We Are More Connected Than Ever: Shari Reichenberg

How would you describe the overall culture at your agency?

I’d describe it as honest and authentic, passionately socially active and conscious, hardworking and loyal. Our people look out for each other. They care – about each other, our clients, and our business. They are real and imperfect, but they take ownership and work through challenges together. Truth be told, in many ways, RAPP has one of the best groups of colleagues I’ve ever worked with. 

In your opinion, what do you see as the biggest change in the advertising industry since women have begun to break the glass ceiling?

It’s funny; I struggled with this question at first because I’m not sure I’m ready to say that we’ve “begun to break the glass ceiling,” especially a year into a pandemic that has driven so many women out of the workforce altogether, that female workforce participation is at the lowest level it’s been since 1988. And although the percentage of women in leadership positions within the advertising industry is increasing, women of color are still greatly underrepresented at the top. 

That said, we have undoubtedly made progress -- perhaps more so in certain agencies or markets than in others. There’s no question that there has been some change for the good. I think a lot of the work in-market is more culturally sensitive. Quartz magazine said that “women are making advertising funnier, smarter and way less sexist.” DEI representation metrics are slowly improving. And I’d say that, anecdotally, I see the agency and holding company reorganizations led by women resulting in more streamlined, more connected, and more efficient structures – with fewer layers of highly paid management that inevitably slow title and compensation progression for the more junior talent.

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