Women Aren’t Just Rising In The Ranks At Twin Cities Ad Agencies, They’re Changing The Game

By Nicole Norfleet
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) As Minneapolis columnist Nicole Norfleet reports, “female executives are transforming the local ad industry by creating more inclusive HR policies, starting movements to empower other women and pushing back on traditional agency business models.”

Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

Ellie Anderson had been terrified her career would be derailed when she took maternity leave from the Minneapolis advertising agency where she worked five years ago.

But last month when she gave birth to her second child, a healthy baby girl, she didn’t have to worry about her job since she now owns her own creative firm, Griffin Archer.

Women until recently have been a rare breed in leadership roles in the “Mad Men”-like boys club of ad agency creative departments. However, in the past decade, women have slowly pushed their way into the C-suites of traditional firms, and many have changed policies, mentored others and launched their own shops where they wield the creative power to influence thousands of ads.

In the Twin Cities, the rise of women to leadership roles has heralded deeper changes. Many of the handful of top-billed local agencies have recently promoted or hired women to top positions for the first time.

What’s more, female executives are transforming the local ad industry by creating more inclusive HR policies, starting movements to empower other women and pushing back on traditional agency business models.

Anderson recalls how after six weeks of maternity leave at her previous agency, she wasn’t given the type of accounts and assignments she had before.

“I wasn’t in the same place as I was five months prior to that,” she said. “That was just kind of the impetus for ‘I can go out and do this on my own and really create a place that I feel can give the same opportunities to women that are available to men.’ “

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