IMA Sparks marks International Women’s Day 2020.

By Kaela Thurston on Mar 10, 2020

International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. Last Friday we celebrated the amazing women of IMA by launching IMA Sparks, a new monthly event where people from across the industry share their insight to spark fresh ideas.

This month, we were lucky enough to hear from members of the IMA team who shared their unique perspectives on being a woman in the creative industry (a brave feat in front of both your male and female colleagues!). From owning insecurities to how the industry has changed over the years, each talk was packed full of knowledge and advice. It’s days like these that make us reflect on how privileged and lucky we are to work for a forward-thinking organisation – full of amazing people, with incredible stories to share.

Here’s just a little look at what some of our speakers had to say:

Beccy Fisk, Digital Art Director, on “never letting obstacles get in the way of opportunity”

The battle to normalise mental health is real. It’s a topic people aren’t usually confident enough to speak up about, and the more we hide it, the more of an obstacle it becomes. It’s time to start taking away the shame and the judgement from looking after our mental wellness, and that starts with a work-life balance. If we can normalise mental health, then we can stop it from becoming an obstacle in our lives to make the most of the opportunities in front of us. And those opportunities, are the building blocks of our success.

Fiona Dollan, Director of 3D, on “whether or not it’s a man’s world”

To this day I’m sometimes still perceived as Robin rather than Batman, having to earn that respect rather than it just being given without question. After most meetings these days, because I hold my own, articulate myself and know my practice inside out, the perception takes a shift. Firmer handshakes, direct eye contact, being heard rather than being talked over and being trusted to get the job done. Of course, it’s shit that this has to happen, but I could either moan about it or just get on with it. A positive thing has happened and, at one time in our lives, we have all been culprits in judging a book by its cover then being pleasantly surprised. Just make sure your fly is zipped up and you’ve checked for lipstick on your teeth.

Rachael Sullivan, Communications & Development Manager, on “the best advice I’ve ever been given”

Having worked in the creative industry for nearly 20 years I’ve worked with incredible people, made my share of mistakes and learned lessons on the way. But these three mantras have stuck with me, changing the way I live my life and shaping who I am today.

  • ‘Having a common purpose to achieve something incredible is way more powerful than bonding with co-workers over a common enemy’ – Simon Sinek.
  • ‘Make it personal, but don’t take it personal’ – Jane Huxley, Managing Director, Spotify.
  • Create your own definition of success’ – Ross Cooney, Performance Consultant, 1% Daily.

Alex Uprichard, Director of Channel Strategy, on “how to have it all, but not on the same day”

My career path hasn’t been the perfect curve, but I can genuinely say that I have always made decisions based on what will bring me, and those closest to me, the most fulfilment. The result has been getting as close to have it all as one can. I sometimes catch myself going, “I’ve been really lucky” but I also believe you make your own luck. That’s why I believe if the role that brings you personal fulfilment doesn’t exist, create it! No one is going to do it for you. It’s OK to feel worried about change, but nothing in life that is worth it comes easy.

Chloe Wise, Events & PR Manager, on “owning my insecurities”

Owning your insecurities can be a turning point in both your personal life and career. It certainly was in mine. Giving less value to what others think and working on self-acceptance has improved my confidence and given the boost I needed to be proud of myself and really own what I do in my role. I believe that everyone can achieve the same, and by doing so it will help you with your career goals, whatever they may be.

A huge thank you to all the IMA women who shared their stories. I know I felt truly inspired and walked into the weekend feeling empowered, proud to be a woman and lucky to be part of an organisation that values women in the workplace.

This is just the start of IMA Sparks. We have more events to come featuring speakers from throughout the industry, so keep your eyes peeled.