One of the highlights of Advertising Week 2012 was AWNY’s breakfast and panel discussion at The New York Times. It was a milestone event with AWNY celebrating its 100th anniversary. The theme of the panel discussion was “women mentoring women” to achieve the highest executive levels in their careers, and many of the women in attendance invited their mentees to attend with them. Here are our takeaways from this inspiring event.
How Do Women View Mentoring?
The panel discussed how mentors and mentees find each other. Laura Desmond (Global CEO, Starcom MediaVest) commented, “You can learn from everyone, sometimes my best learning is to watch others fail.” Laura also encouraged women to be curious and confident. “When you believe you can do anything, you can.” Wendy Clark (SVP, Integrated Marketing & Communications, Coca-Cola) indicated, “There is a difference between mentoring and sponsoring and men are better at it [than women]. You need someone [in the executive suite] to speak up for you, put themselves on the line for you; women are better finding mentors than sponsors, you have to ask for it, have to lean in.” She also encouraged women not to be above doing anything to get ahead. “After college, I started in advertising as a receptionist. I knew if I got my foot in the door, I could outwork others and get ahead.” Carol Everson (VP, Global Marketing Solutions, Facebook) echoed, “You need to build your own personal Board Of Directors. There is a network of men and women willing to help, and it will start to happen if you start to seek it out. The network I have today is entirely different than 15 years ago.” Rachel Haot (Chief Digital Officer, New York City) encouraged women to “be open to new opportunities, be humble, prepared to learn, work hard, add value, anticipate without being asked, mentorship is reciprocal.” Lisa Caputo added “be true to yourself, be passionate about what you do. In a true meritocracy you will be rewarded and the more women progress, they have responsibility to pull up the next generation.” Anne Finucane (Global Strategy and Marketing Officer, Bank of America) encouraged women “not to get discouraged. If doors don’t open, find another way in, take stock of what you can do better, and be creative.