Perspectives: Women in Advertising 2018, Courtney Vincent

"Like a Girl made us wonder when and how we lost that confidence, and damned if we let it happen to the next generation."


Perspectives: Women in Advertising 2018

Tell us about who you are and what your job title is?
Courtney Vincent, Creative Director PMH
Was there a job you had at one point, outside of advertising, that prepared you most for success later in life?
I was a stylist assistant for the WCCO Channel 4 News Team, dontcha know it. I learned the most powerful men in the room were usually wearing shoulder pads.
What do you see as being the biggest change in the advertising industry since women have begun to break the “glass ceiling”?
PMH is a rare case - female skew since the beginning. Feel pretty lucky and encouraged that the tide seems to be turning for the industry. I don’t hear about 2am creative reviews and kids sleeping under their mom’s desk anymore. So that’s a bonus.
From Like A Girl to Fearless Girl, a raft of advertising campaigns have set out to empower women. How do you feel about these campaigns? Can they change attitudes within the industry?
Like a Girl made us wonder when and how we lost that confidence, and damned if we let it happen to the next generation. Fearless Girl made you proud, and also rattled a lot of people, which further illustrates the divide.
Advertising can certainly influence culture and foster some really inclusive, lovely stuff. You got to respect a brand willing to try. And the people putting their necks out there to buck the trend - Alma Har’el, Issa Rae, Frances McDormand, Jordan Peele...
How have the recent #MeToo and #TimesUp movements played out in the advertising sector? Are they making a significant impact?
For sure. They’re giving both women and men the courage to speak up. Even if one person was helped, it’s significant.
Initiatives such as Free The Bid are trying to create more opportunities for women in advertising. But what could be done at a more grass roots level to attract women in the first place?
I wonder if it’s more a retention issue. Advertising seems like something you can handle in your 20’s, but once family comes into play - you’re torn whether you can keep up the pace. Also it’s pretty unforgiving towards women who’ve popped out for a stint, to come back - also pretty unforgiving towards women who age, which last I checked most women do.
At grassroots level: keep entry salaries high, hours sane, opportunities equal.
Can you reflect on a mentor that helped guide you in your career and tell us what made them special?
Maggie Shea, Beth Perro Jarvis, Tricia Davidson, Kirsten Flanik, Julie Thompson, Laurel Flatt - so many smart, ballsy chicks I got to see rise through the ranks. They did it with kindness, and hilarity. And were freakishly supportive to other women.
How do you as a successful woman plan to inspire the next generation of women? In a few words, what advice do you have for women entering the advertising industry?
Don’t be a dick.