By Becky Brinkerhoff
An Ode to Karen Kaplan
We could start this ode
with a physical description.
But, we won’t play to some system
that focuses on women’s looks,
cause ladies like us write books.
Karen, oh, Karen--
CEO and president of our hearts.
Watching you has shown us
that being a woman isn’t a liability.
and we’re pretty damn effective.
Who’s gonna remember
the 10th male member
over the one woman in the room?
So we’re throwing ourselves
into the ring
and we want you in our corner
as we take our first swing.
Karen, oh, Karen--
Hopefully one day I’ll see
the boss in you
is the boss in me.
They always say
you can’t be what you can’t see
and as we strive for gender parity
we’re looking straight at you
and all the impressive things you do.
To quote you:
we love men,
we just think there are enough of them.
-The LADIES of P35
On Having a Girl Squad:
My amazon recommended books right now are Nice Girls Don't Get the Corner Office and Nice is Just a Place in France. I would assume it’s because I’ve read a lot of Brene Brown and Sheryl Sandberg? Maybe it’s because I flipped out during my first week and ordered a book called Girl Boss. Anyway, those first two titles are a little concerning. First, there’s the whole societal thing where women are set up to compete with each other. Then, there is the cliche that women are supposed to be backstabbing/over emotional/catty/blah blah blah. As much as I want to succeed, as much as I’d love a corner office, does that mean I can’t be a nice girl?
Yeah, I vote no.
Maybe you’ve noticed, but this year’s Program 35 is all women. And I’m proud to say that we’ve been supporting each other pretty damn well. Yes, we all want to do our personal best. But, call me crazy, I think I’m at my best when I feel supported. Here’s the thing: being nice to each other hasn’t held us back.
As my Art Director Raphaela pointed out to me, women only comprise 3% of creative directors. Yeah, wow, that sucks. But, you know what’s even scarier? In entry level creative positions, there’s an even split between men and women. Of course, there is a good deal of discourse about why: women have to take time off, women don’t speak loud enough, women don’t lean in, yada yada, whatever. Maybe all those things are valid. Maybe they aren’t. But I doubt it’s because women are just too nice.
In my vast three week career as a copywriter, I’ve definitely learned something about how I work. I’ll lean in because I know I have these ladies behind me to hold my shirt in case I lean too far. And I’d do the same for them. Wow! Novel concept. Women! Supporting Women!
So, before you feel tempted to do the petty girl rock, pause.
Someone else’s success is not your failure. Someone else’s talent isn’t threatening to yours. Someone being intelligent doesn’t make you any less intelligent. We all offer something different. So, let’s do some good work.
And, you know, let’s all just have a good time.