Top trumps alert! What are the three cards you’ve played to help you get where you are in your career?

  • Relentlessness - If I believe in something or someone I don't give up. I am happy to take the reputation of the 'annoying one' if it means we get things done. I have unlocked opportunities for myself because I let go of the notion of being embarrassed and just gone for it.
  • Curiosity - I question everything, even if it seems obvious, even if everyone else in the room seems to get it. If I don't 100% understand, I will always ask the question. I will also always explore things that aren't within typical genres I go for. This has really helped in the world of entertainment too; I feed off the passions of others and get to the root of why it excites them, which is why I can pretty much work on anything.
  • Unpretentiousness - I embrace my love of everything weird, nerdy as well as 'basic', everywhere. I don't aim to be highbrow; I will get insight from any source if I think it's relevant to my audience because people will engage in the things that truly interest them, not the stuff they want to be seen to like. It's my variety of interests that have gotten me to the most enriching insights.

In addition, to build a great network I have taken an unpretentious approach to networking. I speak to everyone with the same humanity no matter their title. Humans want normal genuine conversation and to connect, even if they're a VP.  

Ballsiness, being the bossy boots, Machiavellian ruthlessness - why do many women feel that they need to act tough to succeed? What are the real hallmark signs of good female leaders?

I believe signs of good female leaders are also signs of good male leaders; we should all learn to embody these skills:

  • Empathy: genuine understanding and concern for the feelings, needs and perspectives of others, in and out of their team. It involves actively listening, offering support, and striving to create an inclusive environment.
  • Trust: Micromanaging is not just annoying, but it takes away all the trust you have within yourself and your own ability. It makes you feel like you're not making an impact and that nothing you do is good enough. It's important to hire people you trust can do the job and give them the freedom to show you what they can do.
  • Direction: They listen to the opinions of others, but they aren't scared to make important decisions and are happy to take accountability no matter the outcome.

Who has inspired you in your career? Why?

Laurel Stark has taught me a lot about colouring outside of the lines. You can negotiate anything and not only can, but should challenge the status quo, especially in the creative industry. She has stuck to what she believes in and made that the red thread of her entire career.

Robbie McCawley has shown me what a true ally looks like. He has given me the confidence to explore what I am capable of in my role and although he might not have experienced everything with the same lens, he listens and never denies my experiences.

Ally Waring conducts herself exactly how I want to be as a leader. She is extremely kind and would do anything to protect her team, and also pushes back when necessary, in such a respectful but firm way that doesn't betray her boundaries.

If you could wave your magic wand and right one wrong in the workplace, what would it be and what would you do?

I'd take away the fear of being wrong and ego. If everyone had a genuine learning mindset about data, without thinking it was a personal attack, we would be much more innovative and work better together.

The route to success is never smooth. What tips, professional, personal, and leftfield, would you give rising stars, if you were starting out today?

Lean into what makes that fire in the pit of your stomach set alight. You're going to be working a long time and there will be a lot of attempts to suck out your soul which are unrelated to your work, whether that's people or process, nothing is smooth sailing. So it is of utmost importance that when it comes to the work and the kind of impact you want to be making, make sure you follow that. And don't let a busy work culture stop you from carving out time to figure out what that is. I have 15 minutes in my calendar every Friday to go through case studies of which I am proud (the what) and stories of achievement I am contributing to (the how and the impact).

Know when to give up- yes, you read that right. I am the queen of anti-resilience. I don't mean that I don't work well amidst adversity, or that I will let people down, but I am hyper aware of what's not serving me. Pick out the trends; is there something that is happening here that is changeable? If so, speak out. If it's not changeable, like a wider toxic culture (you won't change a company from a mid-level role, it will change you, and not for the better), or if you're not listened to, then LEAVE. It's a sign that you're meant for better things elsewhere. You don't get a prize for sticking around, there is no badge of honour you get for suffering.