As part of our series around International Women’s Day, we asked members of The Social Element executive team about their experiences as women in marketing.
This week, we hear from our chief creative officer, Emma Harris.
Emma has a unique perspective: she is both a member of The Social Element’s executive team and the founder of her own business, Glow London.
Inspiration from differences
Emma’s inspired by people whose perspective and way of thinking are different to her own. She tells us that Wendy Christie (who has an almost opposite DiSC profile to her) is a particular inspiration.
Where Emma moves fast, always wanting to get things done right away, Wendy keeps things grounded, spending time thinking through what the vision will look like in action and what effect changes will have on people. Emma’s learned a lot from working with someone who takes such a different approach.
We all have things we can learn and things we can teach.
Always be doing the next job
Emma’s advice to women starting their careers would be “don’t wait for that promotion”. Show people what you want (and what you’re capable of) by doing it already.
Ask yourself what things would look like from the next rung up the ladder and start behaving like you’re already there. Never be in a situation where you’re saying, “if I got that job, I would…”
Women often downplay their skills and achievements. It’s easy to think that if you work hard enough, someone will eventually reward you with a promotion. But it’s a strategy that relies on having a boss who’s more passionate about your career development than you are. Emma’s advice is a reminder that we should all advocate for ourselves much more than we do, and become our own biggest cheerleaders.
Be proud and confident about being a woman
Emma had a very strong female role model growing up – her mum. So when it was time for Emma to enter the workforce, she was very secure about what she could achieve, regardless of her gender.
“I never step into a room worrying about my gender. I see my femininity as a strength, but being smart, funny and collaborative – that’s what matters,” she says.
Don’t underestimate the power of building rapport with others
For Emma, one of the most powerful skills you can have in business is the ability to build rapport. While some people worry about whether they’re smart enough to get ahead, Emma believes that it’s relationship-building that’s the real key to success.
“People buy people. If you use rapport to connect with other people, you can achieve anything,” she says.
Many skills can be taught, but having that genuine human connection is something else. Her advice? We all want to work and do business with people who we have that creative spark with – look for ways that you can build that connection with others.