‘Shake some shit up’: Exceptional Women of the World featuring Mixed Company

From left: Karinna Schultz, Simeon Coker and Kai Deveraux Lawson

Exceptional Women of the World is a podcast that highlights and celebrates the great achievements, lives and POV of amazing women throughout the world of advertising, marketing, digital, tech and creativity.

Raw and unfiltered, the Mixed Company Podcast is much more than a show about diversity, inclusion and social equity in the creative industries. It’s a much-needed breath of fresh — yet sometimes uncomfortable — air for an industry that struggles to understand the power that all voices and backgrounds can bring to its success and future.

The hosts: Karinna Schultz, Simeon Coker (the first man to join us on the podcast) and Kai Deveraux Lawson have strong industry chops. Schultz works as a senior account executive at Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness; Coker has deep experience working with brands like Nike and Verizon at a variety of shops; and Lawson is a senior project manager at AKQA, working on Maybelline, DVF and more.

Much like Mixed Company’s podcast, the conversation was wide and deep with observations, practical advice and passionate wisdom for any professional at any level in the advertising and marketing industry.

On the topic of what each has learned that has surprised them lately, Lawson pointed to setting boundaries as an essential mechanism to keep from getting drained. Schultz learned the importance of simply going for it, especially with the podcast, while Coker found that his vision for the social venture he’s building, Indigo & Pyrite, can only be created his way to ensure its success.

In 2018, Coker believes that we should be talking about practical ways to truly reach diversity and inclusion goals — after almost 50 years of conversation.

“This industry prides itself on being strategic,” he said. “At this point, we should be seeing results that reflect what we always talk about.”

Lawson concurred: “We should just be doing — and I think we’re seeing that a lot with movements starting and we’re also seeing that people are more comfortable getting their hands dirty.”

In Schultz mind, like Coker and Lawson, it comes down to momentum.

“The great thing is that there are so many voices that are being uplifted and there’s change actually happening,” she said. “[But] it’s keeping that momentum. It’s one thing to be a flash in the pan, but there’s also the encouragement to keep that light going.”

The advice each gave was sage and, again, important reminders for people at any level of the industry.

Schultz reminded us of the importance of taking time for oneself and the positive benefits, especially mentally, it can create. Coker discussed how critical and transformative it is to ask for help, while Lawson, a Philadelphia native, said simply, that it’s always good to “go ahead and shake some shit up.”

Listen to previous episodes of Exceptional Women of the World here. If you would like to nominate exceptional women to be part of the show, please complete this form: http://bit.ly/EWOWPitch.

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