The Motion Agency celebrated International Women’s Day by inviting dozens of industry guests to a panel discussion and networking event titled, “Our Focus Our Future,” at their River North office on Friday afternoon.
Described as “20 Women Leading the Way in 2020,” the highlight of the program featured nearly two-dozen female executives and entrepreneurs answering questions read by ABC 7 News Transportation Anchor Roz Varon, who moderated the panel with primetime finesse.
She began by asking the women to offer a description of their careers, and then read thoughtful and individualized questions prepared exclusively for each one.
Hailing from companies and organizations like Allstate, Leo Burnett, McDonald’s, Ogilvy, and the Steppenwolf Theatre Compan, the panel enlightened the crowd with heartfelt moxie for the ensuing hour and a half.
A Broadcast Business Manager explained how “the older worker is being pushed out.” A Senior Director of Consumer Engagement shared her technique for overcoming the “unapproachable” label that had once been used to describe her. A labor organization Chief of Staff advised men to “think before you speak.”
“If you see a woman who looks pregnant, you don’t ask her if she’s pregnant,” she said. “Chances are, I just ate a burger and fries for lunch.”
The panel immediately proved that exploring topics relevant to woman can provide valuable and relevant insight to professionals of any gender.
An afternoon with smart women having a drink
“Our Focus Our Future” was organized and hosted by Kimberly Eberl, founder and CEO of The Motion Agency.
“The goals for today are A, B, C, and F,” she explained before the discussion began. “’A’ is an appreciation for all the accomplishments of women today. ‘B’ is to bring women together, and men, and connect and network. ‘C ‘is change. You know, we hope everyone has a little inspiration today to change their mindset, change their thinking, or change something about themselves. And ‘F’ is for fun. We love to have fun, you know. Nothing’s better than a Friday afternoon with some smart women having a drink.”
A former employee of “bigger agencies” like Weber Shandwick and Ogilvy, Eberl launched Motion 14 years ago. Today, it is the largest woman-owned marketing agency in Chicago, handling accounts like the Boys and Girls Club of America, Home Depot, Tractor Supply Company, Rush Hospital, and Nike.
A unanimous thumbs-up
As guests mingled with wine and cheese after the panel discussion, they gave the event a unanimous thumbs-up.
“I was tremendously inspired by so many of the women and their stories,” said Brooke Bartos, Senior Manager of Marketing Operations at Walker Sands. ”The thing that resonated most for me was being true to yourself and speaking your truth, bringing confidence behind it, and following the passions that you have to make your wishes come to fruition with that passion.”
Bartos’ coworker, Director of Project Management Joslyn Murray, also felt invigorated. “One of the presenters, I really liked the way she talked about pivoting in her career,” she said. “I’m a Millennial, so I pivoted a lot to get where I am now, so I like to think of it as pivoting and not quitting.”
“One of the most important things that I really found about was, in a lot of ways there’s been a big verbal divide between men and women,” said Scott Eggers. Senior Project Manager at The Motion Agency. “I’m finding that a lot of the struggles that women have, really, men have the same issues. You see a lot of parallels between where people and their careers and their lives really intersect. We’re all kind of dealing with the same thing.”
Terrance McDermott, VP of Demand Generation at Allison+Partners, was impressed with “the comfort level all of those women had with their success.”
“There was no apology for their success,” he explained. “They earned it and they know they earned it and they deserved it.”
According to Roz Varon, putting all that success into the same room is a win-win for everybody. “I walk away with a renewed sense of self-confidence,” she exclaimed after moderating the panel. “The very best part of doing this is networking with all these women. I mean, picking up on the advice and also, in the back of my mind, listening to advice for my 24-year-old daughter so I can pass that along.”