I’m taking a moment away from discussing the metaverse to reflect on the brilliant women in advertising who came before me. In the spirit of Women’s History Month, it felt fitting to acknowledge a few true pioneers—the women of “firsts” whose legacies opened doors for the 52% of us who make up the industry today.
*Mathlide Weil—started the first female-founded agency in 1880
*Helen Lansdowne Resor—first female copywriter to make national brand advertising and first woman to run JWT
*Mary Wells Lawrence—first female CEO of major agency, responsible for “I Love New York,” Ford’s “Quality is Job One,” and Alka-Seltzer’s “Plop, plop, fizz, fizz”
*Nedda McGrath—first woman to become an art director at a major ad agency, responsible for work for P&G’s Crisco and Ivory soap
*Caroline R. Jones—founded Caroline Jones Advertising, Zebra Associates and Mingo-Jones—among the first agencies created by Black executives and focused on multicultural advertising
*Tere Zubizarreta—Hispanic marketing pioneer and the first Hispanic woman inducted into AAF Hall of Fame
Thank you to these “firsts” and all of the women in advertising whose creativity, drive and determination may not be in the history books, but have no doubt made an impact on where we are today.