The Mission

MISSION: To put ourselves out of business.

Only 3% of creative directors are women. And even less are people of color. So we’ve made it our mission to bring that number up to 50%.

The truth is, the more varied the people who come up with the ideas, the better the ideas will be. And since women and people of color make up a large majority of consumer spending and social sharing, it only makes sense that they would also be a larger part of the creative process.

The drumbeat we march to is: Diversity = Creativity = Profitability. Because at the end of the day, our goal as advertisers is to find the best people, so we can make the best work, and ultimately, the best profit. But you can’t accomplish all of that with only one demographic, race, or gender.

To bring more diversity to creativity, and render ourselves useless, we’re changing the game with a unique blend of:

  • Events: The annual 2-day “3% Conference” in New York City, MiniCons in 15 international cities, Super Bowl Tweetups, The “Inspired By” Diversity Salon Series, and the “Work Pause Thrive” parenthood book tour.
  • Mentorship: Student Scholarships, Portfolio Reviews, and Creativity in Color community events.
  • Action: #100Things gives companies a list of small steps to take towards a more diverse workplace.
  • Consulting: Help companies identify their weak spots around diversity and offer programs and initiatives that create more inclusive cultures.
  • Certification: The first of its kind, 3% Certified is a robust assessment of agency culture and programs to encourage female friendliness.
  • Research: Our “Elephant on Madison Avenue,” “Female Creatives on the Rise” and "What Women Want" surveys hold the industry accountable with metrics.
  • Community: A vibrant 36,000-person online tribe spanning Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram and LinkedIn.
  • Content: We provide inspiration and visibility by sharing all of our conference sessions via YouTube and The 3% Blog.

Who’s Going To Do Something About This!? Oh. Me.

Our founder, Kat Gordon, worked for 20 years as a Copywriter/Creative Director. She saw firsthand how women were often left out of pitches and important meetings.

Her ultimate “Emperor’s New Clothes” moment was when her agency pitched the family-friendly Saab account. They had 16 men and 1 woman on the team. Spoiler Alert: They didn’t win.

So Kat did some research. She found that only 3% of Creative Directors are women. And she found out why:

  1. Lack of motherhood support
  2. Lack of female mentorship
  3. Lack of awareness that being a woman is an asset to connecting to consumers
  4. Lack of celebration of female work due to gender bias of award juries
  5. Lack of women negotiating salaries they deserve

Kat also discovered that there are only 3 categories that men dominate purchases in the marketplace. Which means that women aren’t the subset, they’re the superset. And with the unprecedented rate at which women are amassing wealth and influence, it’s almost insane from a business perspective to misunderstand them. Which advertising does all the time. See: Saab Pitch.

Naturally, all of these truth bombs got Kat pretty riled up.

“Who’s going to do something about this!?” She thought. Then after a second or two she realized that someone was her. And the 3% Conference was born.