Celebrating Women’s Voices Around the Campfire: International Women’s Day 2024

By Campfire

Today, as we celebrate International Women’s Day, we honor the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women worldwide. This day is not just a moment of recognition but a call to action for continued efforts toward gender equality and empowerment.

At Campfire Consulting, we are dedicated to fostering a culture that values diversity in all its forms. In line with this year’s theme set by the United Nations, “Invest in women: Accelerate progress,” we believe in the power of diverse perspectives to drive innovation and success in the marketing industry. 

To commemorate this important day, we asked the women at Campfire about their experiences,  professional journeys, motivations and other thoughts on women’s empowerment. Here’s what they shared:

alison grenn, vp of marketing & Ops

Have you drawn professional inspiration from other women? Tell us about someone who has inspired you.

Absolutely. I am profoundly inspired by the strong women in my life, particularly my grandmother. Her actions defied the constraints of her time: she played on a men’s softball team, was among the first women at her university, and achieved a master’s degree after raising five children.

Her philosophy was simple yet powerful: “True failure only comes when you give up or lose self-respect.” This belief has been instrumental in shaping my professional journey, reinforcing that our ambitions as women should not be dampened by societal inequality.

What advice do you have for women just starting out in their careers?

Understanding how to effectively communicate your value is crucial, especially in environments where your efforts might not be immediately recognized. Women often confront double standards in the workplace, being labeled ‘loud’ or ‘aggressive’ for behaviors applauded in others. Don’t let this deter you. Learn to advocate for yourself confidently. Know your worth and don’t shy away from discussing your achievements and aspirations. 

How do you or how would you like to empower other women in your field or community?

At a pivotal moment in my career, I encountered a mentor who reshaped my professional journey. At that time, I felt undervalued in my job, where phrases like “attempting to rise above her status” were used to describe my efforts. Meeting my mentor marked a turning point. She did more than just enhance my professional skills; she empowered me to understand and navigate the complexities of our industry, to clarify my goals, and to build the confidence needed to achieve them.

This experience has inspired me to provide similar support to someone at the outset of their marketing career. I aim to empower others not just in developing skills, but also in fostering the confidence and clarity needed to navigate their own paths successfully.

gaby carmichael, sr. director of strategy & Planning

Have you drawn professional inspiration from other women? Tell us about someone who has inspired you.

Yes! I’m very inspired by my long-time mentor Trisha Gallagher. We’ve worked together for a number of years and she is such an advocate for the people she manages. She has taught me everything I know about marketing and I’m so grateful for her time and her advice always!

I’m also very inspired by Shelby Mathews at Native Digital in Kansas City. She’s a creative genius and leader on their team, and balances that all by being a mom too. She was a Business Journal 20 to Know in Advertising which is amazing!

What advice do you have for women just starting out in their careers?

Be a sponge – being young in your career is so fun because people will underestimate how much you know, or not expect you to know anything, and you can use that to your advantage. It’s a huge opportunity to ask questions and dig deep and learn a lot.

What global issue impacting women are you most passionate about?

Education. I have always been so grateful for the opportunity to go to school and to get higher education and to have a career. And globally, education has become much more accessible – there’s more than one path you can take to education and learning. But it’s still inaccessible for girls in parts of the world. 

Kelly Gadsby, Senior account manager

What advice do you have for women just starting out in their careers?

1- Mentorship is key! People who help you navigate through the corporate world are invaluable.
2- Remember, no one expects you to have all the answers, you are not a robot! Embrace the journey of learning and growth and don’t be afraid to ask for help. There is nothing worse than suffering in silence.

What advice did you receive that has stayed with you?

The sooner you get over your fear of making mistakes, the quicker you’ll find success.

What main change would you like to see for young girls in the next generation?

This ones for my introverted ladies stepping into the corporate world- Your voice matters, your opinions mean something—don’t be afraid to speak up. If you keep quiet, you risk blending into the background and your unique perspective will go unnoticed.

Brittany Angelo, impact strategist

What advice do you have for women just starting out in their careers?

Always remember, networking isn’t just about collecting contacts; it’s about cultivating relationships with the incredible people around you. Your peers, professors, and professionals in your field can all offer invaluable insights, support, and opportunities as you embark on your sustainability careers. So, seize every chance to connect, learn, and collaborate because you never know whose path may intersect with yours in the most meaningful ways.

What main change would you like to see for young girls in the next generation?

In the next generation, I’d love to see a significant shift in how we encourage young girls to pursue STEM fields. Too often, societal norms and stereotypes steer them away from these areas. It’s crucial to provide equal opportunities, support, and encouragement to all aspiring young scientists, engineers, mathematicians, and technologists regardless of gender. By fostering a culture of inclusivity and empowerment in STEM education, we can unlock the full potential of our future innovators and problem solvers, ensuring a more diverse and equitable landscape in these critical fields.

What global issue impacting women are you most passionate about?

One global issue I’m deeply passionate about is the unfair burden placed on women and children, especially young girls, in developing countries who walk long distances to fetch water for their families. It’s unjust that they’re deprived of education and trapped in a cycle of poverty due to this responsibility. Access to clean water is a fundamental human right, and addressing this issue requires improving water infrastructure and empowering communities. Ensuring girls have the opportunity to attend school and pursue their potential is essential for creating a more just and equitable world.

Amanda Olmsted, Media Project Coordinator

What advice do you have for women just starting out in their careers?

My biggest piece of advice would be to separate your identity from your job. Your value to the world and the impact you can have are so much larger than just the role you take on professionally. Understand that jobs may come and go, but your self worth should be a consistent foundation to live from and shouldn’t be defined solely by one job or company.

What global issue impacting women are you most passionate about?

I’m most passionate about paid parental leave for new mothers. Pregnancy alone can feel unsupported or even isolating in a workplace. Followed by a lack of parental leave in the US and having to return to work so quickly after giving birth can feel traumatic. I’d love to see a world in which the mental health of new moms was prioritized.

If you could share one message on International Women’s Day, what would it be?

When I was a little girl, my grandfather gave me an art print that said “Listen to Girls” in a bunch of different languages and showcased girls from around the world. It was so empowering to me to have someone directly express that my thoughts were valuable and should be listened to even at that young age. So if I could share one message on International Women’s Day it would be – listen to girls!

Closing Thoughts

International Women’s Day is not just a day for celebration but also for reflection and action. At Campfire Consulting, we are committed to fostering an environment where women’s talents and contributions are recognized and valued. As we celebrate this day, we reaffirm our dedication to gender equality and empowerment, both within our company and in the wider community.

Learn more about this year’s theme, Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress and dive into the five key areas that need our joint action to ensure women are not left behind on the United Nations website. 

SUBSCRIBE

Subscribe now for more fresh content.