NSB Logo Nancy Vonk and Janet Kestin Nancy Vonk and Janet Kestin

Nancy Vonk and Janet Kestin

Speaker Exclusive

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Women behind Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty, authors, co-founders, Swim leadership lab

Janet Kestin and Nancy Vonk are among the very few women in the world to have held top creative posts in the advertising field. Advocates for women in all industries, they have been in the global spotlight for creating ground-breaking communications and leading their teams to do the same. Their passionate belief in helping companies do better by women, and women do better for themselves and their companies, led to the new HarperCollins release: Darling, You Can’t Do Both (And Other Noise To Ignore On Your Way Up). Alan Webber, co-founder of Fast Company, calls it “A guide to breaking the rules that stunt careers and wreak havoc at home. The how-to follow-up to Lean In.” .

Keynote Speeches

Preventing Death by Yes

We all struggle with aversion to conflict. No one enjoys saying what people don’t want to hear. But we don’t often consider the price we pay for the “yes” that should be ‘no’, from derailed projects to a damaged reputation that can limit your career success.  How to say “no” when the pressure’s on to do the wrong thing, and embrace conflict as a feature of getting to great ideas and solutions.


Radical Listening

Good listening is key to building relationships fundamental to your success. But the fact is, we’re all poor listeners and it’s often the surprising reason we don’t achieve our goals. New ideas and practices for good listening, and creating environments that support it, that translate directly to better outcomes. From the high-stakes phone meeting to the conversation with your boss, you’ll be getting what you want, more easily and quickly.


Persuasion Toolkit

How to connect with any audience, and deliver your A-game every time. We’ll share the step-by-step for identifying and delivering a compelling, memorable story, beating stage fright, getting the team in sync and using authenticity to get what you want whether your audience is 2 people or 2,000.


Mentoring Millennials

Insights and techniques that are the leader’s secret weapon to loyalty, retention and better outcomes with a group that isn’t buying the old ways of business, and ready to leave for the next job when they don’t get the attention and conditions they need. Winning with the people who are fundamental to sustainable success.

Women’s Careers
The “Rules To Break” series: speeches based on their new book, “Darling, You Can’t Do Both” that shift mindsets and offer new tools to achieve your goals in career and life.

Women’s Careers

The “Rules To Break” series: speeches based on their new book, “Darling, You Can’t Do Both” that shift mindsets and offer new tools to achieve your goals in career and life.

Platform Plus Presentations

Unique formats and ways to connect with audiences.
Workshop | Creative Problem-Solving Deep Dive Into the Right Side*
How to tap a mountain of ideas, on demand, whether you’re an artist or an accountant. Most of us create small boxes for our solutions, missing the opportunity to deliver fresher, bigger ideas. We’ll share tools to crack those boxes wide open, and use your most creative thinking to solve any problem. And take the fear out of the blank page while we’re at it. You’ll leave the room an idea machine, who knows ‘there’s always more where that came from’ *Available in Keynote or Workshop format
Panelist/In Conversation

Audience reviews:

  • The office and our community has NOT stopped buzzing about your keynote. As we near the end of the Spring season, I can say that it was your talk that resonated the most of ANY we brought to the podium this year the Luncheon series. It was your candidness and complete transparency that left such an impression – and I’ve only seen this happen one other time this season.

    - Event Manager, Women of Influence
  • Janet and Nancy's WXN July keynote was fantastic! The feedback from our guests was extremely positive which speaks to the relevance of their topic and how engaged the audience was. I loved the casual and natural format of the discussion--- the outcome was really dynamic and inspiring.

    - Manager, WXN Program Development & Speaker Relations
  • Janet and Nancy are a speaking powerhouse. Their presentations provide insight and humour in equal doses, that stick in your mind. The first time I saw them speak I was so inspired that I pitched them on writing a book—which I’m proud to be publishing. I couldn’t recommend working with Janet and Nancy more highly

    - Senior Editor, HarperCollins Canada
  • Nancy and Janet are some of the best speakers I've seen in the business. They know how to lead the room, make everyone laugh and think, and address sensitive topics in a direct and eye opening way. The fact that they are a duo just makes it double the fun.

    - Executive Director / ADC / Global Awards & Club
  • Nancy and Janet were a major highlight of The 3% Conference last year. In our exit surveys, many attendees raved about how their infectious humor and overall wisdom as speakers created valuable takeaways. As a conference organizer, I know how rare it is to find speakers who possess knowledge and stage presence; Nancy and Janet have both in spades.

    - Founder, The 3% Conference
  • Nancy and Janet approach subjects with passionate points of view, backed by knowledge from their experiences. They command the attention of an audience and move them to discussion. Not surprisingly, they scored some of the highest reviews of all the speakers in the program.

    - Director, VCU Brandcenter
  • Thank you for your note and a BIG thank you again to you and Janet for facilitating such an impactful & powerful workshop at our summit! … I am so happy that your messages were so well received.

    - Founder & President | Women in leadership Foundation
  • The flood of positive feedback received after the event is a testament to its success. Participants left the event feeling empowered and enabled by your call to action.

    - Bell

Speaker Biography

Janet Kestin and Nancy Vonk are women who made it to the C-level on roads not taken. They believe that the future of corporate success lies in companies’ ability to embrace and benefit from the unique skills of women. Known for their passion for mentoring, they built many of their most effective teams around the youngest. Collaboration, disruption and risk-taking are hallmarks of this “tell it like it is” duo’s leadership style.

And it all comes out in their popular new career guide for women, Darling You Can’t Do Both (And Other Noise To Ignore On Your Way Up). Darling has ignited new conversations around a workplace that works for women; it’s striking chords with women eager to find greater career success, and men who recognize that women are critical to companies’ futures.

Janet and Nancy have shared the book’s insights and ideas at Google, Facebook, Unilever, Mondelez, UCLA, the Princeton Chamber of Commerce and many other organizations, companies and universities across North America. Former co-Chief Creative Officers at Ogilvy & Mather, they were behind famous work for Dove (Campaign for Real Beauty) and many other iconic brands.

Swim, their creative leadership lab, works with companies to grow and support collaborative, fearless leaders of both genders. Their unconventional approach has been called out in Forbes and Fast Company. The duo were included in Creativity magazine’s Top 50 most creative people of 2009 list and were inducted into Canada’s Marketing Hall of Legends in 2011. In 2012 they were included in Advertising Age Magazine’s “100 Most Influential Women in Advertising”.

They were named Ad Women of the Year twice (AWNY awards in New York and WIN awards in Los Angeles), were keynote speakers at Women of Influence, the 3% Conference, Microsoft’s Toronto m:AD WOMEN event and at the launch of the Art Director’s Club’s 50-50 Campaign. They were the guest speakers at the launch of the Women@Google program, and at an event for UCLA’s female law students. Janet and Nancy have delivered how-to’s on engaging and retaining millennials at the CMDC annual conference, coached bankers on how to navigate through conflict at the TD Women’s Career Summit, and worked with America’s top 40 architects under 40 on how to break out of boxes in a rule-bound industry.

Their thoughts on creative leadership appear in Fast Company, Huffington Post and other publications. This outspoken, yin/yang duo are engaging, thought-provoking speakers who have inspired audiences from entrepreneurs to CEO’s to fashion retailers. People leave the room ready to tackle their challenges and opportunities with new ideas, and their innate creativity on their side.