Code and Theory’s Dan Gardner named Campaign US 40 Over 40 honoree
The advertising industry — and the business world — have always been obsessed with youth.
That’s proven by the countless lists that award people for their successes before reaching a certain age — 30 under 30, 40 under 40, etc.
But what about the people who have been working hard, heads down, to make the industry into the vibrant and effective place it is today?
Campaign US is proud to celebrate the over-40 crowd — people who have been dedicated to their craft and this industry for years while opening up the field for new talent and making the industry a better place to work for people of all genders, ethnicities and backgrounds.
Each year we put together this list with the hopes that it will become more diverse — a representation of the industry improving on diversity after years of promises and pledges. This year, with a list that’s more than 50% female and 40% BIPOC (compared to 22% last year), we see signs of progress in the upper echelons of the industry.
Leaders such as Kathryn Addo, Carlos Alija, Ali Alvarez, Raymond Brown, Fernando Musa, Geoff Edwards, Suresh Raj, Marc Wilson, Kara Buckner and Anup Shah are paving the way for more diverse faces at the top tiers creative agencies and brands. Meanwhile Jill Cruz, Catherine Henry, Della Mathew, Femaris Peña, Dameon Pope, KR Liu and Khartoon Weiss are doing the same in media and tech.
As for female representation, more than 12 women on this list hold CEO, CMO or other C-level titles, proof that women are rising up the ranks or launching their own successful ventures in the space.
But the numbers only tell part of the story. As these leaders will tell you themselves, the focus now is about creating inclusive workplace environments where talent can thrive. Having diverse leaders at the top is critical to making that happen. As we celebrate the leaders of today, we’re getting closer to that goal.
Every single person recognized on this list led their company and their teams during a yet another confusing stage of the pandemic — as office doors began to reopen and the industry started to grapple with a hybrid future. They will be at the forefront of defining the future of work moving forward, whatever that might look like.
Congratulations to all of our well-deserving 40 Over 40 honorees, featured below. Keep pushing, keep leading and keep fighting for a better industry — for clients and for talent of all kinds.
And remember: Age is just a number and experience is priceless.
Alison Weissbrot is the Editor of Campaign US.