This week was the week creative women came to class, via Skype. I was all set to have my Italian and American students meet them. And then the clock changed – but only in America. That one hour changed everything. While the women were flexible, the Italian system was not. Alas, just two Italian students, plus my American class, got to meet the amazing Christina Knight. Lucky them!
Christina Knight is one of Sweden’s most renowned creative directors. She is creative director at INGO – Ogilvy & Grey in Stockholm. She also lectures at Berghs School of Communication, Forsbergs Skola and The University of Stockholm. Christina is often in the juries of Award shows such as Cannes Lions, Guldägget, Guldlådan and Eurobest. This is good news for us all. She’s smart and female – and there just aren’t enough of them on judging panels. Check out this short YouTube video and see Christina for yourself.
She spoke with the students for nearly an hour sharing her wisdom and hope for the future. Among her many jewels of wisdom were these:
“Be yourself.” After all, you can’t be anyone else.
“If you can’t see it, you can’t be it.” Speaks to the need for more creative women.
“Advertising needs diversity.” It needs to look more like the world it speaks to.
“Use your intuitive gifts.” Your best ideas will be intuitive.
“Take up space.” Make yourselves and your ideas heard, never be timid.
“Look outside of advertising for your inspiration.” Engage with the world.
“There a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women,” quoting Madeleine Albright,
Knight, who is passionate about mentoring others, especially women, recently penned Mad Women: A Herstory of Advertising. The book tells her story and captures some of the voices of other advertising women with great stories to tell, great experiences to share and great advice to pass along. Her vision was that the book would serve as a source of inspiration, empowering young women in the industry, but also as an encouragement to share and continue weaving their stories into a communal whole – a herstory that enhances the industry. Knight features women from seven countries across multiple disciplines. From Sweden: Nina Akestam, Anna Qvennerstedt, Catrin Vagnemark and herself. From Germany: Stefanie Wurst. From Britain: Cilla Snowball. From South Africa: Nuna Ntsingila. From India: Rahkshin Patel. From South Korea: Margaret Key. For the United States: Shelly Lazarus, Kat Gordon, Susan Hoffman, Mary Wells Lawrence and yours truly. I could not be more thrilled or more humbled to be in the company of such great women.