International Women's Day 2020: What career advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
As we approach International Women’s Day 2020, we can’t help but reflect on the brilliantly talented women we have had the pleasure of meeting and working with over the years.
In honour of those women, we’ve pulled together a roundup featuring some of our latest inspirational interviews from our ‘How I Made It’ career series, where we talk to senior marketing and communications pros about how they made it to the top in their career and what helped them along the way. In the full interviews, they share with us how they got into the industry, their mentors and inspirations, the biggest challenges they’ve overcome, qualities to be a successful leader and much more.
Here, we share career advice from six talented women, particularly the advice they would give their 20-year-old self, with a view to inspiring future generations of female leaders.
What career advice would you give to your 20-year-old self?
Nik Govier, Founder and CEO, Blurred PR
“It’s the same advice that I’d give my nine-year-old daughter, which is to grab every opportunity. Have every conversation, meet every person, say yes to things that might scare you and just do it, because you never know where life is going to take you, which is incredibly exciting. Embrace everything that life has got to give you and keep every door open, so you then know which one you want to go through.”
Francesca Scassellati Sforzolini, MD and Head of Brussels Office, Incisive Health
“To make the most out of each professional experience. Even when you find yourself in a job that does not feel 100% right, you have something to learn and that will be valuable at some point in your career.
“Also, as you move forward in your career you must learn to not feel guilty for sometimes having to compromise between your work and your family. This is something that many working women go through and is particularly difficult to deal with at certain stages in life, i.e. when you have young children.
“In my own career, I have at times made choices that fully prioritised my family. While I am happy about that and know that for me it was a good choice, that may not be the same for everyone. You just need to try and find out what is best for you and accept that whatever you decide will never feel completely perfect.”
Daniela Flores, Co-Founder of Purpose Union
“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.”
Jo Tanner, CEO of iNHouse Communications
“To be more accepting of who I am and use my time wisely. I‘d like to have seen myself try the things that I was a bit nervous about doing. Give stuff a go: I only regret the things I didn’t do, not the things I did.”
Jane Brearley, Senior Partner, Portland Communications
“Stay curious and don’t get jaded. Keep asking questions. Don’t have a closed mind. Don’t be fazed by the fact that you might not know things. It’s too easy in the pharmaceutical sector to say “compliance says no” rather than think “this is a fabulous idea, let’s see how we can make it work within the rules.”
Julia Bainbridge, Partner and Head of Health and Behaviour Change, freuds
“Know that you can’t do it all. Learn to build teams of people around you and learn which skills and personality traits in others can together make you a stronger collective. Be more resilient. And try not to be perfect!”