Perspectives: Women in Advertising 2018
Tell us about who you are and what your job title is?
I’m Tyler Easterling, and I’m the President & COO of the The Brandon Agency
Was there a job you had at one point, outside of advertising, that prepared you most for success later in life?
Just after graduating college, I worked as a traveling consultant for my sorority and spent the year visiting college campuses to help assess each chapter’s challenges. I would provide them with an action plan and present it to them in a way which (hopefully) encouraged them to buy into it and helped them feel empowered enough to act upon it. Not only did it help me learn to listen, plan and present, but I also learned how to be flexible with extensive travel. I would be on the road for three months at a time—and this was before we had cell phones!
What do you see as being the biggest change in the advertising industry since women have begun to break the “glass ceiling”?
I think the biggest change has been the focus on “people”—both in the workplace and also in the way we message to the consumer. I truly believe that this industry is better when we draw upon the strengths, opinions and leadership from both genders, not to mention people from diverse backgrounds. It enables us to work together to generate ideas that reach all people, and not just a subset. As for challenges, I still think stereotypes exist with regard to women who want to have families and serve in leadership roles. The reality is that women can absolutely do it all—travel, work long hours and come up with brilliant ideas.
From Like A Girl to Fearless Girl, a raft of advertising campaigns have set out to empower women. How do you feel about these campaigns? Can they change attitudes within the industry?
I love the Fearless Girl statue and the recent flurry of empowerment messaging. But as much as I love this for women, I love empowerment messaging for all people. I think that anyone can do anything they put their mind to with hard work and a never-give-up attitude, two of the core characteristics I look for when I hire people at The Brandon Agency.
How have the recent #MeToo and #TimesUp movements played out in the advertising sector? Are they making a significant impact?
These movements are having a significant impact on our industry and in society in general, by encouraging women to speak out in all walks of life. But I would like to see it go even further. At The Brandon Agency, we’re committed to providing an environment where all employees are treated with courtesy, consideration and professionalism. I think that as a society we need to treat all people this way, and that’s my hope for the future.
Initiatives such as Free The Bid are trying to create more opportunities for women in advertising. But what could be done at a more grass roots level to attract women in the first place?
I don’t think, based on my experience, that we’re having a hard time attracting women to this industry. But we are having a hard time keeping women in this industry. As an industry, we need to be aware of why women do not consistently progress into senior positions—whether that’s due to long hours, extensive travel, or inflexibility with childcare—and figure out how to provide environments that make both a family and professional career an attainable reality.
Can you reflect on a mentor that helped guide you in your career and tell us what made them special?
I am lucky that I get to work with my mentor day-in and day-out. Scott Brandon challenges me every day to think differently, see things through others’ eyes and keep learning. I have learned so much from him about this industry and am truly grateful. He’s also a family man, smart, driven and loves to win. But most of all, he doesn’t ask you to do anything he wouldn’t do himself, and I admire that.
How do you as a successful woman plan to inspire the next generation of women? In a few words, what advice do you have for women entering the advertising industry?
I hope I inspire the next generation by being a positive example of someone who cares about people, is hard-working and not afraid to try new and different things. I want to be someone who provides a work environment where people have the tools and support they need to be their best and also someone who encourages people to turn it off and have some fun, too! I tell every woman entering this industry to speak up, be fearless, work hard, be honest and always keep learning.