International Women’s Day – Inspiring Stories from Falls

International Women’s Day – Inspiring Stories from Falls

March 08, 2022

Since 1911, International Women’s Day has celebrated the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women around the world. Organizers have used the day to call attention to, and rally around, greater gender parity and the creation of spaces for women to connect, work together and elevate one another, especially in the workplace. 

That sentiment drives one of the day’s 2022 themes: #ThriveTogether. 

Falls & Co. has worked diligently to nurture a similar environment. One that emphasizes talent, commitment, and communication. We often turn to our core values to help guide us in these efforts. Values like “respect the dignity of the individual,” “put families first,” “be authentic,” “possess integrity” and more.

We’re not perfect, of course, but we persevere. Because of those efforts, women comprise 66% of our professional talent, and 15 hold senior leadership positions. And that will only grow.

Encouraging professional and personal growth

Cultivating a work environment that encourages professional and personal growth is one way Falls & Co. is trying to thrive together. Tara Byrne account executive, Communications Group, has experienced that balanced nurturing since joining the firm in 2021. 

“The Falls culture encourages teamwork, while also respecting and celebrating the contributions of every team member,” she says. “Throughout my first year with Falls & Co., my colleagues have supported, encouraged and guided me. They want to see me succeed.”

Byrne hopes to pay that forward in the future so that women are – and continue to be – recognized as strong leaders and trusted advisors. “I want to be a role model and mentor to younger women who are entering the field, just as many of my colleagues have been, and continue to be, to me,” she says. 

Byrne also appreciates Falls’ family-first values. “Delivering exceptional work to our clients is important, but at Falls, we are encouraged to put our families first, and are reminded that who we go home to is even more important.” 

Putting family first

Family-first core values that translate into policy are a competitive advantage for businesses. Family-friendly workplaces provide a competitive advantage in attracting and retaining talent, increasing productivity and employee satisfaction, and reducing absenteeism, according to Family Forward NC. Employees report feeling more satisfied with their work, more engaged with business goals and less like to look for other options. There are even some ties to health benefits for children and parents. 

“When the leadership at Falls & Co. say we are a family first company, they mean it,” says Jen May, Open Source team manager, Digital Insights Group. May is a single parent who understands the challenge of balancing career and family and appreciates that it is a Falls & Co. core value. 

“When I reach out to coworkers for help on a project when family takes precedent, everyone on my team is willing to help and do what they can,” May says. “And I do the same for everyone else.”

May is the only female coder on Falls & Co.’s web development team – for now. “And it’s a non-issue,” says May. “It’s clear that the focus is on the quality of your work – and nothing else,” she says. 

For proof, look no further than to Eileen Petridis.

Punching through the glass ceiling

Eileen Petridis, SVP, joined Falls in 1994 and soon became the agency’s first female vice president. But that accomplishment isn’t why Petridis continues working with Falls. 

“Falls provided me the flexibility to be a great mom while building my career,” she says. When she was promoted to vice president, her son was barely a year old. 

Petridis even lobbied for working from home one day a week. This was in the mid-1990s when working from home was more theory than everyday practice. 

“No one ever questioned why I had to leave early for a soccer game or come in late after having a mother-daughter tea at school. There was always the trust and respect that I would get the job done, even if it was on a very non-traditional schedule.”  

Completing the circle

Jen Allanson, SVP, managing director, Communications Group, began her career at Falls & Co. more than 30 years ago. She has watched the agency grow from a handful of colleagues to a workforce of more than 80 – and growing. 

“I’ve been lucky to work with a number of great clients over the years, but what I’m most proud of is watching the women I’ve mentored and guided fly on their own and lead large clients at Falls. Their success has been a true joy.”