LAUNCHING: BEATRICE FOSTER-MARIAN

Current Employer:

MEC

Time at the company:

1 year

THE BIG QUESTIONS

WHAT IS YOUR PROFESSIONAL TITLE?

Senior Content Partnerships Executive.

WHAT DO YOU DO ON A DAY-TO-DAY BASIS?

I work in Wavemaker at MEC, which is the content partnerships division of my company. My role is to help brands reach their audience in the best way possible. This involves day to day project management, creative ideation and working with media owners to help create the most engaging content possible.

WHAT DID YOU WANT TO DO WHEN YOU WERE A CHILD?

I wanted to be an actress, or a veterinarian.

WHAT ACADEMIC QUALIFICATIONS DO YOU HAVE?

I have a BA Hons degree in Anthropology.

WHAT’S THE BEST CAREER ADVICE YOU’VE EVER BEEN GIVEN?

Everyone is looking out for themselves. It's more a constant reminder to me that I am in control of my own destiny - if I want something, I need to ask for it myself, if I want something to happen, I can seek help from others but I can't expect others to make the things happen that I need in my career. No one is likely going to just give you that promotion, or give you recognition at the best time, or work on you progressing your career exactly when you need it - you have to make those things happen yourself.

WHO IS YOUR ROLE MODEL AND WHY?

Amy Poehler for not ever being apologetic for speaking her mind (without being rude), and for coming up with my favorite mantra - "good for her, not for me" which I find I repeat to myself A LOT.

WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT YOUR CURRENT WORKING ENVIRONMENT?

They value the importance of work/life balance. They are incredibly flexible and make it super easy to work remotely if you need to. They’re brilliant!

WHAT WOULD YOU CHANGE ABOUT YOUR DAILY WORK ROUTINE IF YOU COULD?

I'm not sure I would change anything actually! I have a really good mix of working out, focusing on work, and am usually able to get out of the office at a really reasonable time!

WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF PROFESSIONALLY IN FIVE YEARS’ TIME?

I see myself working in-house, hopefully in something related to charity or the arts. I would love to be able to combine my anthropology degree and media skills.

DO YOU FEEL YOU CAN BE THE SAME PERSON AT WORK AND IN PRIVATE?

Yes more or less.

WHERE AND IN WHAT ROLES ARE WOMEN IN THE LEADERSHIP STRUCTURE AT YOUR COMPANY?

I have female managing partners and managing directors at a company-wide scale, as well as directors and business directors directly in my division.

DOES DIVERSITY MATTER TO YOU?

Yes very much so - I work in advertising and it is so  much of muchness - how can you market to every type of person when you don't have different people from different life experiences writing and creating ideas? It’s something I know my company are very aware of, but it's certainly an industry wide problem.

HOW GOOD IS YOUR WORK LIFE BALANCE?

Very good! Best I've had in my life so far.

WHAT QUALITIES DOES BEING IN YOUR ROLE NECESSITATE?

I think being a go-getter, you have to be able to just pick up the phone or raise your hand and ask a questions without being shy. You also need to trust your gut and be able to articulate yourself. And being able to think quickly on your feet when you're asked questions or explanations you may not know.

ANY FINAL COMMENTS?

I have had some really tough female bosses, and it made me wary of working for other women full stop, but in my new role my female director has completely changed my view of the role women can play in supporting each other. I thought I would have to push through this industry with my head down and try a find a way to be successful without being a bitch - but I think we're getting to a point where so many other women have felt that way that a shift is happening. I am determined in my career to be successful while maintaining my sense of self and that includes being kind, supportive, and friendly. I have found that the old adage of what you put out in the world you get back is becoming more and more true for me - once you hold out a friendly hand to a women in the industry, they're more than happy to meet you in kind. However in turn, I think that companies allowing a better work life balance are enabling people (men and women) to "do things their way" and you see more and more interesting and varied people at the top. I think a lot of people my age look at those in positions above them and think "no thank you!" and that's a shame. They should feel that they don't have to be one way to be a CEO, or one way to be a successful woman.

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