In a time when diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) initiatives are being threatened and many corporate efforts are losing momentum, it is important for us to reinforce the significance and impact that every one of us can bring to the workplace. 

The National Women's History Alliance set this year’s theme for Women’s History Month as “Women Who Advocate for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.” According to the alliance, “the theme recognizes women throughout the country who understand that, for a positive future, we need to eliminate bias and discrimination entirely from our lives and institutions.” 

As G&S recognizes Women’s History Month, we put out a call for testimonies from our staff and they responded to one or all the following prompts:

  • Gender is a big part of a person’s identity, in the workplace and beyond. What is your experience of gender in the workplace today? And how does it intersect with other aspects of identity that are important to you?
  • As we approach Women’s History Month, we know representation matters. Who was a woman in your life who inspired you or gave you confidence relative to your career ambitions, or a personal passion?
  • What do you see as the tough or negative aspects of gender that are still a part of the workplace overall?  

Dana Ferrell, Managing Director 

My consideration of gender as a defining or influencing factor to my identity in the workplace is dramatically different today than it was when I began my career in PR 25 years ago. The industry has come a long way in recognizing, and rewarding, women for their contributions. While I know we still have a ways to go in pay equality and representation at the leadership level, I don’t see my gender as a factor to my success in the ways I did entering the workforce. I am grateful to the many women who fought, and continue to fight, gender discrimination in the workplace and have given professionals like me the confidence and pathway to a long and fulfilling career in PR. 

Luke Matson, Junior Account Executive 

My mother has been and always will be my biggest inspiration. I credit my work ethic and perseverance to her completely when it comes to work! She raised three of us on a single-parent income with little to no help from outside sources. She went through a very difficult separation from my father and shielded us completely from the negative effects of it. She also worked 3 jobs at one point and handled the stress with grace. Without her, none of us would be where we are today! I’m inspired every day by every strong woman who works to break the stigma of gendered roles in the workplace!  

I still tend to see a trend of women being denied opportunities in the workplace based on gender. I have heard stories from those close to me about clients and colleagues discrediting women for no reason other than, “They are women, they don’t know as much as us”. It’s not okay and it never will be, but as someone who doesn’t have to worry as much about these issues happening to me directly, it makes me feel empowered to help even more. I work with a team which is comprised of incredibly strong, independent, and wicked-smart women. If I can use my voice to help break the stigma, then I want to! 



Sierra Diers, Account Supervisor 

As a woman in corporate, I’ve been told to exclusively wear skirts/dresses, been mocked for being unmarried and childless, and regardless of industry, position, or tenure, my seat at the table has always been in question. These challenges speak to the extremely delicate line that we, as women, are expected to walk in the workplace. It’s a tightrope experience, where a single misstep can brand you as rude, emotional, dramatic, or indecisive. Our adaptability must be sharply tuned, and we must develop thick skin. To me, being a woman in corporate starts with embracing the challenge, understanding my strengths, and knowing my value. 



Katie Weaver, Account Director 

My Mom, who was born deaf, has been an unwavering source of inspiration and strength in my life. Her resilience, determination, and her ability to overcome obstacles and adversity with grace, have taught me more about perseverance than anything else. Her ability to disregard societal judgements and navigate her life without complaints or self-pity over the hardships she’s faced, has left me with so much admiration. She is a beacon of strength and courage, and she has played a significant role in shaping the person I am today. 


Emily Almich, Vice President of Media 

Out of six, I've been lucky enough to have had three strong, amazing women bosses in my career. They were all more than bosses. They were mentors, motivators and friends.   

My first female boss came when I switched agencies for the first time. I switched agencies because I wasn't feeling valued at my previous job. They didn't recognize my talents, but Gina, my new boss, did. She was always available to ask questions and set me on the right path to success. She challenged, encouraged, and always built me up.  

My second female boss came when I switched back to my original agency. I came back as an Associate Media Director, and she was a VP, and she was younger than me. I was so inspired by her grit and determination, but also her kindness and positive outlook. She formed a solid relationship with me, and I always knew that I had her support. She didn't view me as a competitor and always looked for areas to make me stronger. 

My third female boss came when I switched agencies again. She, too, was younger than me. But she recognized my talents and pushed me to work on new business, an area I was always perceived not to be interested in, or right for. But with my new boss, someone who didn't have preconceived notions about me, was impressed by my skills and continued to give me more new business opportunities and watched me grow and shine. I learned so much about media, the business of running a successful agency and how to grow from both a personal and professional development standpoint. 

Angelika Bermingham, Art Director 

For one of my first jobs, I served as a file clerk at a used car dealership. The automotive industry tends to be heavily male dominated. However, my direct supervisor, the office manager, stood out as a force to be reckoned with and the sole female leader within the company. 

