How I made it featuring Daniela Flores, Co-Founder of Purpose Union
Hanson Search interviews Daniela Flores, Co-Founder of Purpose Union, a specialist social purpose agency that works with clients to develop compelling arguments, build powerful coalitions, and devise winning campaigns to change the world for good.
Daniela has over 12 years of experience advising organisations across Europe, the Middle East and Latin America on their reputation and communications strategies. Most recently, her focus has been on building sustainability and social purpose campaigns. She is particularly passionate about the corporate agenda around gender diversity and inclusion and is committed to supporting women in business through coaching and mentoring. Daniela is also involved in cultural, social and environmental projects in Latin America.
How did you get into the Communications industry?
I started out in banking and then moved into journalism before I settled in financial PR at Capital MSL (now Kekst CNC). I was based with them in London for six months before moving to Dubai to open the Middle East office.
Have you had a mentor who has inspired you in your career?
My boss at BNY Mellon, Michael Cole-Fontayn, was fantastic and even though I was only there for two years we’re still in touch now. Throughout my career he’s always looked out for me, given me great advice and connected me to people. He hired me based on my potential in spite of the fact that I had no financial experience, and since then I’ve always hired with that same ethos – potential and attitude are everything.
What career advice would you give your twenty-year-old self?
To have more confidence in my abilities and to speak up more. Financial PR is quite a male-dominated industry, and as one of the only women in the room with clients and bankers, I would worry that what I had to say wasn’t as valid or valuable – I realise now that I’m much more capable than I thought I was.
What do you think it takes to be successful in 2019?
Be true to yourself. I set up Purpose Union when I was struggling to be happy in my career, and I realised that it was because the work really wasn’t aligned with my values and what I wanted out of life. I discovered that doing what you’re passionate about and finding your purpose helps everything flow and makes life so much better.
What should businesses be doing to improve diversity in the workplace?
Firstly, creating a more inclusive environment where people want to come and work is really important. Offering flexible hours and remote working is definitely a part of that. Also, I think it is essential to set the tone from the top - if the management team of an organisation is diverse, it sets a good example that whatever your background, ethnicity or gender, you can reach that level too. And, of course it differs from industry to industry, but having diversity across different areas of the business - not only in recruitment but also in the supply chain or procurement - should be a basic prerequisite across the board.
What do you see as the biggest challenge which the comms industry will face over the next few years?
I think that the shift in millennial and gen-Z trends, with these groups increasingly focused on what their purpose is and what their priorities are, will be a major challenge for the industry. In both their personal and professional lives, as investors, consumers or employees, they will be demanding more from the private, public and social sectors, which will make purpose-driven comms even more relevant in the future.
What piece of technology, other than your phone, could you not live without?
I’m going through a digital detox at the moment and trying to step away from technology as much as I can – but I’d find it hard to live without my juicer!