Women in Adland: 6 takeaways from Omniwomen

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Tonise Paul, Energy BBDO CEO; Dr. Sharon Melnick; Barri Rafftery, Ketchum North America CEO; Janet Riccio, Dean of Omnicom University; Robin Shapiro, TBWA/CAHG President; Morgan Flatley, Gatorade and Propel CMO.
Tonise Paul, Energy BBDO CEO; Dr. Sharon Melnick; Barri Rafftery, Ketchum North America CEO; Janet Riccio, Dean of Omnicom University; Robin Shapiro, TBWA/CAHG President; Morgan Flatley, Gatorade and Propel CMO.

Women's professional progression is not a women's issue but a business imperative

"Women are 35 percent less likely to take breaks at work."

This is just one of the startling statistics that Omniwomen speakers discussed during a panel session entitled, "Intentional Living, Being More Productive under Stress." Omniwomen, a global organization within Omnicom, is dedicated to promoting networking and career opportunities, as well as developing the female leaders of tomorrow.

Women’s professional progression is not a women’s issue but a business imperative. Diverse and inclusive management teams and boards financially outperform those that are not. In today’s economy, an inclusive workplace is a competitive advantage. After all, the best investment we can make is in our human capital.

While there may be no single template for success, here are six takeaways, straight from the senior executives pictured above.

1) Live intentionally

According to the experts, we are interrupted on average seven times hour and waste approximately two hours a day on distractions.

It is more critical than ever, because of the velocity of our lives, that we find more time in our day and stayed focused amidst neverending distractions. Everything we do must be done with consciousness, fulfilling our core values (career, family, mentorship, and/or volunteerism). This will lay a proper foundation for living an intentional, productive life in today’s always-on, always-connected world.

2) Forget stress management; try self-management??

Just because you can, doesn't mean you should. We don’t just have "free will"; we also have "free won’t." It's all about sustaining ourselves and picking our battles on what is meaningful and important.

3) Don't become a control freak

Research suggests that around 50 percent of things are outside of our control. We need to focus our energy on the 50 percent that you can control and improve, and be impeccable at it.

4) Hit the Pause button

According to statistics, women are 35 percent less likely to take breaks at work. We must be disciplined in finding the time for ourselves each day to pause and recharge. Time away is often just as valuable as the time that you are working. More often than not, when you are away is when creativity happens. After a sprint, our bodies need mental and physical recovery to be productive.

5) Search for work/life integration, not balance

We all live "one" life. Personal and professional can’t be separated, and shouldn’t. We must blur the lines and integrate all parts of our life to drive each more efficiently and with more heart.

6) Ask for help and give back

Lastly, find a sponsor. A sponsor is someone that is your advocate, someone who champions you through your career. If you don't have that someone, search that person out. On the flipside, identify a high-potential woman who might be someone that you can champion.

 Janet Riccio is the dean of Omnicom University and head of OmniWomen, Omnicom’s women’s network.

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