International Women’s Day has been celebrated globally on March 8 each year for more than a century. It is a day to celebrate the achievements of women from all walks of life.
As a woman-owned agency and group of professional women leading the way in public sector communications, we pride ourselves in supporting and mentoring other professionals in our field.
We recently brought on two new team members at different levels with different backgrounds. Ari Arango is a Latina and recent college graduate who was born and raised in Southern California.
Sandra Wellhausen was born in Sweden and came to the United States during college. She enjoyed the San Diego area so much that she has stayed and has since enjoyed a successful career in public relations.
So we wondered ..... what has it been like for these two very different ladies to join such a strong group of diverse women? Here’s what they had to say.
Ari’s Discovery: We need all of our strengths
Graduating college was one of the most terrifying steps in my life next to learning that I now have to pick up dinner for myself every night and decipher healthcare and 401k plans!
While navigating college, I learned a lot from my studies and professors about the double-standards and stigmas that come with being a woman in a professional environment. However, I never let this deter me from pursuing my dreams and goals.
Now here I am as a young professional, applying everything I learned in school and discovering how that information will translate in my new reality.
At JPW, I’m learning that I don’t have to have it all figured out just yet. I simply need to own my identity and capitalize on my strengths.
Each woman in our agency has a different set of skills, experiences and strengths. We have both introverts and extroverts in our office; some who are more right-brained and some who are more left-brained. And it takes each one of us working together to achieve the results our clients expect from Team JPW.
It is also rewarding to watch our team work together and see how everyone's complementary strengths serve the greater good.
I didn’t seek out an all-women firm, but I can’t imagine my first professional experience being anywhere else. Every day I am amazed at the poise, experience and dedication my coworkers have – both to the company and to their families. They have all become my role models and show me there is no limit to the things we can achieve together.
I am inspired and grateful to walk into work every day knowing I am a part of a team constantly challenging stigmas and changing the discourse of women in the workforce.
Sandra’s Passion: Empowered to lead
Throughout my career I have been fortunate to work with amazing women who have been incredibly supportive mentors and coaches, encouraging me to follow my passions. I count myself lucky in this regard. So, of course, I jumped at the opportunity to join a woman-owned communications agency.
Seeing role models in various leadership positions over the years encouraged me to work towards a leadership position myself. And I knew statistics were in my favor.
The public relations field tends to be female dominated; according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, women hold almost 60% of management positions and 63% of specialist positions in the public relations industry as a whole.
When I was a young professional in the field, it was inspiring to see powerful women in action, running companies, conducting meetings and overseeing large-scale communications programs.
When I joined JPW Communications in February, I was again excited for the opportunity to work with a team of talented marketing and communication professionals dedicated exclusively to serving public agencies.
And JPW did not disappoint!
Our leadership team includes a trailblazing female president and founder, and two well-known and respected vice presidents with deep expertise in government communications practices -- not to mention our exceptional team of strategists, content mavens, media gurus and graphic artists.
The work environment is inspiring, and the organizational culture supports meaningful work alongside equally as meaningful relationships with each other. Team JPW also embraces its additional roles outside the office as mothers, grandmothers and mentors, supporting each other in these roles just as much as they do their professional ones. We have a workplace where trust is central to our culture and our values of respect, passion and best-in-class quality drive the meaningful work we do as an extension of the public sector.
Senior Communications Manager