Main one of many nation’s prime media firms by way of seismic trade change, to not point out a once-in-a-century pandemic, is not any small feat. But Linda Yaccarino shouldn’t be one to shrink back from a problem.

The chairman of worldwide promoting and partnerships for NBCUniversal is famously tenacious, unafraid to push the established order and reshape promoting. In actual fact, her very presence is transformative: Whereas the media trade is enhancing by way of gender equality, there may be nonetheless a disproportionate lack of girls on the prime.

To seek out out what’s on the horizon, The Feminine Quotient spoke to Yaccarino, a former prime govt at Turner who joined NBCUniversal in 2011, in a far-ranging dialog concerning the inspiration behind her #ShesMy marketing campaign, how entrepreneurs can tackle a pandemic that has disproportionately affected ladies, and why the previous 12 months has, as she says, “given us permission to vary issues—inside our firms and throughout society—that want to vary.”


The Feminine Quotient: Inform us concerning the #ShesMy marketing campaign.

Linda Yaccarino: #ShesMy is about celebrating the unbelievable ladies who’ve formed our lives. The one factor I’ve realized is I’m the place I’m at this time due to so many unbelievable ladies who’ve been enormously influential in my life. And I do know many different folks really feel the identical.

All over the place you look, ladies are working international locations, main firms and breaking down limitations. They’re additionally caring for their households, displaying up for his or her mates and galvanizing these round them. We wished to rejoice all of those contributions—as a result of ladies really do all of it. So on Worldwide Day of the Lady, we inspired folks to make use of the hashtag #ShesMy to share tales concerning the ladies who’ve made a distinction of their lives.

The FQ: What’s the inspiration behind the marketing campaign?

Yaccarino: Like a variety of nice concepts, this one struck unexpectedly. Whereas I used to be making ready to obtain the 2020 New York Ladies in Communications Matrix Award, I used to be considering of all of the folks I wished to thank, and one factor grew to become clear: So most of the strongest forces in my life and in my profession have been ladies. All of us owe one thing to the ladies who raised us, who challenged us and who blazed a path in order that we might have extra alternatives—often, all on the similar time.

That’s after I realized this concept was larger than one acceptance speech, as a result of ladies are so multidimensional. One particular person’s mother is likely to be one other particular person’s mentor—and there must be a option to honor these superb ladies and the various roles they play in all of our lives. In order that’s how #ShesMy grew from a single tribute to a multifaceted social media celebration.

The FQ: Who’re some particular ladies who’ve championed you in your profession?

Yaccarino: My full listing might fill this complete web page. However I’ll let you know about my single largest inspiration: my mother. I owe a lot to her—she’s not solely our household’s matriarch, she’s my ethical compass and my very personal Kris Jenner all rolled into one.

As a first-generation Italian-American, school wasn’t an choice for her, however she was adamant that it might be for me and my sisters. Rising up, she pressured the significance of a school schooling as a result of she wished us to develop into financially unbiased, and be capable of seize alternatives she by no means had. And you recognize what occurred? All three of us went on to pursue profitable careers due to the teachings she impressed upon us proper from the beginning.

The FQ: Amid a pandemic that has disproportionately affected ladies, it has by no means been extra vital to assist and elevate feminine figures. How can entrepreneurs do that successfully?

Yaccarino: As my good colleague [NBCUniversal Vice Chairman] Bonnie Hammer wrote so poignantly, ladies aren’t simply contending with glass ceilings anymore; since COVID, they’ve been caught in glass bubbles. Many are juggling around-the-clock childcare and family duties on prime of their 9-to-5 jobs. The system has at all times been unfair for ladies, however now it’s untenable.


If we don’t need to proceed to hamper ladies—and the financial system—we have to construct flexibility into our workplaces, spend money on childcare options and assist dad and mom re-enter the workforce. That is our probability to impact lasting change for generations to return. Each chief in each trade, together with advertising and marketing, must be eager about these insurance policies now.


The FQ: Has the pandemic modified the face of promoting for good?

Yaccarino: The pandemic accelerated tendencies all of us knew had been coming, and people adjustments are right here to remain. However the pandemic has additionally given us permission to vary issues—inside our firms and throughout society—that want to vary. And promoting has an particularly important position to play in making it occur. Our trade cuts throughout virtually each different trade. We now have the facility to mobilize tens of millions of individuals, form tradition and even assist jumpstart the financial system. However this pandemic has taught us that we even have a shared accountability to work collectively and be a power for good—not only for the sake of our companies, however for our broader communities too.

The FQ: You had been not too long ago named chair of the Advert Council’s board of administrators. Inform us about your targets on this new position.

Yaccarino: I’m extremely honored to function chair of the Advert Council with the inimitable [Ad Council President and CEO] Lisa Sherman. For many years, the Advert Council has been harnessing the distinctive energy of promoting for good. There’s little doubt in my thoughts that iconic campaigns like “Smokey Bear,” “Pals Don’t Let Pals Drive Drunk” and “Love Has No Labels” have gained hearts, modified minds and made the world a greater place. The Advert Council reveals us all what’s actually potential once we mix our trade’s accountability, creativity, credibility and take care of folks.

Now I’ll be working with Lisa and her group, in addition to a few of the brightest minds in our trade, to deal with the problem of our lifetime. We’re collaborating throughout the private and non-private sector to roll out a large COVID-19 vaccine schooling marketing campaign. The trouble goes to take a variety of cooperation, however when the stakes are this excessive, we’re all stakeholders. Collectively, it’s clear we are able to accomplish that a lot good.