For over 100 years, International Women’s Day has been celebrated as an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women and promote the idea of a gender-balanced world. As a certified Women’s Owned Business, Smith Design is delighted to celebrate this significant day and recognize the progress that has been made so far, as well as identify the work that still lies ahead.
A balanced world is a better world, as Smith Design CEO Jenna Smith knows well. When asked to mention a woman who has inspired her, Jenna didn’t have to look far. Jenna grew up watching her mother Laraine, co-founder of Smith Design, working alongside her father in building the business and navigating the intricacies of account management and business development. In fact, Jenna still counts on Laraine as a key player in the agency’s business development strategy.
Forty years ago, when Laraine and James founded Smith Design, agencies were clearly a man’s world and, while tremendous progress has been made, the gender balance still tilts towards men in most agencies today. You won’t see that disparity at Smith Design – the team Jenna has assembled is 50% women, and that is more than just a happy coincidence. The split in demographics is significant, but even more important is the purpose behind the equal playing field.
“As women, we must approach equality not as a fight to be won, but as a new strategic direction,” Jenna noted. “We must talk about reflecting women’s priorities in order to give us the platform to excel to our fullest potential while remaining every bit a woman. Myself and other women in roles of leadership must demonstrate that the cultural reset, the shift in beliefs and expectations is about women having every opportunity to bring their best game to the match every day.”
Jenna’s passion for creating design solutions for a wide range of clients and brand challenges has been a big factor in the success of Smith Design. Thanks to her leadership abilities and branding expertise, Jenna has been selected as one of New Jersey’s Best Marketing and Communications Professionals Under 40 and was recognized as one of NJ BIZ Best Women in Business.
International Women’s Day is a great reminder to pause and reflect on the importance of building a gender-balanced workplace, and all of the benefits that philosophy brings. We encourage everyone to visit www.internationalwomensday.com to learn more about how you can get involved and do your part to #balanceforbetter.