The 3% Conference 2013

October 16 - 17, 2013
On-demand video available following the event
A 2-day conference and community committed to building a business case for more creative female leadership in advertising.


50/50: How Men & Women Close the Gender Gap Together

Ignacio Oreamuno, executive director of The Art Directors Club, describes the new 50/50 Initiative to close the gender gap.  “The more women I work with, the more women I hire, and the more women I work for," he says, "the more successful I am."

Cindy Gallop: Sheryl Sandberg's 'Lean In' is Flawed

Cindy Gallop, the founder of MakeLoveNotPorn, debates Sheryl Sandberg's 'Lean In'  and argues that women need to redesign business instead of working inside the male-dominated system.

Guy Kawasaki: Photo Sharing Will Take Over the Internet

Guy Kawasaki, author of 'APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur,' suggests that photo sharing sites and posts with embedded photos boost interaction and virality. 

Kat Gordon: What a Gender Balanced Workplace Looks Like

Kat Gordon, founder of The 3% Conference, argues a gender-balanced creative team that embraces "otherness" delivers breakthrough thinking and makes deeper connections with the public.

The Motherhood Penalty: Why Gender Bias Still Matters

Janet Kestin, co-founder of Swim, describes the 'motherhood penalty' and other biases that put women and working mothers at a disadvantage in the workplace.

Bring Female Values to Business

Cindy Gallop argues that Sheryl Sandberg's "lean in" approach does not address the fact that business culture is male-centric and should be infused with female values.

Hiring More Women Makes Good Business Sense

Psychologist Alana Conner uses scientific studies to show how diversity helps businesses and argues that teams don't function at capacity until they are 40% women.

Working for Male 'Bitches' in the Workplace

Mimi Cook, Chief Creative Officer for Y&R SF and a panel of creative directors discuss their experience working for male "bitches" on their way to the top.

Paralyzed By Perfect? How the Risk-Averse Get Work Done

Amy Swift Crosby, founder of SMARTY, and Leo Burnett's Susan Credle discuss how to overcome perfection by experimenting and why frequent finish lines are better than one.

IDEO: The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly of Work-Life Balance

Jenn Maer, Design Director at IDEO, lists how she gets a life away from her job and how businesses can 'take the temperature' of the office. 

Scott Stratten, UnMarketing: Why QR Codes Kill Kittens

Scott Stratten, president of Unmarketing, explains why he hates mobile unfriendly QR codes on billboards, sliding doors, and in-flight magazines.

Waiting For Superwomen: Working Mom's Guilt Is Not Real

PJ Pereira, founder of Pereira & O'Dell, argues that working mothers need to ignore the pressure of choosing between breadwinner and homemaker.

Smoking and Obesity Are Not as Dangerous as Loneliness

Shasta Nelson, life coach and founder of, describes a new study about friendship that shows how loneliness can harm your health more than chain smoking, obesity, or alcoholism.

Want to Level the Playing Field? Show Up & Cut a Check

Melanie Lundquist, owner of the Intercontinental Hotel in San Francisco, argues that leading from behind does not help set an example for the next generation of women. 

The New Stay-at-Home Mom: How to Be a Working Mother

Creative consultant Cathy Campbell says that working from home can put life on hold, but it also gives freelancers more flexibility and family time.

Cindy Gallop: When Given the Choice "Be the Bitch"

About this conference

Launched on September 27, 2012 by founder Kat Gordon, the 3% Conference has exploded into a 2-day, 400-person event in San Francisco, multi-city road shows throughout the year, a vibrant online community on multiple social platforms, a student scholarship fund, a creative award, a business blog and more.
The 3% mission is to support more female creative leadership in advertising agencies because:
  1. Female consumers deserve to be marketed to from a place of understanding
  2. Brands deserve to not have their marketing budgets wasted in a 97% testro-fest
  3. Everyone - especially children -- deserve a healthier media diet in the 3,000 ads they consume daily

About The 3 Percent Conference

Kat Gordon worked for 20 years as a Copywriter/Creative Director and saw firsthand how women were often left out of pitches and important meetings. She describes the “Ultimate Emperor’s New Clothes Moment” of her life as the day her agency pitched the Saab car account with 16 men and one woman and then was mystified why they didn’t get the business.

Years later, as Kat ran her own agency that specializes in marketing to women, she became aware of the snowballing power of the female consumer.

“There are only three consumer categories where men dominate purchases, yet agencies still talk about ‘women’s accounts’ as mops and makeup. The truth is that women are the superset, not the subset, and the rate at which women are amassing wealth and exerting influence is unprecedented. Yet the work that is supposed to motivate them springs almost entirely from a male perspective. The advertising business is a $33 billion industry. Misunderstanding female consumers, from a business perspective, is sheer lunacy.”

After years of wondering “why isn’t someone addressing this as the huge business issue it is?” Kat slowly realized that perhaps she was that someone. She began researching the many reasons why women only represent 3% of Creative Directors. Most of the issues start with a two-word phrase: lack of. Lack of support for motherhood, lack of mentorship, lack of awareness that femaleness is an asset to connecting to the consumer marketplace today, lack of celebration of female work due to gender bias of award juries, lack of women negotiating their first agency salary and every one thereafter.

Kat then put together an agenda to combat these issues with an equally powerful two-word phrase: how to. The 3% Conference teaches men and women in agencies and on the client side how to address these issues in new ways and offers something that has been sorely lacking for female creatives: a sense of community.

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