The College of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln is the first university to establish a collegiate chapter affiliated with The 3% Conference.
The student organization is the brainchild of Samee Callahan and Amanda Walla. The advertising and public relations majors were inspired to act after attending a two-day event that attracted 400 creative directors in San Francisco last fall.
To get to California, Callahan and Walla entered the 3% poster competition. The prize was a scholarship, two tickets and a stipend to travel.
The 3% Conference Student Scholarship Competition challenged female creatives from across the nation to design a poster to celebrate the news that the ratio of female-to-male Creative Directors had increased 300 percent. The poster needed to motivate folks to attend the conference and to keep the movement, titled “#changetheratio,” going.
“We’re two ADPR students who were inspired by the message of the 3%,” said Callahan, and we “are dedicated to sharing it with the talented and capable students of University of Nebraska–Lincoln!”
One of the inspiring messages Callahan and Walla took from the closing keynote speech came from Cindy Gallop, the founder and CEO of IfWeRanTheWorld.
“Cindy’s presentation,” said Callahan, “taught us to be 100 percent yourself, without hesitation because that’s what will make a true difference. As long as someone speaks up, something (BIG) can change,” she said.
Callahan and Walla have an ambitious plan to help bring about change. They started with the creation of a Facebook group page and Twitter account for like-minded students. The 3 percent University of Nebraska–Lincoln student group began meeting in January and the chapter is participating in the national Super Bowl 49 Tweetup. The Tweetup is designed to encourage discussion how women are portrayed in commercials airing during the game.
The plan is to become an officially recognized student organization at University of Nebraska–Lincoln with advisors and an executive committee made up of female professionals who are willing to share their expertise. Callahan and Walla envision the creation of a mentoring program similar to the Nebraska Women’s Leadership Network (formerly known as Cather Circle) that was created to promote the growth and education of women, and to create a nationwide network of female leaders.
The 3% Conference first sought to bring attention to the gender gap that exists between male and female creative leaders in advertising three years ago when three percent of all creative directors were women. The 3% Conference cites statistics that state women influence 80 percent or more of consumer spending. Today, 11 percent of all creative directors in advertising are women.
In addition to the two-day conference, the 3% Conference includes multi-city road shows throughout North America, a vibrant online community, a live Super Bowl event, a student scholarship fund, a creative award and a business blog to support the crusade.