Celebrating International Women’s Day

To celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD), Kantar Media spoke to a selection of senior women working in a variety of roles on what IWD means to them both personally and professionally.

Frances Sheardown, Deputy Managing Director – Insight Solutions, Kantar Media

  • International Women’s Day celebrates the scientific, political, economic and social achievements of women. In your experience as a successful woman, what is its significance/importance to you?I
    • I think it is a great opportunity to take stock of what we have all achieved personally and overall – it is an opportunity to look back at the progress that has been made in our own lifetimes, to reflect on what we’ve achieved to give us the renewed determination to address the issues that still exist.
  • What barriers have you faced, as a woman, in becoming successful in your field? How did you overcome them?
    • I have always had supportive managers who have helped me to achieve everything I can.  I hope I do the same for my team as well, irrespective of their gender. I have been lucky though, in some ways, in that I’ve never really felt that the barriers I’ve faced as being because I’m a woman.  Yes, things haven’t always gone to plan but I am a pragmatic person and have generally approached these situations in terms of ‘what do I need to do now’

Balbinder Badesha, Services Director, RPD Global, Kantar Media

  • What advice would you give to your younger self? Or younger women starting out in their career?
    • Never think of yourself as a woman first but as a competent and capable individual who can get the job done just as well as anyone else.
  • Is there anyone - personal/professional/icons - that inspire you?
    • Michelle Obama. Since her departure from the White House, she has continued to be a voice of support for women of all ages and an advocate for all. She leads by example and strives for more.

Anna Reeves, Chief Marketing Officer, Kantar Media

  • What advice would you give to your younger self? Or younger women starting out in their career?
    • I would say be authentic; be yourself. There can often be a temptation to have a different personal style because you think it’s more acceptable or mirrors the style of others in your office environment – I would say to younger women starting their careers to trust their gut instinct and stick to who they are and how they think they can most effectively and professionally deliver in their role.  Consider what’s important to you and stay true to that – whether it’s how you build relationships with your team or the processes you establish. Be true to your personal style and use your morals, your experience and your instinct to guide you.
  • What three skills do you think are essential to be a great leader?
    • Be human, listen and accept that you have different personalities in a team. A great leader is able to take people from different backgrounds with varying levels of experience and unique ways of working and drive them to deliver against a single goal and vision.

Penny Anderson, Client Director Reputation intelligence, Kantar Media

  • With the World Economic Forum's 2017 Global Gender Gap Report findings telling us that gender parity is over 200 years away - there has never been a more important time to keep motivated and #PressforProgress – What key things do you think we can do as a business and a society to help keep up momentum?
    • Continue to promote on merit.  Continue to give everybody a fair chance to apply for internal roles.  Recognise that not everyone has the same level of confidence when expressing opinions, but they are still worth listening to.
  • What three skills do you think are essential to be a great leader?
    • Firstly, listening – whether that be to your team (no matter how experienced they are), to the wider business, to clients.  And to what is happening in the world. Secondly, the ability to make clear decisions and communicate said decision and reasons why, well and finally patience.