"Leaving a great gig to start your own business is a risk I'd never been willing to take, until this," said Caroline Dettman, who is stepping down from her role as chief creative officer of Golin to co-found a consultancy focused on driving gender equity.
But, as Dettman said, taking risks can lead to rewards, and the newly launched Have Her Back Consulting aims to make "a huge impact to advance women."
"Culture is on our side. Companies are realizing this is a giant opportunity. I'm betting on us," she told Campaign US.
Dettman launched the "Have Her Back" initiative within Interpublic Group’s Golin in March 2018 to help welcome female creatives back to the industry and propel all women’s careers forward.
The new company, co-founded with former Golin execs Erin Gallagher and Pamela Culpepper, is being backed by IPG, which is taking a minority stake in the business. HHB Consulting, which will operate out of The Wing in Chicago through the end of 2019, will work with companies and brands to advance equity for women both internally from a culture standpoint and externally on go-to-market strategies.
IPG Chairman and CEO Michael Roth said: "This team came to us with an idea for an investment, and I said, ‘Great, let’s take a look at it.’ They identified a niche in the market, and it’s obvious they have the right experience and capabilities to deliver on it. We see HHB as a great opportunity for clients, for these women leaders, and for IPG."
Culpepper, most recently chief people officer at Golin, said author Tim Ferriss’ inspired her to make this move when he said, "What we fear doing most is usually what we most need to do."
"I believe that to be true in life, love and work, and it has certainly kept me beholden to safe, slow shifts in equitable environments for women," Culpepper said. "My move to Have Her Back Consulting is my personal shift from intention to intentionality and I am very excited to support companies that have also chosen to exchange ‘more of the same’ for deliberate acts of equity."
In addition to being driven by movements like #MeToo and Time’s Up, Gallagher – former executive director of marketing at Golin – said having her two sons changed her and shifted her perspectives forever.
"What started out as a passion project to advance equity for women quickly consumed me and proved itself to become my life's work," she said. "Doing work that fills your time is something. But doing work that fills your soul is everything. That's what Have Her Back Consulting means to me. And founding this business with two women who are my soul sisters is destiny."