – Chelsea McDonald, Senior Social Media Strategist
“Hire AND PROMOTE women. Not just the young ones without kids, too. Women with children have a ton to offer but are often looked over for promotions or additional responsibilities.” – Arianna Suddreth, Account Manager
“By creating a culture of openness and encouragement to feel comfortable raising tough questions or to seek guidance from other women experiencing similar life situations (marriage, motherhood, children, gender equality, etc.). And by celebrating when one of us hits a milestone achievement or completes a goal.” – Stephanie Ogilvie, Associate Relationship Marketing Strategist
What’s your advice to other women?
“I manage a team of five women and there are an additional three women in our greater team that I also work directly with. My advice to women is that you can have it all, just maybe not all at the same time. Figure out your priorities and don’t feel bad for honoring them.” – Jenn Horner, Associate Director, Retail & Consumer Goods
“Everyone has strengths; they might be subtle or quiet or not look like what you think it should be. But it’s still yours, and it matters more than you think. When you have to write about yourself, write it like you are writing about the smartest woman you know and want her to get her dream job, then swap her name for your name. It ain’t bragging if it’s true.” – Erin Sass, Account Director
“You CAN have it all. You can be a leader within an organization and at the same time be a bad-ass mom, wife, friend, and anything else you can think of. Find yourself a great company who understands that work-life balance is imperative, a support system that rallies behind you no matter what (I’ll be honest, there is no way I could do this without my amazing husband), and the drive to better yourself and the people around you every day, and I promise you that you WILL do big things.” – Lauren Olson, Director of Marketing and Communications
“Don’t be afraid to speak your mind, don’t be relocated to the “note-taker” role in a meeting and don’t assume the men in the room won’t help forward you and your projects as much as the other women.” – Cassie Cafferty, Salesforce CS Consultant
“Think less about being a woman (or thinking about yourself at all) and think more about adding value. You’ll naturally prep more, you’ll talk more, and you’ll be more visible. And keep track of your wins and toot your own horn.” – Lauren Frazell, Director of Analytics and Insight
What does #EachforEqual mean?
“We have so much in common as humans, but we aren’t all the same. And neither are our experiences. #EachforEqual means understanding that your daily experience isn’t the same as mine. As a society, we are pretty ableist and we need to do a much better job of being truly inclusive of not just women of different races and sexual orientations, but with different abilities. Neurodivergent women, women who use mobility assistance tools—we need to hear from them more and we need to see them represented across our media platforms and our workplaces.” – Arianna Suddreth, Account Manager
“No matter your gender, race, age, sexual orientation, etc., we all deserve to be respected as equals. As a world, we are developing, but we aren’t developing fast enough. I bring as much to the table as the next person. No one should be looked down on for something they had no control over when born. We all want to succeed, and we should do it together—equally.” – Alexa O’Dea, Account Manager
“#EachforEqual is a good springboard to communicate that the fight for equality isn’t over; and, that no individual is alone in that fight. There’s a worldwide community striving to get past the status quo. This is a wonderful, hopeful thing.” – Wendy Roush, Senior Salesforce Marketing Cloud Engineer
“Each for equal means that we all acknowledge our role in allowing diverse perspectives a seat at the table. In the end, good ideas speak for themselves, regardless of the package it came in.” – Lauren Frazell, Director of Analytics and Insight
A few of my thoughts
I’m thankful to work at DEG and be surrounded by smart, driven people every day. I have a manager (shout out to Lauren Olson!) who takes every chance to ask me how I’m doing, what weekend plans I have, and what goals I’m focused on to further my career.
DEG has taught me an agency’s culture can be supportive of the development of every level of talent. An agency can have women be nearly 50% of the people sitting at the table. An agency can embrace and encourage people speaking up to start the process of making an idea a reality.
While equality isn’t everywhere, we at DEG strive to be #EachforEqual and work to create a gender-equal world.
If you’re interested in exploring working at DEG, check out our current openings.