Advice and Inspiration from the MAKERS@Ogilvy
Chris Cellettion 02 December, 2017 at 12:12
MAKERS is a women’s leadership platform that highlights the stories of groundbreaking women today to inspire the leaders of tomorrow. MAKERS includes the largest collection of women’s stories ever assembled and has featured many well-known figures, including Hillary Clinton, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Oprah Winfrey, as well as Kathrine Switzer—who, in 1967, was the first woman to run the Boston Marathon.
Our 2018 MAKERS@Ogilvy, nominated by their co-workers in three distinct categories, have been announced. They are:
The Innovator (a woman who has been responsible for a transformational idea or change within our organization): Ginny Maycox—Chief Delivery Officer, Ogilvy USA
The Groundbreaker (a woman who has been the first in any given area of our organization): Pam Downey—Group Director, Content Strategy
The Advocate (a woman who has been a tireless crusader, advocate and leader for women within our organization): Shari Reichenberg—Executive Director, Head of Engagement Planning
We sat down with Ginny, Pam, and Shari to discuss how it feels to be honored as a MAKER, what advice they have for young female professionals, and more.
How does it feel to be a part of the MAKERS community?
Ginny Maycox: I feel honored to be joining a group of Ogilvy MAKERS, and to even be mentioned in a group that includes such incredible women as Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Oprah Winfrey, and of course Shelly, is humbling.
Pam Downey: Excited for the conference!
Shari Reichenberg: It’s incredible! I’m flattered, humbled and incredibly excited. I’ve been following MAKERS since the taxi TV ads for the PBS specials featured business icons like Indra Nooyi, Ursula Burns, Sheryl Sandberg and of course, Shelly Lazarus, and am so honored to join a community created by icons like these.
What are you most looking forward to in attending the MAKERS Conference?
GM: 2017 has been an incredible year, starting with the impact of the US Presidential election and all that has unfolded. Whoever the speakers will be at this years conference, I have no doubt that the agenda will be fired up with determination and a drive for change.
PD: I’m definitely looking forward hearing who the speakers who will be – I know they are going to be inspirational no matter who they are. I’m also looking forward to meeting people who work in different industries and hearing about their experiences.
SR: What an unbelievable time to have a front row seat to the #raiseyourvoice conversations, alongside brilliant, brave and determined women and male allies! I’m eagerly anticipating the dialogue, the action planning, and the networking that will inevitably happen at the conference.
What advice do you have for young female professionals and aspiring leaders?
GM: Don’t let others’ opinions sway you into not doing or trying something; often opinions come from their own insecurities or fears, so it is important to listen and take what you need, but to not personalize other people’s woes. Keep your integrity and dignity intact, and trust your gut.
PD: Don’t be afraid to let people know what your goals are – don’t assume people know what you’re looking to do as your next step. (I didn’t always do that myself). And find a way to succeed while staying true to yourself.
SR: You’ll never have all the information you’d have liked in order to make an important career choice, but you’ll find you can do just fine without it: get some opinions from a small group of individuals you trust, and in the end, follow your own instincts.
And, my favorite “dad” quote that has led to countless opportunities by following it: “don’t take ‘no’ from someone who can’t say ‘yes’.”
Who are the women you consider heroes or sources of inspiration?
GM: I am inspired by all the women who have had the courage and drive to run for Government positions during this past year, many of whom have succeeded, knowing that the only way to create change is to get involved; Michelle Obama is the epitome of grace, intelligence, and dignity; Ruth Bader Ginsberg for her ability to cut off any argument at the knees with her intelligence, and her wit; all the women I am surrounded by on a daily basis who carry themselves with grace and determination, inspiring and teaching generations.
PD: So many that I couldn’t name them all, but…Cecile Richards of Planned Parenthood for her courage, Angela Merkel for her leadership, Michelle Obama for her grace and example, writers like Alice Munro who tell stories about women’s lives … my mom who raised five women while finishing college and then pursued not one but two careers on top of that! And lastly, the next generation coming up through the ranks – I definitely learn as much or more from them than they do from me!
SR: I’m a Supreme Court nerd and love Sandra Day O’Connor, Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Sonia Sotomayor. I admire most women business leaders like those I named above. I also really look up to the few women in our industry who play leading creative, strategy, account or delivery roles at Ogilvy or other agencies — it’s not easy to navigate the advertising environment successfully, and even more challenging for the (even fewer) women leaders who are also mothers!
On a lighter note: What’s your fight song?
GM: OK, there are so many! Depends on the mood, but given current environment, and growing up in England in the 70s/80s…. “Don’t Bring Me Down” by ELO; “Powerman” by the Kinks (only because Powerwoman doesn’t fit with the tune); and “That’s Entertainment” by the Jam.
PD: “We Are Family” by Sister Sledge (Note: see four sister above!).
SR: I’m from Philadelphia, so I’ve got to go super highbrow on this one and say the “Rocky” theme song (properly called “Gonna Fly Now”). But some Jet or The Killers never hurt either.