Ashley Rudder – Pay Equity For Creators With Ashley Rudder, First-Ever Global Chief Creator Officer At Whalar
Pay equity focuses on creators from all genders, races, and backgrounds being paid fairly for their work and the value they deliver. Today, Ashley Rudder, the first-ever Global Chief Creator Officer at Whalar, shares her vision for the future and goals for improving pay equity in the creator marketplace.
About Ashley Rudder
Ashley Rudder is a creator at heart with a history of owning multiple businesses, which built her love of creative marketing. She has over 20 years of experience at Mac Cosmetics and became the Global Director of Digital Content Artistry for Mac Cosmetics. As Global Director of Digital Content Artistry, she put Mac Cosmetics on the map as the first brand to shoot vertical video that was platform specific in the beauty industry.
Ashley shares, “That’s really where I saw such a massive synergy was when having a marketing degree meets the practical application of executing it yourself, plus seeing the benefit of the community. All of those things have led me to this place right now, which is wild.”
These experiences gave her the knowledge to jump into a new role with Whalar as the first-ever Global Chief Creator Officier.
What is Whalar?
Whalar is a creator-commerce company powering creators. They use artificial intelligence and human intelligence to match brands and creators together, resulting in authentic and creative content. Whalar also measures its clients’ specific campaign KPIs, including full-funnel measurement, media, and sales metrics.
Ashley notes, “The space is optimal right now because the democratization of the marketing industry is already in full swell. We’ve seen the impact of creators on the marketing industry, and I feel like we’re at the dawn of its impact on the creative industry itself, and Web3 alone is led by creators and futurists.”
Ashley’s new role as Global Chief Creator Officier is deeply rooted in Whalar’s belief that they need to mirror the creator economy’s future.
Ashley explains, “I really plan on being a catalyst for change for the creator economy and the future of creativity itself by really giving full holistic guidance for creators, brands, and platforms. That’s the whole purpose of it to have everything come together as a synergy because there are just too many things going on, and creators are really at the center of all of it.”
Ashley plans on using Whalar’s many resources to accomplish this, such as the company’s close connection with many major social media platforms. Whalar’s presence as a creator commerce company also gives them many opportunities to be in the room with executives and people who can make significant changes in the creator industry.
Improving the Creator Economy
Ashley says, “There’s always room for improvement and the representation, and the support of creators, and the industry continues to evolve and mature, and it’s important to prioritize fair treatment and recognition of the people who are driving its success.”
Ashley and the Whalar team are looking at every contract through th
e eyes of the creators to ensure contracts are fair to both parties to accomplish this goal.
She adds, “Whalar’s really doubling down and making sure that all the way up to the C-suite people understand the needs of the market and how it’s evolving. Again, we’re here to support everyone. It is a necessity to have someone at the C-suite level oversee these things, especially around pay equity, because it’s just not fully understood.”
Whalar’s process for identifying and selecting influencers to work with also supports this mission. Their proprietary technology allows them to identify creators in multiple ways and access data and measurements to select creators. These tools help match creators to brands based on the creator’s capabilities, not just their engagement and followers.
“Followers are an antiquated way to associate and identify a creator. It’s really about the community that they’ve garnered and the trust that they bring forth and the accountability and value that they are creating.”
Ashley explains that these detailed analytics are why Whalar’s campaigns are so powerful. The deep work helps them understand who the creators are and their audience.
The Promise of Web3
Web3 offers endless opportunities for creators because it promises to decentralize technology and make the online world more equitable and open.
Ashley explains, “Creators are going to have control of their content, over the monetization, and it really allows them to have true ownership and accountability in the digital space because before, the line between creators and consumer was very divided, but now with Web3 it is integrated, that part blurs now because it enables super active participation.”
Fans and followers will be able to invest in a creator’s future, even becoming business partners with them.
She adds, “There was no capacity to do that before, outside of buying someone’s merch or buying a product directly, but this just adds so much more capability and new avenues for creators to monetize their work through the tokenization and micropayments. I think it’s really going to pave the way for a more sustainable creator economy.”
Technology is rapidly changing, making it challenging to keep up with the latest trends and changes in the influencer marketing industry. Ashley calls herself a lifetime student and constantly studies technology and the industry to stay abreast of new changes. She also stays in close contact with industry friends that help her stay on top of the many new changes.
Pay Equity in the Creator Space
The most significant change Ashley would like to see in the creator space is a greater emphasis on pay equity.
She explains, “[That is] The largest topic of conversation that I want to focus on because we’re in a space now where everyone understands creators, but they don’t understand their creativity and the full value of their creativity because they see it as this highly relatable, raw content.”
Many people see creator content as teenagers rambling about topics of interest rather than the high-value production many creators offer. For example, some creators may take a simple selfie, but others are producing feature-length films.
Ashley shares, “That’s why the pay equity piece is so huge and why it’s one of the biggest things that I want to tackle because if you don’t understand the value, you’ll never be able to price it accurately.”
In addition, Ashley’s vision for the creator space is to create a place where people can fully unleash their potential and bring their ideas to life.
“I see a future where barriers of entry to creative pursuits are completely removed, and the creative community is empowered to thrive on a global scale… My being the first Global Chief Creator Officer is the first part of that. It hasn’t happened before.”
She adds that she can’t wait to see creators continue to impact the world in huge, intrinsic, and disruptive ways.
“In 2023, we’re at the precipice of creators doing so much, and we’re at the dawn of Web3, and it’s just this dynamic tension that’s happening right now with the future of creators, and that’s why this role that I’m in is to maintain and make sure that things are equitable.”