Advertising Awards

Hired or Rejected Before You Even Arrive

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Tue, Nov 13, 2018 @ 12:19 PM

After spending weeks scanning job listings and showing up as your best-dressed self to job interviews, you’ve finally come across the perfect role. You exceed the requirements, and you have a lot of relevant experience, as well as the soft skills the company is after.

All that’s left is a return phone call saying, “Come on by to discuss your employment with us!”

That call never comes though. Why is that? Could it be because your last name isn’t something like Smith?

The immigrant workforce, visible minorities, women, and historically overlooked groups have demonstrated increased success when a company hires more diverse workers.

career.placeAttracting—and especially retaining—a diverse workforce should be an important focus for employers in all sectors.

Progressive HR and recruiting companies like aim to remove biases one hire at a time.

Formed in 2016, has been diversifying hiring processes and compliance through a SaaS-based solution that put applicants through an anonymous, consistent, and semi-automated hiring funnel. Using the software, employers advance anonymous candidates who meet the company’s needs and remove those who simply don’t qualify. This technology helps applicants demonstrate they are qualified for positions, and the right people can move forward to the final stage in the hiring process.

Career.Place won three Bronze Stevie® Awards including Woman of the Year in Business Services Industries, Startup of the Year in Business Services Industries, and Entrepreneur of the Year in Computer Software in The American Business Awards®.

The Paradox of Hiring: Anonymity Brings Back Humanity

Melissa Dobbins, founder and CEO of, built the company on the simple premise – bias has no place in hiring. Job seekers and employers are noticing her company’s unique approach; which starts by defining the needs of the job, and anonymously evaluating candidates against those needs, thereby focusing on what matters without the distractions of what is not.

Of course, diversity and compliance are in the news a lot, and this has perfectly positioned companies like to solve the diversity-related problems companies are having now or will potentially have.

Career.Place has created a software solution where applicants are evaluated based on the employer’s criteria, including criteria such as requirements, soft skills (measured by integrated assessments), and responses to job-scenario and situational questions. All unrelated information about the applicants are hidden including name, education, titles, and other biasing information typically found on a resume – think “The Voice” but for applicants. The process is efficient, fair, and eliminates the need for time consuming resume and phone screens.

“Ironically by removing applicant identities, including their gender, age, ethnicity, favorite sports team, and other biasing and irrelevant information, we are giving applicants their voices back.” says Dobbins. “Imagine the great talent overlooked because of details like not knowing the right keywords to get through an automatic filter or having a gap in work history. By removing that information, and replacing it with information like qualifications, soft-skill assessments, and responses to job scenario questions, great talent will stand out because they are great.”

Change agents driving for a better tomorrow

Organizations gain valuable perspectives from diverse talent. There are many reports and studies that show diversity is good for business, but fundamentally, it just makes sense – companies will more effectively sell, support, and engage with a market if they reflect the full diversity of that market. Unfortunately, conscious and unconscious biases get in our way, constantly nudging us to hire others like us, rather than those who are best for the role, the company, and the mission. Dobbins details her experiences dealing with this before starting her company.

“When applying for jobs, I have been asked some very odd questions that I suspect my male counterparts have not had to deal with. For example, probing questions about if I would leave work to pick up my child if she were sick– indecently, that line of questioning is illegal. I have been asked if I could fire people because it is emotionally difficult, if I could handle difficult personalities, and if I would be interested in a single contributor role (i.e. a demotion) before being evaluated for the position at hand. What do you think my experiences would be like if those who interviewed me didn’t know I was a woman? What would your experiences be like if in your next job application the company doesn’t know what you are – just what value you bring?”

“These stories are universal. I have never met anyone who hasn’t experienced bias in one form or another,” continues Dobbins. “For me, I became obsessed with becoming part of the solution – a way for people to be evaluated fairly and consistently based on their skills and qualifications, and not assumptions made based on what they look like or what’s on a resume. And so was born.”

A diverse workforce is good for business, good for communities, and good for the employees. There is no silver bullet for creating a diverse, engaged workforce. It is a future that will take many change agents – from entrepreneurs, like Dobbins, who are creating solutions to support unbiased hiring to those who are engaging and cultivating talent across every demographic group. Together we will succeed and the impact will be profound.

For more information about Melissa Dobbins or, go to

Tags: women awards, entrepreneur awards, startup awards

How Womenkind won their advertising award in the Stevies for Women

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Thu, Jul 07, 2011 @ 02:36 PM

Womenkind, a New York City-based marketing & communications company, won the Stevie Award for Best Advertising Campaign of the Year in the 2010 Stevie Awards for Women in Business.  (Entries for the 2011 awards are now open.)  Here we look at the aims and achievements of their print ad campaign for Citigroup’s Women & Co. website.

KristiFaulknerWomen & Co., a service of Citibank, has always known that accomplished women are in search of honest and insightful information to guide their financial choices.  Prior to teaming up with marketing and communications firm Womenkind, however, Women & Co.’s brand awareness was low, and the target audience did not fully comprehend the benefits of membership.

Extensive Research

Before embarking on creative development, Womenkind helped craft a distinct brand identity that would resonate with its target.  The creative team began with an exhaustive category analysis to familiarize itself with financial education, assessing Women & Co.’s strengths and weaknesses and those of its competitors.

After analyzing what was available for women seeking financial education, Womenkind conducted extensive research to reveal attitudes, preferences, and insights from women.   The company uncovered facts, statistics, testimonials, and opinions regarding women’s wants and preferences in the field of financial education using an exclusive panel of “Muses” (a handpicked, dynamic, female influencer group) and Womenkind’s ongoing proprietary research database, WomIntuitionSM.  In addition, Womenkind conducted qualitative and quantitative research with Women & Co.’s target audience to identify demographics, psychographics, needs, and wants.

