November 20, 2018

When an agency is awarded 3% Certification, you can be sure that they’re making authentic strides towards gender equality. It’s a rigorous process rooted in qualitative, quantitative, and competitive research. We’re proud to announce that three new agencies have been awarded 3% Certification: Forsman & Bodenfors New York (formerly Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal, KBS), POSSIBLE and Swift

Michele Prota, global board member, talent at Forsman & Bodenfors New York, attributes the importance of attaining 3% Certification to their strong commitment to inclusion and diversity.

“The experience of going through the certification process helped us to hone our education, partnership, inclusion and leadership programs, strengthening our culture and positioning us to achieve even greater results for our clients,” says Prota. 

For Liz Valentine, chief executive officer at Swift, this recognition is a special milestone in Swift's journey to become not only a place with a progressive work culture, but also a place that embraces diversity: “We are honored to be recognized as a 3% Certified Agency and proud of what we have achieved in terms of female representation—our commitment to build a better workplace just got stronger. We vow to keep improving too, building an agency where everybody feels welcome and where everybody has a chance to grow and create in meaningful ways,” says Valentine.

So, how exactly did these agencies get certified? They’re best-in-class cultures that meet the benchmarks of our proprietary data analytics model known as the FORE™ framework: Female leadership, Opportunity for advancement, Respectful depictions in work, and Equality of work, wage, and policies. 

Having conducted certifications with agencies across nearly every holding company, as well as numerous independent agencies, the 3% team has identified critical areas of importance that will lead the future of advertising. These areas include a 21st century HR department that operates in full partnership with the rest of agency leadership, true manbassador leadership, and a commitment to culture as deep as the commitment to compelling creative. 

“Agencies were once able to survive on great creative alone. In today’s world where transparency reigns and where the power has moved from a hierarchical structure to a more democratic one, nurturing a highly productive, inclusive culture is essential,” says Amanda Enayati, head of culture innovation at The 3% Movement.

The process is a rigorous one and when agencies make the commitment to engage in The 3% Certified program, they are not sure whether they will pass or fail. More important, is their desire to see where they are as a thriving workplace culture and their commitment to implement changes that will have lasting and industry-wide impact.

Maren Elliott, Chief Talent Officer, emphasizes respect as a central value at Swift: “As an agency with strong female leadership, we have embraced and supported women at every level and strived to create a workplace where all voices are respected, encouraged and heard. The in-depth certification process provides outside validation on what we’re doing well and sharp perspective on what we can do better.” Elliott continues: "Building on Swift's commitment to inclusion and representation, we acknowledge the work is not done. We will continue to analyze and implement diversity initiatives across our organization, with necessary emphasis on recruiting and retaining people of color: it is imperative that Swift is a place where people from all races, ethnicities, sexual orientation, gender identity and abilities feel welcome—we want everyone to know that they have the space and support to thrive professionally."

By engaging and successfully passing the 3% Certified process, Forsman & Bodenfors New York, POSSIBLE and Swift are not only leaders committed to creating thriving cultures for their agencies, but also at the forefront of moving the industry forward.

“Going through the 3% Certification process was such a rewarding, yet humbling experience. Inviting the 3% team to evaluate the agency on things like Diversity, Inclusion and Workplace Culture was enlightening as they validated important aspects to our work and culture, such as creating a modern workplace and helped shine a light on those places where we have more work to do,” says Martha Hiefield, Americas CEO, POSSIBLE. “The 3% Certification is a positive step in our journey to create a place where employees and clients can come to do the best work of their lives that drives business results, and TRULY enjoy doing it together."

“It takes courage to open your agency up to the deep rigor of our data-driven assessment process and to be willing to learn where you are strong and where there is room for improvement when it comes to creating cultures in which women and men can thrive. Kudos to Forsman & Bodenfors New York, POSSIBLE and Swift for meeting the 3% Certification benchmarks and to the many agencies who also participated but have not yet achieved certification,” says Lisen Stromberg, COO & partner at The 3% Movement.

Call to Action: For more information about 3% Certification, please contact our Director of 3% Certification at and a member of our certification team will be in touch shortly.