03.08.2019

I’m with her: Celebrating International Women’s Day

by Rich Gallagher

PR people love nothing more than a good Day of Observation. And usually, the sillier, the better.  This month alone, we’ve got National Cookie Day (March 6), National Pancake Day (March 12), and Manatee Appreciation Day (March 27). Today features the appropriately silly National Peanut Cluster Day and National Proofreading Day, but the star of the show, International Women’s Day, feels different.

A tumultuous year, with innumerable public scandals around workplace impropriety, put a new emphasis on inclusion, diversity, and vigilance in seeking justice for victims. A record number of women were voted into the 116th Congress, and every employer, from the sharpest tech firms in Silicon Valley to Walmart, found out just how important it can be to diversify leadership.

While we still have a long way to go before we can officially call ours a diverse industry, PR firms consistently employ more women than average, to the tune of 73%. But things start to fall apart when you take a closer look at the C-suite. In fact, only two of the top 10 largest firms, by global billings, currently have a woman in the office of the CEO. This top-to-bottom disparity *could* resolve itself over time, but I’d rather know I’m at least a small part of the solution. As a father of two young girls, it’s a very big deal for me.

Last month, we announced that Resound is officially a Women Owned Business. WBENC certification was a rigorous process, but it’s one I’m glad we we took part in. It validates that 16 years after our CEO, Ilana Zalika, founded the company, we’re continuing to move in the right direction.

I bring my daughters to our offices with me, whenever their schedules allow. I want them to soak in the collaborative atmosphere, in a place where a diverse group of women and men work together, support each other, laugh, joke, talk, write, drink coffee, and hash out a solution for today’s problem on the whiteboard. All in the service of producing great work, and under the command of an inspiring leader — a woman they can identify with.

It’s been my pleasure to work with, work for, and manage the careers of smart, talented, and courageous women throughout my career. And if that rubs off on my daughters… that wouldn’t be so bad.