In honour of Women’s History Month, we are celebrating the achievements and contributions of the women at AdParlor and our Industry as a whole. We reached out to some of the powerhouse women leaders at AdParlor to reflect on their career journey, share words of advice and tips on how to #breakthebias in the workplace. 

Stephanie McCarthy, Director, People, AdParlor

Stephanie McCarthy

Director, People

Can you share any tips on how to #breakthebias in the workplace?

The first thing we can do is recognize our own biases. It is not until we understand how our own subconscious beliefs guide our actions and perspectives, then we can look outward and adjust those actions and attitudes towards the equality and benefit of others. This is the challenge in business to move the needle towards eliminating bias. We need people at all levels, but especially leadership, to take a step back and say, “this person isn’t the same as me; what do I need to do differently to ensure they have access to the same resources and opportunities that I do.”

Do you have any messages you would like to share for women and their allies?

For women: You are capable of amazing things. So often, women are told to “act more like men” in the boardroom, and I just don’t think that’s the right advice. Bringing your whole self to the table and using your voice to shine a light on the unique perspective we bring allows us to simultaneously break down those stereotypes and show that we can work towards the same goals with a different approach.

For allies: Lead by example and sponsor women at work. Make it ok and standard to support women at work. It doesn’t have to be in big ways-if you get called upon to share your perspective in a meeting, say something like, “I’ll share my thoughts, but then I’d love to hear from Jane on the topic.” Or, if you notice a loud voice in the room interrupting, saying, “thanks for sharing, but I want to hear the rest of Jane’s idea.” Sponsorship is the lever that we can pull to level the playing field.

Lauren Cody, Sr. Vice President of Business Operations, AdParlor

Lauren Cody

Sr. Vice President of Business Operations

Why do we need more women in leadership?

Being competitive in today’s global economy requires the brightest minds to develop strategic plans and make the smartest decisions. Looking for the best of the best in only 50% of the potential workforce will result in a losing strategy every. single. time. This is not simply about “being fair”; it’s about winning. Gender diversity brings unique viewpoints and experiences, different skillsets and knowledge and, often, a more complete range of the qualities required to thrive in today’s modern workplace.

Do you have any messages you would like to share for women and their allies?

For women: thank you for knowing your worth and being willing to show up every single day. If the last two years have taught us anything, it’s that while change can feel difficult and uncomfortable at times, we know it’s possible to get through and be better for it.

To our allies: thank you for recognizing the importance of gender diversity and responding with action. Every day, more allies are celebrating the achievements of women who are moms, partners, team members, executives, and so many other things…without even blinking an eye. Continuing to challenge the world is the only way to change it. Let’s continue to change the world together!

Cassie Chan, Graphic Designer, AdParlor

Cassie Chan

Graphic Designer

What does International Women’s Day/month mean to you?

To me, IWD means not only celebrating the achievements of women but also addressing the work that needs to be done for women in underserved and underrepresented communities. While it is excellent that these achievements get their chance in the spotlight, it is crucial to talk about systemic barriers and issues that also affect women in different ways. My experience as a cisgender, straight Asian American woman looks very different from the next woman. What can I do to advocate for their safety and success?

Do you have any messages you would like to share for women and their allies?

I encourage everyone to read up on the curb cut effect. The term is rooted in disability studies, but the basis is that laws and programs designed to benefit vulnerable groups, such as disabled individuals or people of colour, often help all of society. Advocating for women’s issues, women’s rights, and the achievements of women not only benefits women but benefits everyone.

Brooke Robinson, VP Performance Marketing, AdParlor

Brooke Robinson

VP Performance Marketing

Why do we need more women in leadership?

Diversity is key to any successful team. Having different perspectives, respectful conversations and open minds will always generate better ideas and motivate success for all. I don’t think it’s a quota of more or less of any particular gender, race or identity – it’s about respect for the ideas and people that make those ideas a reality. 

Can you share any tips on how to #breakthebias in the workplace?

Eliminating bias in the workplace requires the ability to really listen to and observe the world around you. Everyone has had a different path getting to the moment that brought you together, so we need to be cognoscente that we have learned and been exposed to different things. As cliché’s go – take the time to understand and adjust your thinking – try and put yourself in their proverbial shoes. 

Karen Valle, Product Manager, AdParlor

Karen Valle

Product Manager

Can you share any tips on how to #breakthebias in the workplace?

Have more open conversations with your teammates and explore their previous experiences. This openness can potentiate hidden skills that can lead them to other roles that provide better support for the company.

Why do we need more women in leadership?

We keep demonstrating our strength and capability to manage multiple roles and wear many hats as necessary.

Do you have any messages you would like to share for women and their allies

Be proud of each little thing that you can accomplish every day! Reward yourself and be happy 🙂