According to Merriam-Webster, empowerment is defined as the authority or power given to someone to do something. As far as definitions go – this one is exceptionally vague. But that’s exactly it. Empowerment presents itself in all sorts of ways and through people from all walks of life. Earlier this week the women of CTP felt a little more empowered, influenced in part by the Ad Club’s 10th annual Women’s Leadership Forum.

But what empowers us you ask?

  • Author Whitney Scharer expressed the idea of self doubt and how sometimes it really comes down to just doing it. This resonated with me as a copywriter but is applicable to many things in life. I’ve heard women only apply for jobs if they meet 100% of the requirements, whereas men will apply if they meet at least 30%. Too often, women don’t give themselves a chance to succeed. And this event helps women (myself included) feel like they can and SHOULD go for it. – Jess Whitaker, Senior Copywriter


  • Ad Club President Kathy Kiely started the forum off with a quote that I found inspiring – The truth will set you free, but first it’ll piss you off.  I thought this was especially relevant in light of recent social and political movements that are a result of pissed off people who are empowered to ignite change. – Lizzie Manley, Account Coordinator


  • Whitney Scharer addressed the nonlinearity of success; essentially saying that the road to success is not straightforward, or cut and dry. I think that’s very true–and can especially be true for women. It doesn’t mean that you don’t work hard or give things your all, but it does means you should expect to battle internal and external factors, whether that takes the form of self-doubt or systemic issues. But in the end these factors make the story of success all the better. – Caitlyn Pearson, Account Executive


  • I’m empowered by the women I’ve been lucky enough to work with who constantly remind me that no matter how busy we are at work or at home, there’s always time to help someone in need. Whether through volunteering, mentoring or just helping someone out – inside or outside the office – these are the people that inspire me to try to pay it forward. – Katie Ward, Management Supervisor


  • It was inspiring to hear six incredibly successful women share their experiences on the View from the Hill panel with a room full of women aspiring to achieve their level of success. Host Karen Kaplan, CEO of Hill Holliday, prompted the panelists to share stories about how they got to where they are, overcoming obstacles and challenges that being a woman in business presents. – Caitlin Snider, Senior Account Executive


  • I was fortunate to have multiple managers who empowered me, trusted me to lead and provided constructive feedback to improve. Without them, I wouldn’t be where I’m at in my career. As a manager now, I think about all the things I’ve learned from my past managers that have boosted my confidence and try to emulate those same qualities every day I’m in the office. – Lauren Kimball, Director of Account Management


  • It was an empowering experience to be in a room with so many strong and talented women. It made me realize it is important to experience the now but also look ahead…no matter your age, the world is full of possibilities – you just need to believe in yourself to forge your own path. – Tara Roman, Director of Project Management


  • The greatest lesson I was ever taught was to ask for what I want and what I think I deserve.  Long ago one of my employers posted a job before considering internal employees. So I went into the head of the agency and asked why he wasn’t considering any of us. Why he wasn’t considering me.  And he simply said he was waiting for me to ask for it. I got the job because I stepped out of my comfort zone by finding my voice and realizing my worth. It all started then. – Majja Dennis, Managing Director


  • I’m inspired by women like Gloria Steinem and Ruth Bader Ginsburg who have paved the way for my generation to be sitting in the positions we are sitting in today. The Forum was a gentle, but encouraging reminder that there is still more work to be done – but sitting in that room with 1300 like-minded women (and some men, too) instilled hope and faith that we will get there if we work together and keep sharing our stories. – Alaina Muniz, Digital Management Supervisor


  • The most influential people in my life have all been men – my dad, various softball coaches, my boyfriend. Each and every one of them have pushed me to be the best person I can be – in every aspect. Never once have any of them made me feel inferior because of my gender. Ironically, my softball coach used to compare my swing to Giancarlo Stanton’s and NOT to a female softball player’s. – Haley King, Assistant Account Executive


  • One of the comments that really struck a chord with me was about taking risks and not over-planning our careers. As women we are innately thoughtful and automatically consider the impact our actions have on others – peers, our boss, our life partner, our children. While this quality is an incredible one at times it can hold us back from the success we aim to achieve. Hearing that conversation unfold was a great reminder for me to not allow my sensitive and nurturing ways to overpower my ambition. – Angela Bassiri, Workflow & Wellness Guru


  • Whitney Scharer shared a powerful quote by Lee Miller – I would rather take a photograph than be one.  Another quote that empowers me is from Winston Churchill – Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts. – Allison Spitaels, Designer


  • The women who spoke at the WLF who overcame adversity are the ones who I related with the most.  I was hungry to hear from those who were expected to take a different path but innately wanted more and I was inspired to see they haven’t stopped pushing forward. – Paula Serafino, VP Media, Director


  • It’s easy to take a back seat, put your blinders on and your head down, and get the job done. But to me, this is no way to live life. If you have something to say, speak up! More often than not, you’ll find yourself in good company, surrounded by so many others who have the same exact thoughts and feelings. Others may not have the guts to be so open. And the hope is…if those individuals see you stand up for what you believe in, they’ll follow suit. It becomes a cycle…a beautiful cycle at that. – Nikki Peters, Management Supervisor


  • Something I took away from the conference that I found to be empowering was the importance placed on valuing and celebrating the achievements of successful women across generations and industries. Women’s successes have long been downplayed or ignored. By celebrating women’s achievements, it not only inspires younger generations, but also helps to combat and change many of the mindsets and prejudices that exist in our society today. – Danielle Anderson, Account Coordinator


  • My husband has always taken a back seat to allow me to shine – standing behind me and cheering me on through the moves and promotions. As a parent, he always puts my job first and stays home with the kids when I have work obligations. Because of this I have been able to take risks in my career while also having a family. We’re now passing those values on to our daughters. We want to empower them to be strong, independent and smart women. And I hope they both find a spouse that empowers them just as much as their dad has empowered me. – Yeliza Centeio, Associate Media Director

  • Someone who has been an inspiration to me for a long time is Tavi Gevinson. She started writing a fashion blog when she was 11 years old, and turned it into an amazing site called Rookie, totally veering away from fashion to write and inspire young women who think they are alone in the world. I wish there was a Tavi when I was a teenager wondering what the hell was going on with me and my life. – Cassandra Murray, Office Manager

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