gender #KNBLeads

Women's Equality Day at KNB Communications

By Beth Cooper

This women's equality day, we posed a question to the healthcare public relations and marketing experts on our staff (many of whom are women): "Is KNB doing enough to make sure you feel like women have equality here?"

The responses we got were too good not to share. We want to stress: we know we are not perfect, but we're proud of the effort we have put in--and will continue to put in--to work towards true gender equality in the workplace. We hope others will be inspired to see that attitudes and beliefs are changing, and they'll feel empowered to speak up and make progress wherever they are as well.  

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

KNB has created an organizational culture every company should adopt. KNB invests in its employees to be our best - personally and professionally. Our culture champions women, values diversity and promotes equality. KNB has created a network of female allies and advocates. In fact, women in leadership roles at KNB outnumber men. This is more than a job or a workplace culture to all of us. It is a place where we can be ourselves, connect with women who we admire, and strive to be the women we want to become. 

At KNB, we are all treated with kindness and respect, which motivates us. We collaborate, which makes us work smarter. We have a work-life balance, which makes us work harder. Most importantly, we are all passionate about helping people, which inspires us. I’m incredibly thankful to work with people who are kind, driven, collaborative, interesting, intelligent, compassionate, and hardworking. KNB truly values these characteristics in its employees, regardless of gender, race, or sexual orientation. In fact, KNB values our differences and promotes equity in the workplace. Because of these values and the culture KNB has worked so diligently to promote, my life - personally and professionally - has never been so fulfilling.

— Laura

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I remember a door-to-door salesman coming to our house when I was a kid. My mom answered, though my dad was just steps behind her. The salesman saw her first and said, “I’d like to speak to the man of the house.” Immediately, my dad entered the frame and replied, “You can speak to the man of the house, but wouldn’t you rather speak to the woman who is in charge?”

I was only six or seven, but that conversation stuck with me into adulthood. My dad humorously and accurately (but perhaps not subtlety) called out the misogyny he witnessed and empowered my mother (and his three spying daughters) in that moment. Childhood innocence allowed me to assume that’s how most “men of the house” were. The day I started my first job, I quickly learned otherwise. But I never stopped striving to find a like-minded employer; someone who didn’t feel threatened by putting women in charge and acknowledging their rightful place at the decision-making table. It took several decades, but I finally found it at KNB. 

I’m proud to work for a company that values, trusts, and promotes women. KNB is a place where smashing the status quo is encouraged, being hushed is foreign, and equality is practiced. 

— Amy 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I have never been able to bring my whole, genuine self to work before. I’m a smart, educated, motivated person who has goals and wants to accomplish great things in business...but I’m also very feminine by nature. I like ruffles, lipstick, baking, cuddly animals and everything pink.  

Early on in my career, I learned how to succeed as a woman by watching (few and far between) female executives. They wore low heels, short hair, and suits in dull colors, so I did the same. In the rare case they had children, they never spoke about them for fear of the “mom penalty.” One time, I baked cookies for my team and an older female mentor took me aside and told me not to do that. That it would give the wrong impression to male execs. I thanked her for the insight. 

For years, I subdued my natural, bubbly personality and adopted the more masculine traits that were favored by traditional management. I worked on being more directive, less collaborative. I tried to be assertive, not compliant. I wasn’t unhappy. I accepted it as the way the world worked. 

Even when I started at KNB, it took awhile for me to be convinced that it was really different here. Slowly, I began opening up about my family. I wore outfits I actually liked. Nobody batted an eyelash and in fact, I was promoted. It’s funny the little things that make a big difference. One Christmas, my (male) boss got me colorful glitter pens. I’m an avid note taker and I love rainbows and sparkles. Those pens said to me, “I see you, and I accept you.” In the past, there is no chance I would have brought a pink glitter pen to a business meeting. At KNB, I felt like I had management’s blessing. 

