- Presented by AbelsonTaylor Group

Lynnette Hunter of AbelsonTaylor Group on Empowering Women in the Workforce

The importance of having women's voices contributing in campaigns and beyond

Muse spoke with Lynnette Hunter, EVP, director of client services at AbelsonTaylor Group, during Women's History Month about the importance of women's voices represented in all aspects of the ad industry.

Muse: Discuss the role women have in marketing, particularly in management, today vs. when you started out. How have things improved?

Lynnette Hunter: Women have continued to increasingly step into marketing leadership roles over my last 25 years in the advertising business. The role they play is important because it brings a balance of leadership style and mentorship support for all individuals, regardless of gender. In the past, it was not uncommon for women's voices and opinions to be sidelined by engrained male leaders who remained close-minded to new perspectives and ideas that could achieve business growth. Now, women have the opportunity to speak their mind, challenge status quo, and lead effectively. In our industry, we see campaigns that are now authentic to audiences and incorporate empathy and emotional connections, and I believe we can credit women leadership for these advances that have improved our craft.

How does AbelsonTaylor Group seeks to empower women?

Celebrating women leadership and equity has been an initiative for many years at AbelsonTaylor Group, especially during Women's History Month. Every year, we recognize the strides and growth women have achieved in the agency. We hold events that showcase examples of successful women in the agency and share their own growth stories. Also, we ensure we have fair compensation, promotions and the work-life balance benefits for all employees.

Why is it important to have women's voices in campaigns—and for women to contribute to the work?

We as consumers are constantly bombarded with advertising, and we know that for campaigns to connect and make a meaningful belief change in consumers' minds it requires authenticity. A woman's perspective can make all the difference when the target audience is women, such as our work on the Menopause My Way campaign for Equelle. This campaign was driven by a majority women marketing and agency team. 

Here's what my fellow AbelsonTaylor Group women leaders have to say about how a woman's perspective added value to that campaign:

  • "Menopause My Way" is about women demanding and receiving more from those who tout a solution to the physical and emotional toll brought by symptoms of menopause. Today's woman isn't content to quietly accept the inconveniences of menopause or compromise her values to get the relief she deserves. As a mostly female marketing team, we listened to our audience with empathy, then created communications that celebrate her ability to manage menopause on her own terms with Equelle.—Megan Henry, planning director
  • "Based on great insights from market research, we could all lean into this empowering campaign which had a different tone than previous menopause campaigns. We all celebrate the message that Equelle delivers and the strong women who educate and advocate for a solution that works for them."—Kristen McGirk, SVP, account director
In five years or so, what improvements would you like to see in the ad/media industries in terms of women?

In five years, my hope is that we see more inclusivity and equality in the roles all genders play within our organizations. Looking forward, AbelsonTaylor Group's culture and employee programs, such as our Psychological Safety initiative, help bring gender parity to the healthcare advertising agency world and build and encourage workplace diversity. This is important because when more diverse perspectives and inputs are contributed to the creative work and campaigns, the more effective and productive we can be in driving results for our clients. And that allows us to thrive as an agency and personally feel empowered.

What female execs do you find especially notable and inspiring?

Karen Lynch, CEO of CVS Health, recently shared her story and rise to leadership in her new book Taking Up Space, a great example of why it is so important to continue to share our stories so future generations are aware of the past, stand up for their future, and ensure we continue to progress forward being heard.

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