Fireside Chats with iProspect's Women in Leadership - Part 1: Empowering Careers

iProspect, Dentsu

In this three-part Q&A blog series, we pick the brains of these four inspirational women leading iProspect:

Get a raw, honest look into their career journeys so far, experiences, turning points and motivations, with a few eye-opening stats along the way. Learn how you can make a real, positive difference for you and your teams today with these golden words of wisdom from media leaders that have seen it all.

Share your top piece of advice for people looking to be in leadership, but unsure how to progress?

Camille: “You’re in charge of steering your own ship. You’re responsible for making change happen.

If in doubt, remember you were trusted in a senior position for a reason - you don’t always have to have the answers, it’s about knowing who and where to go to for support, coaching or mentoring – make the most of your resources or network.“

“Be empathetic to others needs, create solutions, solve problems, focus less on how you’re feeling and listen more. Never assume bad intentions from those that create barriers and find a way to work with them - you don’t know what they’re going through.”

Libby: “I admire people who just be themselves. Men certainly are.”

“I see a lot of people, particularly women, who feel that they should act a certain way when they reach a certain seniority. Everyone should bring their authentic self to work, you don’t have to be corporate - be personable and bring personality. It’s what I strive to do every day.”

“The programme has given me the confidence, resilience, ambition, tools and community of support across the business to bounce-back when things are tough, especially now I have three boys to parent alongside my career.”

Vanessa: “Your career is a marathon not a sprint – an important reminder to be patient, you don’t always have to progress fast and put unmanageable pressure on yourself.”

“Believe in your opinions and share your ideas – speak up and make yourself heard. Women are renowned for lacking confidence and self-belief. Remember that everyone has their own personal struggles and makes mistakes - even senior leaders, we’re all human. Have the confidence to believe in your leadership regardless of any personal experiences or barriers – part of being human is that we all struggle at some point.”

Hannah: “Don’t be afraid of rejection or to put yourself forward, particularly when applying for job roles. I’ve seen women will only apply for the role if they can do 100% of the job specification, and men will apply if they only meet 60% of the requirements. You could learn a lot from the recruitment process, even if you don’t get the role.”

“Raise your profile, get noticed, build your network with the right people and think about how to be valuable to them, volunteer to lead projects outside of the day to day, like pitches. Mentorship programmes are incredibly powerful for feedback and improvement too.”

What’s the best career decision you’ve ever made or training you’ve had to get to where you are today?

Camille: “With structural changes, the remit of my role increased to lead the Newcastle team - and I took the bull by the horns to prove myself. While it was a huge step for me returning from maternity during a pandemic, I wanted to be a role model for my daughter and connected with the right people. I proactively put in consistent mentor sessions with leadership to ask questions and get valuable guidance.”

“I’m so proud of what the Newcastle team achieved just two years on. We restored team numbers to pre-covid levels, achieved the highest increase in GCI across the business and secured several pieces of new business.”

Libby: “Don’t be afraid to move out your swim lane. A key bit of advice that’s stuck with me my whole career. It’s motivated me to move from single-channel to cross-channel roles, spot the gaps in skills based on industry changes and convince leaders they need a new role I carved out seven years ago.”

“To leadership, I highlighted examples of work falling through the gaps, proving we need to be looking at how channels integrate and networked hard across the business to find and surface the problems.”

“Remember, progression doesn’t have to be the next level up from a current role. If you see someone doing something exciting, explore it and challenge yourself to go for it.”

Vanessa: “In 2015, I was selected to take part in a pilot ‘women in leadership’ training programme alongside 15 senior dentsu women. It was a turning point in my career. We analysed the gender split at all levels in the business, created a plan and training programme to motivate, inspire and support women better. It’s a reality that many women lack confidence & need that additional support to break through barriers.”

Hannah: “When I took a side-ways steps from a digital specialist role to focus more on holistic communications planning in the early 2010s – it was the best decision I made for my career, even though I was thrown in at the deep end with limited knowledge of the role. I had to be resilient, lean into what I was good at like managing clients, spend a lot of time self-teaching and learning from the talented people around me. I’ve always felt supported by dentsu to make numerous career moves within the business, luckily.”

“Training-wise, my post-maternity coaching was among the most valuable for me – it helped build my confidence back and ease back into work life after my son.”

“The programme has given me the confidence, resilience, ambition, tools and community of support across the business to bounce-back when things are tough, especially now I have three boys to parent alongside my career.”

Key takeaways:

Explore these topics:
#Management #National #Premium #Business Theory #Insight #Thought Leadership

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