Five years later, I feel very few inhibitions about just being unapologetically me at work. Management has consistently shown me I will not be dinged for expressing my creative or emotional sides. In fact, I’ve been told to consider those my strengths and have been mentored on how to use them strategically. Taking it a step further, I feel empowered to show other women who work here that they can be themselves, too, whatever that looks like to them personally. We can talk about kids or pets without being considered too soft. We can wear makeup (or not wear makeup) and do our hair exactly as we please without feeling judged on looking “professional.” There are new workplace standards being made here, and I’m thrilled to be a part of it.     

-Beth

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

As a black woman who's worked in predominantly white spaces for just under a decade since graduating college, I've experienced it all - microaggressions, doubt, white savior complexes, you name it, it's happened. At one point I convinced myself that my workplace friendships were a sign of my white counterparts seeing past my race and embracing me as an equal.

 However, it wasn't until I realized that everyday I entered the workplace, I would "code switch" - so there was no way my co-workers could truly embarrass me as my actual self. 

I’ve  always felt the need to conform to my surroundings in order to succeed in my career. 

Since starting at KNB 6 months ago, I've never felt the need to code switch, I always feel as though my work speaks for itself, and I sense a true camaraderie among the staff and specifically the women at the agency. It's very refreshing to actually love where I work. 

— Christina

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

KNB is undoubtedly one of the most forward-thinking, inclusive, and talented workplaces I've been fortunate to be part of. What makes our culture unique and special is the respect we have for one another. Collectively, we view independent perspectives and past experiences as added value; this is something not every workplace welcomes freely. The impact this has on a woman growing in her career is substantial. I've never been accustomed to (strong women leadership) who didn't belittle my ideas for fear of their job being jeopardized, and instead, cheered me on for pushing the envelope. Before coming to KNB, I've worked with a number of personalities that hindered my growth and can even recall one time being told, "We have not once done that here, nor will we ever. You will need to accept this as we won't change." This was stated by a woman who never questioned the decisions made by their male leadership.

Women want to feel heard, equal, and know what and how they are contributing to an organization. This starts at the top. Our organization is led by a strong (male) leader who not only asks for your input, but listens and implements those ideas. My most challenging experiences as a woman in the workplace have helped me grow and understand the responsibility I need to take on in order to pave a better path for women in the workplace.

-Corrie

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Times are changing; however, it isn’t possible to have change without change-makers such as KNB Communications. In my short time here, I have been overwhelmingly impressed with the amazing talent I call my coworkers, most of whom are women. Coming from a social/cultural background where women come after men, I’ve placed limitations on myself. Probably a defense mechanism in order to be a happy person. I’ve been fortunate to have good work environments but I didn’t know how good it could be until I arrived at KNB, where I work among women that have embraced this empowered culture that embraces individuality. Every day I learn from them, grow a little bit, and realize the value of who I am. I’ve unearthed many of the limitations I’ve placed on myself, discovered I can do more than I thought I was capable of doing, and feel valued for it.  The women of KNB are femenine, tough, intelligent, creative, and fun, and it is by design of the forward thinkers that created this environment. I look forward to seeing more organizations adopting a culture like KNB’s, and seeing future generations of women that will have the path paved to thrive and shine.  

-Gaby

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Many men and women in the workforce can relate to feeling defeated from time to time. However, as a woman, it can be exhausting to consider that gender alone could play a role in these moments of defeat. As a result, women typically feel the urge to overcompensate; we work harder, work longer, and stretch ourselves thinner to equate our worth to our male counterparts. While this may be a quiet, known truth in today's professional world, KNB has decidedly and loudly taken a stance against the age-old standards that form the source of this toxic self-doubt.

The leadership team at KNB, men and women alike, are as equally dedicated to their team as their clients. They support healthy boundaries, embrace work-life balance, and encourage individual growth. The culture at KNB shifts the narrative from moments of defeat to opportunities for growth. Propped up by a passionate, endlessly talented (no really, endlessly) team of colleagues, the benefits of this positive and creative environment extend far beyond office hours. 

-Emily


by Beth Cooper

Related Posts:

healthcare gender health data
 October 6, 2021

The Gender Disparity in Healthcare and 4 Ways We C...

healthIT agency marketer medical marketing healthcare marketing social responsibility metoo gender gender equality
 January 22, 2019

A #MeToo Call-to-Action for Healthcare Marketers

Subscribe to Email Updates