Iliana Ortega is an Afro-Latina first-generation college graduate with a dual degree in Communications and English Literature from The City College of New York. Naturally curious about the world around her, Iliana can be found deep in thought about everything from the symbolism in a literary classic to the origin of the latest viral meme. Her curiosity and empathy have made for impactful client work, as well as a personal involvement with social justice movements that fight for the rights of marginalized communities.
A Jr. planner at FCB Global, Iliana works on national and global campaigns for clients across the agency. This has strengthened Iliana’s storytelling and reinforced the importance of creating culturally relevant work, no matter the market. Beyond creating great work, Iliana’s goal is to change how agencies attract talent of color and increase access for those with lower-income backgrounds. She’s driven to create spaces where students without brand name diplomas can succeed and overcome advertising’s entry barriers. As a Multicultural Advertising Internship Program (MAIP) participant and ADCOLOR Futures alum, Iliana knows the importance of initiatives for students of color. So, she uses her voice and story to challenge the status quo.
“If I was going to speak truth to power, I needed to find ways to articulate with an understanding of my privilege.”
Hearing her explain how she was staring at death’s door was sobering for the room. How do you face your own mortality? How do you even continue? Well, depending on where you fall on that bell curve, you will either fight or resign.
The major takeaway from this panel had to be that, we as women, should be investing more in order to bridge the wide gap in front of us and start investing smartly for the future.