(By ALIISA LEE)
“It’s your own ability, not just because of being a woman, that should give you an advantage,” noted Kat Peeler during the Women in Marketing and Advertising panel. With their range of backgrounds and specialties, each of the three panelists were able to offer a unique perspective on the moderator’s questions, while together offering cohesive and entertaining advice to the panel’s attendees.
The panelists touched on the challenges and frustrations faced in the marketing industry, though as Peeler noted, “the challenges of being a woman are not specific to marketing.” All noticed that in most companies they have worked in and seen, the number of women thins out as the ranks rise in seniority. While his phenomena has been slow in reversing, there is evidence showing its slow edging towards a more fair playing field. Ali challenged the idea that a woman has to choose two the three choices of “a big job, a spouse, and kids,” and Lee offered practical ways to work towards an equal field: “Don’t always be willing to take the seat on the side.” However, all speakers said their journey hasn’t been particularly helped or hindered by their being a woman, and the majority of the session spoke to the positive aspects the speakers have found in advertising.
The three of them offered a wealth of advice and experience specific to women in advertising, as well as to Princeton students in general. Peeler suggested joining something like a debate society, since in the marketing sphere, “being persuasive often trumps being right.” Along the same vein, Demos, enthusiastically advised, “Lean to tell a story with an arch so persuasive everyone has no choice but to land where you do!” At the same time, the panelists emphasized the importance of learning to be a good listener; as Lee shared, you can “sell so much more if you listen to the client rather than loudly sell, sell sell.” Further advice included being attuned to patterns, trusting your gut, and perhaps most importantly, not to use the Princeton name as an excuse to skip doing homework and research.