At Wunderman Thompson, we have a history of women breaking barriers starting with Helen Lansdowne Resor, the industry’s and our first female copywriter. Through the years, women have made great strides personally and professionally and the women of Wunderman Thompson are no different. This year, we highlight their stories of empowerment, including finding their voice, taking chances, starting over, and creating opportunities for the next generation. Every day, everywhere we can all break barriers.
Women’s History Month 2022
How The Women of Wunderman Thompson are Breaking Barriers and Inspiring Empowerment.
Babalwa, South Africa
“We can all do something”
South Africa’s unemployment rate is 66.5%. I created a 6-week free social media course to equip young people with the skills required. I taught 30 people from around the country who gained confidence to apply for roles. I look forward to doing it again in my corner of the world for change.
“I made my fantasy a reality”
In a genre dominated by men, I am a fantasy and science fiction writer. I self-publish and promote my books using the internet, content strategy and a ton of analytics! I have a community of readers that support me. I am proud to do it my way in a genre where women are underrepresented. Don’t you know by now? We are everywhere!
“Tell me what I can’t do; then watch me”
I love being a copywriter, but it wasn’t always easy to break the barrier. I was only “allowed” to work on accounts perceived to be female focused accounts . However, with perseverance, a sense of humor and drive – not only am I a kickass copywriter on a great team, but I have also written, directed, and produced comedy shorts in my spare time.
“Changing careers is scary; until you do it!”
After studying medicine and becoming a pediatrician, I realized that it was not my passion. So, I made a complete change and went back to school, in my thirties, to start over and pursue my creative passion. I proved to myself that you can start over and with passion, there is no barrier to achieving your goal.
"My epilepsy is my superpower”
What you can’t see may very well be the thing that makes you strong. For me, having epilepsy is not easy, especially in a job with a high level of stress. However, having epilepsy has taught me how strong I am and how much I can achieve.
“My creativity has no bounds”
I am launching a virtual restaurant named “Meet the Veggies”, focused on reducetarianism which is inclusive of vegans, vegetarians and anyone else who reduces the amount of animal products in their diet. We will provide creative, balanced, and nutritious meal options with a focus on 100% raw spices featured on vegetables with virtually no dairy or animal product additives.
"Fear can sometimes be a good thing”
I was gripped with fear to take on more responsibility at my age. With an industry moving fast in technology and the new, younger generation, the internal voices questioned if I could handle it. I found the strength to do it by reconnecting with family, friends, and things I love to do while listening and learning from my team. I realized what I bring to the table - my experience, wisdom, knowledge, and compassion - is valuable. Today, the internal battle is still on, the results are not perfect, but I am equipped and enjoying the process.
Lesley, South Africa
“Together we are stronger”
14 women and I planned a nationwide march in the fight against Gender based Violence and Femicide. Marches were held in South Africa, Lesotho and Namibia called #TheTotalShutdown Intersectional Women’s Movement. Today, the #24Demands are shaping laws and policies in government and the private sector for women and the LGBTQIA+ community. We were recognized by the United Nations as Iconic Youth Leaders in 2018.
“I can do anything I set my mind too”
From a young age my grandparents instilled in me that just because I am female, I can still do anything my brother did. I helped with their business, where I managed a chicken coop, scared off wildcats, managed their finances and did the gardening with my brother! I never felt there was a difference in what I could do based on my gender – so every day I remind myself of what my grandparent’s taught me and do it all anyway!
“Finding my voice has been a game changer”
I used to feel insecure when giving my opinion personally and professionally. I took the time to work on myself and now feel confident in my voice and what I have to offer. I still remind myself daily that I belong and share openly my ideas and thoughts. I feel empowered.
“I’ll do it myself”
Shocked by the lack of visibility into the Advertising Agency provided to school-aged kids, I created a program to motivate and inspire children in underprivileged schools to careers in Advertising. Building the future now.
“Inspiration and opportunity is all around you”
Egypt is my beautiful country. While working on my thesis years ago I saw a campaign “This is Egypt” and I said to myself, I want to work there. Fast forward after graduation, I applied and joined the team working on Ministry of Tourism, combining the love of my country and creativity. I now work in the Creative Digital team and could not be happier.
“Everyday I break the barrier”
Less than 15% of data analysts are women and even fewer are women of color – at 3%. I am in the 3%, as a vice president and under 40. Everyday I break the barrier.