10 Things YOU Can Do Right Now To Make Your Workplace Better

Audience in the Girls' Lounge at Advertising Week in New York City.

In the Girls’ Lounge @ Advertising Week: Companies don’t make culture; people make culture.

You’ll spend 90,000 hours at work over your lifetime, and your workplace culture impacts your happiness both on and off the job. Companies don’t make culture, people make culture — and it’s up to each and every one of us to help create a workplace that works for us. Thought leaders inside the Girls’ Lounge at Advertising Week shared their insights on how to achieve that:

Don’t Be Afraid to Promote Yourself

“Research shows that women are well represented in middle management, but greatly drop off at the VP level…One way to tackle the gap in leadership is through self promotion. Accomplishments don’t speak for themselves. While it’s something that feels uncomfortable [for many women] to do, keep pushing yourselves. It’s not bragging if it’s based on facts.”
~Cori Fernandez, Account Executive, Global Platforms, Google

Stretch Yourself

“Take an opportunity that you’re going to stretch yourself in. Learn something new this week.”
~Jeanette Calandra, Managing Partner, PwC Silicon Valley

Call Out Unconscious Bias

“On a personal level, I’m concerned my teenage boys don’t know how to interact with women and people who are not like them. Take that into my career; we have an obligation to represent women, close the inclusion gap, and eliminate bias.”
~Bill Moseley, Director, Marketing Communications, AT&T

There Is Always a Solution, You Just Have to Find It

“If the door is closed, go in through a window. If the window is closed, climb down the chimney. Look at problems in other ways and re-strategize!”
~Gretchen Saegh-Fleming, Chief Marketing Officer, L’Oreal USA

Equality Won’t Happen Unless Men and Women Work Together

“It’s a two-way street. It’s not just about women taking their rightful place, but about the equality conversation. Men are wondering what to do next; they want to do the right thing. We have to do it together!”
~Nadine Karp McHugh, SVP Omni Media, Strategy, Investments, Data Driven Marketing and Creative Solutions, L’Oreal

Embrace Excellence

“I want to grow in my job and climb the corporate ladder because I’m the best at my job, not because I’m a woman. We need men’s help to get involved and recognize that there really is inequality.”
~Laura Molen, EVP, NBCU Lifestyle and Hispanic Ad Sales at NBCUniversal

Create a Culture of Respect

“One of the best ways to be empathetic, to treat women with respect, and to create a better society is to teach our sons so that they can take that into the next generation of men.”
~Pankaj Bhalla, Director, Gillette and Venus, North America, P&G

Self Care Isn’t Selfish

“If you’re not taking care of yourself, you’re not able to take care of anyone else.”
~Molly Lisenco, Senior Manager, Customer Support, Braze

Bring Your Whole Self to Work

“I was told in a training session not to cry at work—and especially don’t cry if you’re a woman. I think that is changing and [employers are recognizing the value in bringing your] whole self to work. You can’t shut off all the other parts of yourself when you walk into the office at 9 a.m., and then turn it back on at 6 p.m.”
~Carey Shuffman, Head of Women Strategic Client Segment, UBS

A Woman Alone Has Power; Together We Have Impact

“On your mission in life, no matter where you go or what you do, do it together. That’s the key.”
~Ann Rosenberg, SVP and Global Head, SAP Next-Gen
For more on transforming workplace culture, check out:
Why We Need To Redefine Masculinity At Work—And In The World
Women Rising: How To Succeed In Male-Dominated Industries
Want To Be Happier At Work? The Secret Lies In The Power Of Connections