VI Celebrates International Women's Day

Posted: Mar 8, 2023

Topics: Culture

In 1908, a group of women marched in New York City to demand better pay, shorter working hours, and the right to vote. Three years after that, the first annual International Women's Day was celebrated, and 112 years later, this annual holiday is recognized in more than 27 countries and is celebrated by people around the globe on March 8th.

International Women's Day provides an opportunity to reflect on the progress made toward gender equality and equity, and recognize the challenges that still exist. By celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women everywhere, we can educate ourselves and start important conversations that lead to positive change in our world.

At VI, we're proud to celebrate the women who bring so much value to our team every single day – but especially on International Women's Day. So, to celebrate the 112th anniversary, we asked the most phenomenal women we know to share their stories, advice, words of encouragement, and insights on what it means to be a woman in the modern world:

As a woman, what challenges have you faced and how did you overcome them?

Grace Heppler, Human Resources Director.

One of my biggest professional challenges was trying to balance being a mom to small children, while still being able to go to work to support my family. I overcame this by constantly figuring out ways to get my work done and be involved in my children's school, extracurricular activities, church, etc. I succeeded with my husband's help, as well as supportive managers who knew I would still do great work while taking care of my family.
- Grace Heppler, Human Resources Director

As a woman, I often find challenge in feeling like I'm enough or not too much for a given situation, which I used to think was a need to fit myself into the spaces I'm in, but I now realize is shifting my mindset to find spaces that are the right size and fit for me. I won't ever be the right fit for everyone or every situation, and that's ok!
- Valerie Trammell, Group Account Director

Change has always been difficult for me, and college was no exception - leaving my home, my family, my pets, and my friends - the comfort I was used to. This led to a period of depression and anxiety, but I am proud to say that I overcame these struggles. I took a leap of faith and stepped way out of my comfort zone. I applied to become an intern at VI, which ultimately led to a fulfilling full-time job, valuable relationships, and a sense of belonging in a culture that aligns with my values.
- Kristen Jantz, Social Media Coordinator

Ali McIntosh, Social Media Coordinator

One of my greatest challenges has been getting diagnosed with an autoimmune disease this year. It can be disheartening to learn that you have a chronic illness, but it has also given me a chance to prioritize self-care. I am overcoming this with the help of doctors and nutritionists but I could not do it without the love and support of all those around me. Throughout this entire process, my VI family has been incredibly understanding and supportive, and I cannot thank them enough. Their unwavering support has helped me become a stronger and more resilient woman!
- Ali McIntosh, Social Media Coordinator


A challenge I'm currently navigating is defining my role as a "stepmom" to three teens. I didn't grow up with a stepmom, so I don't really have a road map, but I'm surrounding myself with as much support and information as I can find. I also never planned on having kids, but luckily I taught high school for 5 years and am an Enneagram 4, so I'm no stranger to angst!
- Anna Kinder, Senior Copywriter

What advice would you share with your younger self?

Karly James, Graphic Designer

You are your biggest advocate. People will try to take advantage of you being a young woman who is soft-spoken. And when someone tries to undermine your value and experience, you should call it out. That doesn't make you unprofessional.
- Karly James, Graphic Designer

A blazer is a bulletproof vest for imposter syndrome. Buy one in every color! Also, if you don't believe in your own ideas, no one else will!
- Anna Kinder, Senior Copywriter

Erin Robinson, Creative Director

Cultivate honest friendships, ones that are not built on convenience. Having people in your life that will speak truth into you is work, but it's work that is invaluable. These are the people who will be with you through the ups and downs. They believe in you when you don't believe in yourself and call you out when you aren't living up to who they know you really are.
- Erin Robinson, Creative Director

Your voice is powerful, which is a gift, albeit one that needs to be developed. Remember to think before you speak and to use your voice for others, too.
- Valerie Trammell, Group Account Director

Karlie Stafford, Agency Marketing Coordinator

Stand up for yourself - you are your biggest (and only) advocate. It's okay to make mistakes because it's really the only way you learn and grow. And no goal is too hard and no dream is too big. Keep doing, keep dreaming, and keep being the badass woman that you are! Don't let any one stop you or tell you you can't because you can
- Karlie Stafford, Agency Marketing Coordinator

Be your whole self no matter where you are. Don't hide who you are or how you feel - you will be a much better coworker and person because of it.
- Whitney Gann, Integrated Project Management Lead

What's your favorite thing about being a woman?

