“3 Percent Certified” Program to Audit Ad World Gender Equality

Kat GordonKat Gordon started the 3% Conference three years ago to change the fact that only three percent of creative directors in advertising are female. (We know—crazy, right?) At its annual conference in New York last week, the organization announced a plan to do more than talk about the problem.The “3 Percent Certified” program will give stamps of approval to ad agencies that are making a good-faith effort to improve gender equality. If a firm wants to be certified, it will submit information on salaries, leadership demographics, and the like to an independent committee, which will in turn deliver a set of new gender-related benchmarks for the company to aim for, along with suggestions for getting there.Here’s the coolest part of this idea: an agency will only be fully certified when it hits those new benchmarks. That is, only companies that walk the walk and do the hard work of actually changing their processes and cultures will enjoy the benefits of an official thumbs-up from the 3 Percent crew.Kind of genius, no?