Celebrating International Women’s Day at ForwardPMX – Part 1

March 3, 2020

The ForwardPMX team is excited to share the first installment of our three-part blog series celebrating International Women’s Day. We’re spotlighting women’s stories from across our global organization, sharing insights into the careers, passions, and the opportunities and challenges that have shaped their personal and professional lives.

Across the world, we’re taking a moment to pause and reflect on the campaign theme for this year, #EachforEqual, while celebrating women’s achievements in unique ways across our offices. We’re hosting panel discussions with guest speakers from our partners like Google and The Stagwell Group to create an open forum for both women and men to voice how we can challenge stereotypes, tackle bias and broaden our perceptions in our everyday lives. With several local events planned globally, along with key charitable initiatives, March represents an important and exciting time to move women forward.

Alba Soria Pinar, Senior Account Manager, Dubai

What are some significant challenges you’ve had to overcome, and how did you overcome them?

As a young professional who is a fast learner and has a big drive to succeed in the industry, I have progressed fast in my career. To do this, not only have I had to overcome the challenge of proving myself worthy again and again, but also of dealing with others undermining my achievements. I have learned that the best way to deal with this is by being graceful and helping others in their own developments, while surrounding yourself with strong women and leadership figures who continue to motivate you when everyone else is against you. When you lose hope, remember all the amazing things you are capable of, and don’t be afraid to ask for what you deserve!

What are the “women’s themes” that still need greater awareness in your opinion?

While there is a lot of awareness about the importance of improving female representation at senior leadership levels, I think it is also critical that leaders consider representation during more common, every-day scenarios.

I am talking about meetings, job interviews, pitches and client presentations when in many occasions, there is only one woman in the room, sometimes none at all. Especially for juniors, this can be a very daunting situation and speaks poorly about a company’s diversity. It is important because this simple change can provide a better sense of community, empathy and safety to the woman in the room; allowing her to feel more comfortable and perform to her best abilities.

Henrietta Harvey, OP Executive, London

What are the “women’s themes” that still need greater awareness in your opinion?

I believe that motherhood and career progression still need greater awareness in the workplace. I think women struggle with the idea of starting a family due to the fear of being left behind or of being treated differently when they return to work. Women should have more reassurance and support at work when making these life choices. We should be safe in the knowledge that our careers will not be compromised by our decision to start a family.

What are some significant challenges you’ve had to overcome, and how did you overcome them?

One challenge I had to overcome was a career change in my thirties. This was a tough decision as I knew I had to start from the beginning and compete with younger graduates or people with more experience. Even though I had no digital marketing expertise, I did have transferable soft skills and years of working in a range of environments which was one positive. I decided to study a digital marketing diploma whilst interning to gain the skills and knowledge I needed to succeed in my new SEO career. I’m now a firm believer that if you put the time and effort in, you can change your career at any stage of your life.

Kerry Lenahan, Associate Vice President, Strategic Insights, Non Profit Strategy, U.S. 

What was the most important advice you’ve gotten in your career?

Don’t undervalue what you know and what you do.  Many people take for granted the knowledge and skills they’ve built over the years and think anyone can do what comes easily for them.  That’s simply not true.  Know what your unique value is and know your value.

(Thank you Suzi Pomerantz)

How do you inspire and motivate your team as a leader?

I try to understand where my teammates are trying to grow in their career and help them get to where they are going-even if that means helping them move off our team if that’s the next best move for them.

Abby Kitten, Director, Account Management, U.S.

What are you most passionate about, both inside and outside the workplace?

At ForwardPMX, I’m passionate about learning my clients’ business inside and out so we can help them effectively and creatively work towards their goals. I have been at the agency for 5+ years, so I feel protective about maintaining the culture that I have always loved, which to me means being very collaborative with and supportive of my teams. In my personal life, I really value things that help me reset and reflect, and for me that is books, films, gym classes, spending as much time outside as possible with my dog, and trying new restaurants.

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