How would you describe the overall culture at your agency and would you say that there is a separate female culture?
Orci is an agency with more female than male employees, and so the women here have very tight bonds and share a lot of similar qualities. This doesn’t mean we exclude men, but we do feel close to each other and have a strong culture rooted in female empowerment.
In your opinion, what do you see as being the biggest change in the advertising industry since women have begun to break the “glass ceiling”?
I see more women in management positions, safer work environments and a shift toward more effective ways of dealing with projects and clients, all thanks to new perspectives, various sets of skills, and more importantly, women being heard and taken into consideration.
What are some of the challenges that women still face in the industry?
I think there are still people reluctant to change, and it isn’t constructive. On one hand, we have women who see each other as competition rather than members of integrated teams with their own set of unique qualities. And on the other hand, there are those who don’t want to accept that women can perform the same role, and excel, at the same tasks, furthermore making it difficult for us to achieve parity and the same opportunities as men.
What steps do you take to ensure you achieve a healthy work-life balance?
I think the key is to try to separate these two. I leave my personal life outside of work, and disconnect from work once it’s time to go home. When I’m at work, I give everything I have, helping me be mindful and more efficient in what I’m doing. And when I’m outside of work, I am fully present and aware of what I’m experiencing. I do think mindfulness is what helps me deal with the high-level stress this industry can bring, but it also aids in my enjoying the accomplishments and beauty created.
What professional achievement are you most proud of?
I would say finding the right way to talk to the people I care about the most. The underdogs, the hard workers, the ones behind the scenes, those of whom we rarely pay attention, but are now surfacing into the light. I love working and creating work for the Hispanic community in this country because it’s one that historically has been terribly misjudged. I adore speaking to all kinds of women, especially ones who are acknowledging their true value. And I love discovering the power of social media as a tool to reach them, understand them, interact with them, and learn from them.
Tell us about a mentor that helped guide you in your career. What made them so special?
My first manager was the definition of a conscious feminist. She actively empowered me and the rest of my all-women team to learn, to fail, and to try again--to never be afraid to speak our minds and to work together to lift each other up. She didn’t exclude men, though. On the contrary, she understood the importance of balance and team work, and taught us that it’s not one against the other, but that together we could create works of beauty and resonance.
How do you as a successful woman plan to inspire the next generation of women?
I think you can’t really make plans for these kinds of things, they just happen when you give your absolute best, and work constantly to improve and reinvent yourself over and over again. When other women see that you’re capable of anything without malice, they’re inspired to do the same. Ultimately, this is one of the most powerful acts you can do: lead by example and pave a road for others to chart their own success.