The most important conversation men need to have, is one of the hardest to start.

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Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know about the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements. They’ve become a catalyst for many women to stand up and let their voices be heard.

As two men about to enter the world of advertising, where these movements are hot topics, my partner and I wanted to learn how we could better serve and support women.

To figure it out, we interviewed two rockstar women, a strategist at a female led shop, our professor, and the next generation of ad men. 

Listen to our journey below and please let us know what you think.



If your headphones are tangled up

 The first question that hit us was, “do women even want men to play a role?”

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"Absolutely. Men are still in the positions of power to change the dynamic."

- Kristen Cavallo, CEO of The Martin Agency

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“Men coming into the workforce also have a role to play.”

- Karen Costello, CCO of The Martin Agency


Martin and I looked around and didn’t see many guys participating in these kinds of conversations.

We wondered, "Why is that?"

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“It’s something you need to put a lot of thought behind. You don’t want to sound like you’re not empathetic or you don’t care.”

- Cody Piggott, Brand Strategist at Wolf & Wilhelmine


Wolf & Wilhelmine recently held an event called “The Masculinity Dinner.” It inspired us to get a group of guys together to talk about what’s going on and how we can fight it once we get into the workforce.

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“I think you need to be cognizant of your own actions.”

- Nick Koutris, Creative Brand Manager at VCU Brandcenter

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“I agree, focus on being the best you can be.”

- Andrew Allen, Strategist at VCU Brandcenter

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“I think we need to fully support women and try to raise them up. We have to try to level the playing field.”

- Robbie Persky, Art Director at VCU Brandcenter


Feminism is about men and women being on an equal playing field. But Martin and I believe that to truly level the playing field, we’re going to have to overcorrect. Men have had the advantage far too long and it’s time to change that.

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“As we’re trying to balance out the last 3000 years of civilization being screwed up, this may be something that has to happen.”

- Kevin Rothermel, Professor at VCU Brandcenter


If we’re going to change our culture for the better, we have to set the example for the men around us.

Kristen Cavallo gave us three simple ways to work towards that every day.

1. Be Vulnerable

it’s the birthplace of great ideas.

2. Be Aware

keep your eyes open for those moments where things aren’t as equal as they should be.

3. Be Empathetic

try to understand and feel where someone is coming from. If everyone strived to be more empathetic, we would come at everything with much more noble intent.


This Cultural Standpoints episode brought to you by: Martin Madriaga - Strategist // Nick Carr - Strategist