Her impact on me was huge, possessing a blend of intellect, charisma, and empathy, as she navigated the company with finesse. She was able to read the room and guide its dynamics, never shying away from rolling up her sleeves to tackle challenges head-on. I went from file clerk to warranty admin, to assisting her with other high-level office duties within my years there. I know it was because of her support and guidance throughout that I was able to learn so much and make my mark in the company.   

At some point, I went to part-time status so I could also go to college and she consistently expressed genuine interest in my academic pursuits and projects. Her unwavering support served as a cornerstone in my life during that period. I was deeply honored when she attended my college graduation ceremony. It showed how much she believed in my potential and her commitment to nurturing my drive and passion. I will never forget her impact on my life. 

WHM_2024_Social-02Ashley Eisner, Account Director 

Identity as a woman in the workplace became most evident for me when I became a mother. Years ago, shortly after my daughter was born, someone left me an anonymous note saying “you really set a great example this year for young women in the office and at G&S.” It is still posted to my bulletin board as an affirmation and a positive reminder that others are looking on—at work and at home, including my children. 

A great deal has changed for the better for working parents during my generation, as well as representation of women in leadership roles. But at the same time, there are tangible barriers of American society that make it that much more difficult to balance work with motherhood, such as a discrepancy in the hours of a full-time workday with the hours of children’s school and extracurricular activities. But perhaps the most invisible barrier is the mental load of being a working mother, like the running checklists of to dos (and worries), keeping track of calendars, setting up playdates, and the guilt that comes with a perception of choosing success at work over success at parenting or vice versa.   

We have work to do, but that note reminds me that progress is being made little by little, and I admire the strong women before me who have served as role models in paving this bumpy path of working motherhood. 

WHM_2024_Social-02-1Brooke Dahmer, Associate Creative Director, Copy 

I believe women in marketing & advertising are a force to be reckoned with — and it’s not just because of the sheer number of us that work in this industry. It’s also not just a result of how hard women had to fight for respect and recognition in the field, as we look back to how things were in the industry just a few decades ago. To me, it’s simply because women are wired to be better communicators. Generally, we tend to be better at expressing ourselves, empathizing with others’ emotions, and putting ourselves in someone else’s shoes, thinking through what their reaction to a certain stimulus will be. And when you look at things from a creative perspective, it’s in this realm of emotional intelligence and being able to connect with the emotional motivations of others that female marketers and advertisers truly shine. After all, humans “buy with emotion & justify with logic,” so it’s easy to see why women would, and do, excel in this field. In fact, some of the most iconic campaigns in advertising history came from the minds of women, including De Beers’ “A Diamond is Forever,” L’Oréal’s “Because You’re Worth It,” Alka-Seltzer’s “Plop, Plop, Fizz, Fizz” and New York State Tourism’s “I HEART NY” to name just a few.   

In college, I was truly inspired by female copywriters like Shirley Polykoff, Mary Wells Lawrence, Helen Lansdowne Resor, and Jane Maas, as I learned about them in my advertising history course. I thank these incredibly talented ladies for pioneering the way forward for all of us women that work in advertising today.  

Many women in the workplace are labeled as pushy, demanding, or bossy simply by stating their opinions. We often use weaker language or qualifiers in our statements to coworkers, saying things like “Maybe we could try xyz,” or “I just thought that we could…” instead of stating our opinions clearly and decisively. I can’t remember where I heard that insight, but that always stuck with me, and to this day I am constantly correcting/reminding myself that it’s okay to state my opinion without any qualifiers.  

Also, while there is still so much work to be done in the realm of diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace, it’s wild to me that in 2024, gender still plays a role in how workers are compensated. The contributions of female and non-binary workers should be valued just the same as contributions made by male workers, and I think closing the wage gap is something we should all keep talking about and fighting for until it’s finally done. 

Mary Gordon, Vice President 

When I joined G&S 22 years ago as a junior account executive fresh out of journalism school at UNC Chapel Hill, it was still very much a man’s world. G&S was founded by two men, the CEO was a man, and all the agency shareholders were men. 

But it didn’t take long before women started rising through the G&S ranks, and I'm thankful that I had a front-row seat to all the action! 

I watched former G&S'ers like Kerry Henderson become the first female head of the Raleigh office and Ann Camden become one of the first female shareholders. 

I was there when current G&S’ers, Caryn Caratelli, Stephanie Moore and Kate Threewitts, were voted in as agency shareholders. I’ve been lucky enough to be directly supervised by Stephanie Moore and now, Caryn Caratelli. 

And, like all of you, I’ve been here to witness Anne Green become our first female CEO! 

Thanks to all of these fearless females who have blazed a trail for the rest of us to follow. The future of G&S is bright! 



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