Sally Woellner was at a crossroads in her career when she attended the Rare Leadership Accelerator – which turned out to be a good thing.
The designer was concerned that taking a job a non-profit creative and design agency might have jeopardized her future chances of becoming a creative director in a commercial context. Though she’d taken a chance to do unusual work that mattered to her personally, Sally questioned whether she’d made a “career detour.”
“The genuinely brilliant thing about Rare,” says Sally, “was not only that I heard from so many speakers who’d taken unusual routes to success, but I also met so many scarily talented fellow delegates, whose work I respected even more for its uniqueness.”
At that point, she stopped worrying about fitting in. “The conviction that I came away with was to look for the opportunities that really fit my skill set, where different perspectives were truly valued.”
That same year, Sally made the leap to creative director. She embraced her “eclectic” background and found that her uniqueness helped her develop a lot of empathy – a skill she’s found valuable in design work.
Two years on, Sally is growing and mentoring an international team of visual and product designers, all with an eye to inclusivity.
“If we create technology that’s not inclusive of people with different needs, experiences or ability, we’re not only excluding them from a future they should be an integral part of, but our designs, technology, and the future of creativity will be so much poorer for that exclusion.”