By Maria Salvador Smith, Associate Creative Director, M&C Saatchi LA
Exactly two weeks ago today, I was on my way to Las Vegas with some of my female coworkers. Not just two or three of them, and not just copywriters like me, but 13 different women from across almost every department of the ad agency where I work. We weren’t going there for a business conference or convention. In fact, we weren’t going there to do work of any kind. We were writers and art directors, office managers and executive assistants, planners and strategists, account directors and supervisors and executives. We were ready to get away for a weekend. And we were going to Vegas.
Many of us had never spent time together outside of work-related functions. None of us knew quite what to expect. And all of us wondered if we could really make it happen. For me, it was in many ways a big leap of faith. Vegas? With my co-workers? Really? But this was one leap I knew I wasn’t making alone. I had 13 other women making the same jump alongside me. And you know what? It was nothing short of brilliant.
Every day in the office, we work hard together. That weekend in Vegas, we played hard together too. There were no showdowns, no arguments, no dramatic displays. Gather so many strong personalities together in a place as notorious as Sin City, and you might think you’d have to brace yourself for the worst. The funny thing is, we all just knew from the moment that we got there that this was the best. Choosing to make that leap together was the best decision ever.
So what did happen in Vegas? (And, yes, I know I am breaking a cardinal rule here by telling you.) We shared living space. We shared breathing space. We shared meals. We shared a crazy ride back to our hotel after an epic night out. We danced. We sang. We drank. A lot. We spent a glorious day relaxing poolside under the warm desert sun. We talked openly, honestly and freely. We laughed. A lot. And we reminded ourselves how lucky we were to have this— a remarkable group of women whom we could turn to for encouragement, inspiration and support.
I think when we came back to the office, we all walked in with a little more swagger and a lot more appreciation. Spend a fleeting 40 hours in the right company, and that’s what happens. So, should you find a way to skip town with your female co-workers? Hell yeah. And do it soon. We’ll be doing it again soon, too. Only next time, we’re setting our sights on Maui.