By Monique Hidalgo
Associate Community Manager
On June 4, ThinkLA hosted an event which gave people the opportunity to learn and meet some of L.A.’s top executive women who are dominating the marketing and advertising industry. All who attended the event had the pleasure of learning from Kim Getty, President of Deutsch; Laura Jones Joukovski, Chief Media Officer at TechStyle Fashion Group; Paula Madison, Chairman and CEO of Madison Media Management LLC; and former President and General Manager of NBC4 Los Angeles, and Denise Wong, President of Midnight Oil.
The event was moderated by Caitlin Bruno, Strategic Partner Manager at Snap Inc., who started the discussion by asking the panelists about some of the experiences they faced early in their careers. The audience quickly learned that the main driver of success for most of the panelists came from the motivation they received from their families. Kim shared a story, that personally resonated with me, about how losing her father at a young age ultimately became her main driver of her success. Watching her mother struggle as she had to join the workforce for the first time, motivated Kim to never put herself in that situation, and encouraged her to work to get to where she is today.
The panelists were then asked if they had faced any sponsors or antagonists that have impacted their career. Though most of the panel focused on the sponsors who motivated them, Paula shared an example of an antagonizing superior that she once dealt with. His demeaning approach became her motivator for achieving success. Paula made it so that her company recognized how essential she was to it, which even ended up with this particular person being forced to deliver her a promotion, himself.
Another topic Caitlin brought up, which led into an interesting discussion, was if the concept of “work-life balance” actually existed. I was particularly fascinated to learn that all of the panelists do not believe that “work-life balance” is even possible. Kim even stated that she thinks this term should stop being used by companies. Since all of the panelists are also mothers, they agreed that there is no such thing as “work-life balance” when you have to juggle kids, marriage, and a career. Some advice given by Laura was to find a great partner that can help you juggle all of these different aspects of life. Not that it can’t be done alone, but some help makes it a little less difficult.
Caitlin concluded the event by asking the panelists about their takes on the future of marketing and advertising industries. Though they unanimously agreed that since the start of their careers, there has been much improvement from companies being more accepting of diversity and change, they all believe that there is still a long way to go. The industry is evolving, but it’s our job as marketers and advertisers to help clients, companies, or even people to become more accepting of change by normalizing diversity.
One of my main takeaways from this event was to work for somebody that you want to work with, someone that you want to learn and grow from. The panelists were strong advocates about making sure that you put yourself first and are constantly looking out for your best interest. If you’re unhappy with a situation, whether that be because of a superior, your company, your clients, etc., do something about it. Find a somebody you want to work for, a company you want to grow in. Be proactive, “trailblaze your career.”
Path to the She Suite was stocked with some really inspirational women. Though they all have had different upbringings and experiences which lead them to where they are at now, they all shared one common entity – Kim, Laura, Paula, and Denise are all examples of women who are changing the narrative of women in marketing and advertising industries. Their resilience and perseverance are helping to pave the way for future women in the industry.