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Five Lessons Learned at the 3% Conference

Five Lessons Learned at the 3% Conference

Catharine Petroff

Catharine Petroff

November 26, 2019

Catharine Petroff, Global Talent Program Manager at Havas Group, attended the annual conference aimed at elevating women to higher positions in the creative industry.

"Leveraging experiences that are different from the norm can create incredible points of connection and, in turn, profitability"

Earlier this month, I had the chance to represent Havas at the 8th Annual 3% Conference, an organization that works to create gender equality in leadership roles, with a focus on women, the LGBTQ community, and minorities.

As Program Manager on Havas Group’s Global Talent team, the opportunity was especially exciting because I am focused on our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion projects, and I help Havas create the most meaningful work experiences for all its employees. One key strategy is our global DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) initiatives which are under the banner “All In”—as we believe we all must play a role in creating a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive workforce. Now with over 100 action plans in place across over 30 countries, we are seeing change in areas including gender, LGBTQ+, mental health and wellness, ageism, ability and others. We have also seen a very positive impact from Femmes Forward, a program designed to accelerate the progression of senior manager level women at Havas through skills training, leadership assessments, inspirational speakers, group coaching and more.

Heading to the two-day conference, I looked forward to hearing the latest insights from the range of speakers, gaining new perspective on my role, and seeing how Havas might be able to do even more to bring more diversity to creativity. Here are my top 5 takeaways:

 

#1 – Creativity comes in many different vehicles and it’s okay to take a risk on something nontraditional. It often pays off.

Denise Hewett, founder and CEO of scriptd, introduced the concept of pattern matching and how we tend to trust or make decisions based on shared experiences and similarities. In business, this theory shows up as exclusion—particularly when building teams. As we can tell from box office hits like Wonder Woman, Black Panther, and Crazy Rich Asians, leveraging experiences that are different from the norm can create incredible points of connection and, in turn, profitability.

#2 – Technology is the future! And it’s helping us reduce unconscious bias.

We are making great strides to use AI (Artificial intelligence) and other forms of experimental technology in HR best practices. AI can be used to highlight gendered or biased language in role descriptions and resumes so that recruiters are able to source more diverse candidates. Virtual reality is also making great strides in unconscious bias training. By placing participants in situations where they are experiencing micro-aggressions, they can get a “real” sense of their impact on others and develop a greater sense of empathy and shared experience. Of course, technology isn’t the solution but it’s a great tool to catch human error.

"I really had to examine how my ideal of the 'perfect human' hurt others and even myself"

#3- There isn’t less pie in an equitable workplace.

This is probably the biggest myth concerning diversity and inclusion. It may feel like you have to give something up to let someone else get their foot in the door. As an example, studies show that boards with women on them are 30% more profitable than less diverse boards. That adds up to more pie for everyone.

#4 – Allyship can be hard. Get outside your comfort zone.

During the conference, there were many times when I had to confront my own biases. Body advocate and thought leader Louise Green and poet and copywriter Makeda Loney led an amazing panel about sizism (discrimination based on a person’s size). Together, they shared their experiences of being “fat” and the discrimination they have felt in the workplace. I really had to examine how my ideal of the “perfect human” hurt others and even myself.

#5 – There is still work to be done.

It can be really easy to look around an office and think that things have improved. But there is still so much to be done. The workplace can be incredibly exclusionary to a wide range of people. It will take internal policy change, fervent support from leadership, and a deep commitment to doing the right thing to continue to move in the right direction.

 

Havas Group and the 3% Movement

Havas is dedicated to creating an equitable and inclusionary workplace. Our Global Chief Talent Officer, Patti Clarke, sits on the advisory board of the 3% Movement. The Havas Network sent over a dozen leading creatives to the November conference, and also participated in programming designed to create male allies.

For more, visit www.3percentmovement.com.

"Leveraging experiences that are different from the norm can create incredible points of connection and, in turn, profitability"

Earlier this month, I had the chance to represent Havas at the 8th Annual 3% Conference, an organization that works to create gender equality in leadership roles, with a focus on women, the LGBTQ community, and minorities.

As Program Manager on Havas Group’s Global Talent team, the opportunity was especially exciting because I am focused on our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion projects, and I help Havas create the most meaningful work experiences for all its employees. One key strategy is our global DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) initiatives which are under the banner “All In”—as we believe we all must play a role in creating a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive workforce. Now with over 100 action plans in place across over 30 countries, we are seeing change in areas including gender, LGBTQ+, mental health and wellness, ageism, ability and others. We have also seen a very positive impact from Femmes Forward, a program designed to accelerate the progression of senior manager level women at Havas through skills training, leadership assessments, inspirational speakers, group coaching and more.

Heading to the two-day conference, I looked forward to hearing the latest insights from the range of speakers, gaining new perspective on my role, and seeing how Havas might be able to do even more to bring more diversity to creativity. Here are my top 5 takeaways:

 

#1 – Creativity comes in many different vehicles and it’s okay to take a risk on something nontraditional. It often pays off.

Denise Hewett, founder and CEO of scriptd, introduced the concept of pattern matching and how we tend to trust or make decisions based on shared experiences and similarities. In business, this theory shows up as exclusion—particularly when building teams. As we can tell from box office hits like Wonder Woman, Black Panther, and Crazy Rich Asians, leveraging experiences that are different from the norm can create incredible points of connection and, in turn, profitability.

#2 – Technology is the future! And it’s helping us reduce unconscious bias.

We are making great strides to use AI (Artificial intelligence) and other forms of experimental technology in HR best practices. AI can be used to highlight gendered or biased language in role descriptions and resumes so that recruiters are able to source more diverse candidates. Virtual reality is also making great strides in unconscious bias training. By placing participants in situations where they are experiencing micro-aggressions, they can get a “real” sense of their impact on others and develop a greater sense of empathy and shared experience. Of course, technology isn’t the solution but it’s a great tool to catch human error.

"I really had to examine how my ideal of the 'perfect human' hurt others and even myself"

#3- There isn’t less pie in an equitable workplace.

This is probably the biggest myth concerning diversity and inclusion. It may feel like you have to give something up to let someone else get their foot in the door. As an example, studies show that boards with women on them are 30% more profitable than less diverse boards. That adds up to more pie for everyone.

#4 – Allyship can be hard. Get outside your comfort zone.

During the conference, there were many times when I had to confront my own biases. Body advocate and thought leader Louise Green and poet and copywriter Makeda Loney led an amazing panel about sizism (discrimination based on a person’s size). Together, they shared their experiences of being “fat” and the discrimination they have felt in the workplace. I really had to examine how my ideal of the “perfect human” hurt others and even myself.

#5 – There is still work to be done.

It can be really easy to look around an office and think that things have improved. But there is still so much to be done. The workplace can be incredibly exclusionary to a wide range of people. It will take internal policy change, fervent support from leadership, and a deep commitment to doing the right thing to continue to move in the right direction.

 

Havas Group and the 3% Movement

Havas is dedicated to creating an equitable and inclusionary workplace. Our Global Chief Talent Officer, Patti Clarke, sits on the advisory board of the 3% Movement. The Havas Network sent over a dozen leading creatives to the November conference, and also participated in programming designed to create male allies.

For more, visit www.3percentmovement.com.

Catharine believes that chocolate cake is the best type of breakfast.

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