We’re proud to share that the 3% conference in NYC has awarded Alma Har’el, the Female Three Cheers Award for making the biggest change in gender equality in advertising this year!

This was the message PJ Pereira, CCO & Co-Founder of Pereira & O’Dell, sent to honor the Free The Bid’s founder.

“In truly important issues, leaders aren’t planned or raised or bred. They are the stunned ones who look at the mayhem, the bodies all around, and notice the flag lying on the floor. The ones with no heroic intention other than the feeling there is no one closer to it. So they pick it, grab it and raise it. In important issues, leaders happen. They selflessly step up to the occasion and their following just… follows. Thank you Alma, for picking and raising this flag. Keep going. We are right behind you.”

Read the full article on Diverge

Alma launched #FreeTheBid less than two months ago and we are grateful for the incredible reaction in the whole industry.

Keep pledging, spreading the word and #FreeTheBid anyway you can!

The 3% conference award for the male who contributed most to gender equality went to Antonio Lucio, CMO of HP. We couldn’t have been happier to share it with him. Among all of his relentless work for gender equality Antonio Lucio has led HP to #FREETHEBID globally.

The Nancy Hill award for women who help other women went to the one and only Cindy Gallop.

The 3% conference was founded by Kat Gordon. Kat Gordon worked for 20 years as a Copywriter/Creative Director and saw firsthand how women were often left out of pitches and important meetings. She describes the “Ultimate Emperor’s New Clothes Moment” of her life as the day her agency pitched the Saab car account with 16 men and one woman and then was mystified why they didn’t get the business.

Years later, as Kat ran her own agency that specializes in marketing to women, she became aware of the snowballing power of the female consumer.

“There are only three consumer categories where men dominate purchases, yet agencies still talk about ‘women’s accounts’ as mops and makeup. The truth is that women are the superset, not the subset, and the rate at which women are amassing wealth and exerting influence is unprecedented. Yet the work that is supposed to motivate them springs almost entirely from a male perspective. The advertising business is a $33 billion industry. Misunderstanding female consumers, from a business perspective, is sheer lunacy.”

After years of wondering “why isn’t someone addressing this as the huge business issue it is?” Kat slowly realized that perhaps she was that someone. She began researching the many reasons why women only represent 3% of Creative Directors. Most of the issues start with a two-word phrase: lack of. Lack of support for motherhood, lack of mentorship, lack of awareness that femaleness is an asset to connecting to the consumer marketplace today, lack of celebration of female work due to gender bias of award juries, lack of women negotiating their first agency salary and every one thereafter.

Kat then put together an agenda to combat these issues with an equally powerful two-word phrase: how to. The 3% Conference teaches men and women in agencies and on the client side how to address these issues in new ways and offers something that has been sorely lacking for female creatives: a sense of community.

THANK YOU Kat Gordon!