FIRST THOUGHT: Be Fearless!
Today, we’re talking about fearlessness. Of course, there are varying levels of fearlessness. There’s the you-are-out-of-your-mind level. You know, like when contestants eat an African cave-dwelling spider on reality show Fear Factor just to make it to the next round. Then there’s the everyday stuff that takes just about as much courage, like making a cold story pitch about your business to a magazine, committing to a cross-country move in pursuit of a better job or proudly donning a pair of pleather skinny pants. Whatever your amount of fearlessness, we’ve all got a little in us. It’s part of what makes for memorable experiences and helps us move mountains. Today, do something bold—except maybe stay away from spiders.
WOMEN IN NUMBERS: 7
Sometimes bravery comes in the form of simply existing—and even thriving—in a realm in which you’re not part of the majority. For instance, MSCI, which supplies research and analytics about the investment community, found that of the 2,500 members in its key global index, women control only seven companies. While that number may be minimal, these women’s contributions aren’t, with more than half of them outperforming their industry colleagues.
WOMEN TO WATCH: Tali Gumbiner and Lizzie Wilson, Creators of the Fearless Girl Statue
About this time last year, I told you about the newly erected bronze statue in the financial district of Manhattan called Fearless Girl. While on a trip to New York City, I witnessed this empowering piece of art in person and can tell you it was truly inspiring. Aside from Fearless Girl being a radical symbol of the fact that there need to be more women in senior leadership positions in the financial world, Wall Street’s defiant sculpture was actually conceptualized and created by women. Renowned bronze sculptor Kristen Visbal masterfully executed the piece, which was commissioned by State Street Global Advisors in an attempt to bring more awareness to gender disparity in corporate America.
The investment firm turned to advertising agency McCann New York to make this artistic dream a reality, and that’s when the real magic started happening. Two accomplished women led the charge: creative director and copywriting whiz Tali Gumbiner and dynamo art director Lizzie Wilson.
Tali is an associate creative director at McCann, a global ad agency that has a presence in more than 100 countries throughout the world. Her praiseworthy job title comes after years of putting in her time and brilliance at a variety of agencies, first as a creative assistant and later as an award-winning copywriter earning scads of honors and accolades. Likewise, Lizzie has made her mark in the ad industry as a senior art director for McCann, establishing herself as a top creative force with a remarkable innovative talent uncommon in the industry.
Tali and Lizzie spent about a year conceptualizing Fearless Girl, and published a short video depicting the rigorous process. From paper to foam to clay to blowtorches, the process of creation alone is mesmerizing. They unveiled the statue on International Women’s Day 2017, noting Fearless Girl’s significant placement, directly and defiantly facing Wall Street’s Charging Bull statue.
The collaboration between Tali, Lizzie and Kristen resulted in not only one of the most powerful statements about the fight for gender equality; it also garnered global headlines and a top accolade: the Glass Lion Grand Prix at the Cannes Lion Festival of Creativity.
Fearless Girl exhibits more than what it’s like to be a plucky gal. It’s proof that when women work together, we are a formidable, unstoppable force.
QUITE THE QUOTE
Today’s fitting and inspiring quote comes from Arianna Huffington, who said:
“Fearlessness is like a muscle. I know from my own life that the more I exercise it, the more natural it becomes to not let my fears run me.”
This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.