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March 08, 2020

International Women's Day

Jamee Barwick – Account Coordinator

International Women’s Day has been celebrated for over a century signifying the importance of the role women uphold in society. It is not only a meaningful day in the United States, but it is celebrated all over the world with conferences, influential speakers, parades and much more uniting women together for their voice to be heard as one harmony.

At Jones PR, we are proud and extremely honored to have talented women make up our leadership team. Here is an exclusive insight to the leaders behind the operations giving powerful advice.

Brenda Jones Barwick: CEO, President

What made you decide to start your own business?
In 2001, public relations agencies were mostly owned by men, which created an opportunity for a woman-owned agency. Today, Jones PR has 100 percent female leadership.

How have you encouraged the development of your staff members through your company?
It is important to develop talent, so Jones PR provides a wide range of career development programs for all staff members that include a budget per person that an employee can use for professional development conferences. In addition, the agency covers the cost for each team member to be an active member in a professional organization.

What valuable skills/experiences did you take out of working internationally?
Regardless of the diversity of international cultures, people want transparency, an open flow of information and fairness. Sometimes, we think of these as uniquely American, but people around the world want the same from businesses, politics and media.

What qualities are most important for a female leader?
The most important quality for women leaders is to learn what you don’t know. Take the initiative to learn and broaden your expertise areas beyond one or two areas. This brings more value to your organization and positions you as a leader because of your ability to be an expert in an area from different perspectives.

What woman inspires you and why?
Jeane Kirkpatrick, the first female UN Ambassador was from Duncan, Oklahoma. She proved that regardless of your beginnings, you can grow up to be a global leader and stand up to the leaders of one of the largest countries in the world on a global stage.

What is one piece of advice you would share to young women?
Be yourself. No one else is like you. Rather than trying to be like someone else, be yourself.

Beverly Hedges: Vice President of Operations

What qualities are most essential for a female leader?
Having resilience, staying focused, leading by example and valuing relationships are very important in developing a strong work ethic.

What is one piece of advice you would share to young women?
Work smarter, not harder. Focus on your goals and think about how to do your work more efficiently. 

Taylor Ketchum: Vice President

Take us back to when you were an intern at Jones PR and what steps you took to becoming VP.
I was raised by parents who hustled. I was taught to grind and work hard. So I worked hard and stayed loyal to a company I knew was going to do great things.

What was the most exciting time in your life in relation to a job?
At one point, I was on the phone with one of the most well-known CEOs in our city’s history, while simultaneously watching the Lakers walk past me at the Skirvin Hotel. I had to text my dad right away, as I grew up in California a huge Laker/Kobe fan.

What is one piece of advice you would share to young women?
Have a strong sense of your ethics, morals and values, let them guide your discussions and have a mantra to keep yourself motivated. I follow two: 1. Thanks to Sheryl Sandberg, I ask myself, “What would you do if you were not afraid?” and  2. I created this one myself and I try to teach my team members, “Never think you are too good to do the dishes.”

Suzanne Singleterry: Vice President

What sparked your love for public relations?
Working for a U.S. Senator in D.C. sparked my love for public relations. I was so passionate about the policy issues I covered that I would often lobby our press office to write press releases, pitch stories, and photo ops to national and state media. It was easy for me to break down a complex issue into a message that resonated with constituents and the press back home. I also found myself hanging out socially and professionally with other press secretaries.

What is one word you could use to describe Jones PR?
Tenacious.

What would you say is your biggest asset in the business world?
My curiosity and openness to learning new things are the secrets of my success.

What will be the biggest challenge for the generation of women behind you?
The biggest challenge is for them to find personal worth beyond their occupational title. We are so much more to our friends, families and colleagues than a few words on a business card or what real estate we take up in the office. Success is a hard-won marathon, not a sprint. Along the way, you gain tools that will enable you to adeptly endure both good times and bad.

 

To celebrate the empowerment of women all throughout the world, Oklahoma is hosting an event dedicated to women that will be held Sunday, March 8 featuring live entertainment.

Time: 6PM-12AM
Price: $10
Location: Headquarters Creative
905 N.W. 6th St. OKC, OK 73106

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