International Women’s Day 2018 will bring together friends, colleagues and whole communities to think, act and be gender inclusive in order to positively fuel the global momentum striving for gender parity with this year’s theme; #PressforProgress.
To celebrate the positive achievements of the women working at Akero, we caught up Hannah Dempster, Marketing Manager and one of our influential and inspiring women, to share her thoughts, advice and achievements.
What challenge(s) did you face and overcome to get to where you are?
I’d say being continually adaptable in the face of constant change both within the marketing industry overall and within the fast paced environment that is Akero and Natives Group! Also juggling work and family life with two young children can be a challenge.
What are the three most important things you do (or did) that contribute to your success?
I started at the bottom and worked my way up. It’s because of this I understand the intricacies and the attention to detail which can be overlooked in order for a campaign to succeed, although sometimes it’s hard to just step back and give others control.
If you could tell your 18-year-old self something that you know now, what would it be?
Don’t sweat it (too much), do the best you can do. Work matters but it’s not life threatening – to be honest I still try and tell myself that now. That, and do what makes you happy. The marketing industry is an incredibly fast paced one, but there is no rush, it’s ok to be content and do a really good job at a certain level, don’t feel rushed into taking the next step up until you’re ready.
Who are your top three female role models, and what about each inspires you?
Michelle Obama – she does so much to try and make the world a better place.
All of the England Netball Team – I love netball and many of these women hold down full time jobs and are just the most amazing athletes – in their spare time!
Hadley Freeman – she writes for the Guardian and generally tells it how it is – a great example of a working Mum.
What is the most fulfilling part of your role?
We’re going into a new market now which is an exciting challenge and will be hugely rewarding when we succeed!
What is your biggest achievement/proudest moment in your career to date?
For two years I ran an event where attendees were at multiple venues across Brighton in two different streams. Streams can be stressful enough without adding multiple venue locations to the equation! It wasn’t my proudest moment (I think that is still to come) but it was quite an achievement shepherding 100 delegates around Brighton – luckily it didn’t rain and we still received positive feedback on the overall event.
What advice would you give other women looking to follow a career path in marketing?
Take any practical experience you can get your hands on, show willing and muck in! The perception of marketing can be that anyone can do it (they can’t) and it’s a very competitive space so start a marketing blog, take unpaid experience where you can – you never know where it might lead. Also show willing – you might not be doing your dream job – yet, but a positive, can do attitude can go a long way in the eyes of your employer.
What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
I think it means more in 2018 than it has in previous years. With the women’s marches across the world in recent months gaining more momentum than ever, pay gaps at institutions like the BBC being addressed, and the #timesup campaign I think 2018 is a time when women should feel buoyed and optimistic about what is happening in society to finally address gender inequality.