Jamie Kisling, Ad Operations Specialist

Women are amazing leaders! They have compassion and empathy for others, as well as the strong critical thinking and communication skills it takes to lead teams. Women also look out for each other and do not let the accomplishments of another woman go unnoticed.
- Jamie Kisling, Ad Operations Specialist

Many people equate femininity with sensitivity. While not every woman is sensitive, I sure am, and I've grown to appreciate this trait because it makes me a kind, attuned, empathetic, and emotionally safe person that people can turn to in their darkest hour.
In my mind, sensitivity = strength.
- Anna Kinder, Senior Copywriter

For me, it's being a mom to three wonderful kids who are good citizens and making a positive impact on the world.
- Grace Heppler, Human Resources Director

- Valerie Trammell, Group Account Director

I love seeing how capable and powerful women can be, especially as they navigate their professional and personal lives simultaneously while supporting and empowering each other. The empathy and support I receive from my female colleagues is unmatched and is such a gift to me in my professional and personal life.
- Valerie Trammell, Group Account Director

Tell us about a woman or group of women that inspire you.

- Whitney Gann, Integrated Project Management Lead

My daughter inspires me to show her that there is a world where women are taken seriously and can be anything they choose to be. Having her has made me even more driven to be successful in every aspect of my life.
- Whitney Gann, Integrated Project Management Lead

My mother has been such an inspiration to me. She came to this country from Germany in 1951, having gone through WW2 as a small child. She learned English, became a US citizen, and is one of the hardest-working women I have ever met. She taught me that as mothers, we don't always do things perfectly, but if you can keep you children warm, fed and loved, that is the best you can do. She also taught me that it's never too late to try to improve your situation. At age 55 she went from waiting tables to nursing school, and worked as an LPN until she was 72.
- Grace Heppler, Human Resources Director

Deleanie Moriello, Senior Marketing Strategist

My mom and sisters inspire me daily. I was born into the best girl gang I could ask for! The amount of passion, hard work, and dedication that my family puts into their day-to-day lives is inspiring – each of them has shaped the woman I am today.
- Deleanie Moriello, Senior Marketing Strategist

I think there is something incredible when people have a clear vision of what they want and run after it with tenacity. My younger sister has been that way from day one but it has been inspiring to see the way she is constantly in pursuit of accomplishing her goals. She has played soccer internationally, she has the career she set out to and she just had a maternally assisted c-section.
- Erin Robinson, Creative Director

What do you hope to inspire in the younger generation of women?

I hope to inspire the younger generation of women to continue pushing the boundaries of what being a professional means. We are no longer in the era of tights, slacks or even a full face of makeup every day. Having visible tattoos, piercings or a unique fashion sense does not make you less professional or any less capable of doing your job.
- Jamie Kisling, Ad Operations Specialist

I hope I can inspire the younger generation of women to never stop creating. Every story is worth telling. By nurturing creativity, we can pave the way for a brighter future, full of diverse perspectives and ideas!
- Ali McIntosh, Social Media Coordinator

Tammy Reyes, Paid Search Lead

If I ever have a daughter, I want her to depend solely on herself, economically & emotionally. Every day, I'll show her through my actions that women are strong & completely capable of thriving in every aspect of their lives without anyone's help.
- Tammy Reyes, Paid Search Lead

I want to inspire my future daughters and nieces to feel empowered. I never want them to know what it feels like to have someone comment on your body or what you're wearing. To know how important it is to fight for what they believe in and support other women. Continuing to empower each other is the only way we are going continue to move forward.
- Karly James, Graphic Designer 

Kristen Jantz, Social Media Coordinator
To my younger self, I offer this advice: Never doubt your capabilities, your intelligence, or your creativity. Strive to be the best version of yourself, but remember to be compassionate too. Don't take yourself too seriously, and if something seems scary but exciting, go for it. Growth only happens when you take chances and step outside your comfort zone.
- Kristen Jantz, Social Media Coordinator

Learn from the women that came before us and pave the way for the women that come after us. We only grow and succeed by lifting each other up.
- Whitney Gann, Integrated Project Management Lead

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