11 Ad Leaders on #MeToo and How to Effect Real Change

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#MeToo. The Woman in the Room. #TimesUp. Diet Madison Avenue. The historically male-dominated advertising industry is at inflection point as allegations of sexual harassment, discrimination and predatory behavior continue to seep from of a number of agencies.

During our Agency A-List photo shoots, Ad Age sat down with 11 industry leaders to discuss what they believe it will take to create true reform within agencies and holding companies. Here's a snapshot of what they say needs to happen:

Practice what you preach
"To create true reform in the industry we have got to do a lot more action, a little less talk."
—Sarah Hofstetter, CEO, 360i

Create unity
"I think we're going to have to come together as an industry and decide how best to change. Maybe the court of public opinion isn't the best way to do this."
—Debbi Vandeven, global chief creative officer, VML

Be accountable
"There's a greater consequence of it getting out and you not being in control of the story. And so I think that there's now disincentive to protect that kind of bad behavior."
—Elizabeth Paul, senior VP, head of strategy, MullenLowe

Communicate clearly
"I think the most important thing that can come out of this thing is just really open, transparent communication. No more hiding things, no more hiding issues. Get to the heart of it."
—Alex Leikikh, global CEO, MullenLowe Group

Assess and adapt
"Any change that starts from a place of fear won't be lasting change. It's gotta start from a place of real commitment to make the change over a long time."
—John Boiler, creative co-chair and founder, 72andSunny

Put policies in place
"If you have a zero tolerance policy make sure you have zero tolerance."
—Tiffany Francis, chief talent officer, 360i

Lead by example
"I do believe that we need to get more women leaders, more directors, more rising creative women ready for leadership because when women move into positions of power sexual harassment will naturally just go away."
—Chloe Gottlieb, chief creative officer, R/GA

Empower voices
"You have to have female leadership and you have to empower them to set the tone for the company, to set the values for the company, to encourage people to communicate with each other."
—Jason Stein, founder and CEO, Laundry Service

Stop stalling
"It starts first and foremost with companies understanding that the work is just getting started. Agencies have this really unique moment to start to change society from the inside out."
—Emily Wilcox, head of account management, Johannes Leonardo

Involve everyone
"We don't just need balance with male and female, we need a lot of diversity."
—Susan Hoffman, co-chief creative officer, Wieden & Kennedy

Commit to change
"But also we have to act. I think we have to be completely committed to greater gender equality."
—Karina Wilsher, global chief creative officer, Anomaly

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