Through these research outlets it was clear that the needs of a successful campaign would be:

-       to establish the need for Women & Co. by educating the target audience on their distinct financial realities in a positive, empowering light; and

-       to demonstrate understanding of the target audience’s specific challenges by conveying the multifaceted nature of their lives, including financial roles and responsibilities, in an authentic and relevant manner.

Fully Integrated Campaign

Based on these insights Womenkind created the “Women of Women & Co.,” a fully integrated campaign including print, digital, and rich interactive media that portrayed the collective economic power of real women based on the experiences of 33 members of Women & Co.

Inspiring Stories in Print

Womenkind arranged a photo shoot of group images for the four print spread advertisements. During the shoot Womenkind interviewed many of the "models" - the real Women & Co. members - about their stories, financial lives, and relationships with Women & Co.  

The centerpiece of the campaign was the inspiring and personal financial stories of these real women. It presented their unique financial goals and experiences in a cohesive and engaging narrative. The group portraits displayed the range in age and ethnicity of this diverse community of intellectually and financially curious women.

Key to the campaign were clever headlines based on featured members’ real stories that brought women’s financial realities to life with a light-handed wit; body copy in a warm, conversational style that demonstrated how Women & Co. could help women plan for these realities; and lastly, artful group portraits which displayed the interconnectedness of the Women & Co. community.

The print campaign launched in February 2010 with four consecutive spreads in
New York Magazine’s Spring Fashion issue, and continued with spreads in the New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, and O, The Oprah Magazine (with a corresponding microsite on  The campaign ran through May 2010 and was continued in the Fall of 2010.

Recognizable Digital Images

The online banner portions of the campaign used the same recognizable images and personalities of the successful print campaign. Banners included a group photo that zoomed in on individual members as text appeared, and a mosaic of photos that highlighted individual members as text appeared. All banners had a call to action that led the user to the campaign landing page on the client's website. For the rich media, mosaic was used, with the option of selecting a member and viewing clips from her original interview.

Womenkind wanted their digital campaign for Women & Co. to be more than just a digital version of the print campaign.  Instead, they wanted to recognized the potential to dive deeper into the women’s experiences and hear their stories, thereby supporting and deepening the original print campaign.

Womenking seamlessly connected the the original print campaign with a full interactive experience by using Rich Media Flash technology. The Rich Media video banners streamed in for each woman and activated with a slight rollover, prompting more engagement that was trackable not only by what videos were watched but also by how much time was spent truly engaging with the banners and the women themselves.

The campaign highlighted the financial stories of real members, the distinct financial realities that women face, and offered an invitation to visit

The digital campaign ran from March through May 2010, consisting of flash and
Rich Media video banners running on AOL, Oprah, Glam, iVillage, SELF, Women’s Health, WowOwow, Yahoo, and YuMe.

Objectives Achieved

The “Women of Women & Co.” campaign cultivated Women & Co./Citigroup brand loyalty by introducing its target audience to the website’s unique platform of a sophisticated community, elucidating member benefits, and encouraging enrollment.

“Our strategy was to dramatize the financial realities of real women in the real world,” said Womenkind President Kristi Faulkner. “Receiving recognition from the judges of The Stevie Awards for Women In Business was affirmation that our campaign struck a nerve.“

As a result, visits to doubled, and the banner click-through rates were double the industry standard. Awareness of Women & Co. greatly improved, evidenced in numerous financial and advertising industry blogs and press mentions. Additionally, Women & Co. members have demonstrated a more thorough understanding of how membership enhances their financial savvy and helps them connect with a network of like-minded women.

About Kristi Faulkner:

Kristi Faulkner is President of Womenkind, a modern marketing communications company in New York that connects women to brands, to companies, and to each other. She has proven expertise in marketing to women, and is an entrepreneur, marketing strategist, keynote speaker, and seminar leader who can help other organizations realize and tap into the powerful wisdom of women.

A seasoned creative director with world-class branding experience honed at the top advertising agencies in New York, Kristi began her career in the creative department at BBDO and quickly moved up the ladder, crafting campaigns for blue-chip clients at major ad agencies such as Young & Rubicam, Hill Holliday, DDB Needham, Ammirati Puris Lintas, and Grey. Her diverse portfolio of clients includes Pepsi, Toshiba, Rolling Rock, Budget Rent A Car, Bank One, Chase, Citibank, Gillette for Women, and Bacardi. In 2008, Kristi cofounded Womenkind, a communications company that provides research, strategy, innovation and creative services to companies and brands that want to better understand, attract, and engage women.

About Womenkind:
Womenkind is a marketing and communications company built by women to engage women the way women really want to be engaged. The company brings together more than 100 years of combined experience in helping companies successfully connect with the world’s most powerful consumer: women. Womenkind expertly translates truth gleaned from its proprietary discovery process into innovative insight-to-execution solutions for clients who want to understand and motivate women.

Womenkind recently created a new website and a blog at You can sign up here for their white paper entitled "How She Roles: A study on how understanding her roles, identities, and priorities improves messaging.”

About Women & Co.
Women & Co., a service of Citibank, is a vehicle from Citibank for insightful women to build their financial knowledge, bolster their confidence, and create financial strategies that will help them achieve their goals.  Through access to education, resources, and a community of financially minded women, Women & Co. is Where Wisdom, Wealth and Women

What do you think of this ad campaign?

Tags: womenkind, Kristi Faulker, Citigroup, stevie awards, women awards, women in business awards