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5 years ago Kat Gordon started the 3% conference with a tweet. Kat Gordon says she is “just one woman who was paying attention” and thank goodness she was, because what gets attended to is what gets fixed. Her first conference was attended by about 250 women all of whom were interested in raising the dialog about the low ratio of women creative directors in advertising. Now five years later it is more than a conference, it’s a movement and it was attended this year by over 1000 women and a few awesome man-bassadors. The in-between conversations were just as important as the key notes and panel discussions – the energy was off the charts and the ripple effect can still be felt thanks to the amplification of social media. Importantly in the five years since Kat’s been hosting this conference, the ratio has moved from women only representing 3% of creative directors, to women holding 11% of creative leadership positions. I was excited to attend and hear from some of my heroes and sheroes – Cindy Gallop, Madonna Badger, Nilofer Merchant and Adam Grant; to listening in on sessions from Susan Credle, Jeff Goodby and Steve Almond. I got up onto the main stage on the second day. My heart was beating out of my chest and I gave the My Year of Whittling talk to a generous and attentive audience. It was nothing less than a lifetime highlight. My good friend Leslee Kiley introduced me and you will see from the beginning of the video that I was overcome with emotion as her words of friendship hit me as I began to give the talk. I have an amazing group of women friends who have supported me, laughed with me, cried with me – and one of my mentors is Maria Sirois – she calls this a choir. Maria says – find your choir but also make sure you are in it! My choir was up there with me as I gave that talk. This whittling journey I am on has helped me to see what is important, I hope it gives anyone who watches it a scaffolding to whittle away what doesn’t matter so they can focus on what does. Please take a look and leave me some feedback, I call it My Year of Whittling but that was just the start, it will be a lifetime of day by day practice and I am good with that. Click here to watch the video.

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