With Women’s History Month drawing to a close and International Women’s Day behind us, I think it’s safe to say it all felt a bit different than in the past. The voices were louder and more diverse, and the eyes of the world were laser-focused on the importance of female inclusion in spaces that have historically been gated by gender bias and outright sexism. You would think I would know something about this, right? I mean I work in an extremely male-dominated industry, in a position that is even more dominated by men, at a company serving male-dominated markets like heavy industry, government, energy and agriculture.

You see, when I took on my role as Executive Creative Director, I was part of the 3 percent. That was a statistic representing the percentage of women serving in Creative Director roles at agencies across America. The percentage is now on an upward trajectory, but it’s nowhere close to where it should be. When women are making 86 percent of the consumer buying decisions in a household, how is it possible that only a tiny fraction of the marketing campaigns out there are led by them? Do I think only women can effectively message to women and only men can effectively message to men? No. If I did, our agency wouldn’t exist and my husband would still be asking me how to start the dishwasher.

The point is, statistics have to change. And they would if more businesses could see what I see. Ever been in a full-day, hands-on interactive workshop talking distribution networks led by a woman who is almost nine months pregnant? I have, and she handled it like a boss. Ever seen a group of heavy equipment owner/operators ask a young, female writer some tough questions about how to maximize their productivity on the jobsite? It happened, and those guys learned a thing or two. Or what about a female agency owner in Peoria, IL being asked to serve as the President of a global agency network? Yep, and she took it to the next level.

These women I work with do amazing and inspiring things. And they are able to because of the opportunities afforded all of us by the smart, brave and driven women who came before us and made our paths a bit less bumpy. I am fortunate to say I have never been held back in my career because I am a woman. And I think it is safe to say the younger women who work here at Simantel see this and know, they too, are not held back or treated differently. They see they can “have it all” and we’ll help them.

So as Women’s History Month comes to a close, I ask you to open some doors to provide more opportunities for women in your workplace. Your business will be better for it. If you’re a woman, be a role model and lead by example. If you’re a man, don’t be a road block and instead pave the way for women around you to succeed.

If you want to see how this works, come on over to Simantel. As I write this, Landon Kellogg is visiting. He’s the son of Account Director, Jackie Kellogg, and he was just born less than a month ago on March 3rd.

His mom is showing him off–and without realizing it right now, she’s also showing him the way.