I attended Bloomfest this year, which is the annual event run by Bloom – a not-for-profit organisation that’s full of talented, enthusiastic and extremely dedicated women who are working hard to make sure that all women can achieve their fullest potential in the communications industry.
The event itself covered a huge range of topics and really got me thinking about the responsibility I have as the Client Services Director at Earnest to put my experience to good use within Earnest.
‘The new banter’
Most people enjoy a laugh and a joke, but what can sound perfectly okay to one person can be the total opposite to another. Obviously this is a complicated issue, but we can probably all agree that workplace banter can’t be at the expense of others and if anything makes a person uncomfortable, then it’s simply not okay.
‘The secret self’
Some very personal stories were shared at Bloomfest, reinforcing how important it is to be able to work in a supportive environment, no matter what you’re going through. I’m sure that many of us have a few personal struggles from time to time and that’s when we need support to survive the day.
‘Intersectionality – tinted lenses’
Our industry is all about communicating with the most diverse range of audiences – but how can we do this authentically if our agencies don’t reflect this diversity? Intersectionality is as important in agencies as it is in society, because it makes us even more creative in our strategy, ideas and creative executions.
‘Booth of truth confessions’
Some really upsetting confessions were shared, making it crystal clear that the problems faced by many in our industry (and others) simply aren’t going to go away quickly, but by sharing and discussing them like this gives people more confidence.
I came away from Bloomfest thinking hard about the responsibility I have in making sure that everyone at Earnest – men and women feel able to pursue their potential within an environment that doesn’t make them feel uncomfortable, or unable to be themselves. In all I honestly think as an agency we do pretty well on this front, but that doesn’t mean we can afford to take it for granted and, as one of the management team, I am taking it upon myself to make sure we really do live by this and continue to make it central to our culture.
The value and importance of having an inclusive and supportive working environment, especially in our industry, is simple – it brings out the best in people, and it’s our duty as managers to make sure that when people move on to their next role they carry these values, behaviours, and perspectives with them and reinforce them everywhere they work.
This is how we ensure lasting change in our industry and shape the next generation of healthier, happier and more inspirational workplaces.
I also came away thinking, what a great career I’ve had – I definitely don’t want to brag but I do want to inspire people and give some belief to people so we can keep great talent in our industry – young, old, male, female etc.
In my next post I’m going to share some of the ups and downs from my own journey into B2B marketing, including some great employers as well as some not-so-great employers, so we can hopefully all learn a little something with the benefit of hindsight.