Westfield Europe Ltd
WHAT IS YOUR PROFESSIONAL TITLE?
Chief Marketing Officer – UK & Europe
WHAT DO YOU DO ON A DAY-TO-DAY BASIS?
In its simplest form I am responsible for a team of hugely talented marketers who develop strategies and programmes to encourage consumers to visit and enjoy Westfield shopping centres. As part of this, we have a huge number of internal and external stakeholders that we need to work with from development and construction through to leasing and centre management. The role of the marketing team is to be the ‘voice of the consumer’ both within Westfield and outside of it – to ensure that the design and ambience of the centre is right, that the retail mix fits the catchment and to ensure that our marketing programmes have relevance to our consumers.
WHAT DID YOU WANT TO DO WHEN YOU WERE A CHILD AND WHAT CHANGED?
When I was a child I desperately wanted to be a vet! What changed were 2 things – firstly, I hated science and that was a key subject that I had to do at university to be able to be a vet and secondly, I hated it when animals died so for those 2 reasons, I didn’t think I would make a very good vet!
WHAT ACADEMIC QUALIFICATIONS DO YOU HAVE?
Bachelor of Business and 2 years of an MBA. I still need to finish my MBA as I was moved over from Australia to the UK in 2010 before I could finish it.
WHAT’S THE BEST CAREER ADVICE YOU’VE EVER BEEN GIVEN?
‘Focus 100% on the job you are doing now and the job you want will take care of itself.’
WHO IS YOUR ROLE MODEL AND WHY?
I don’t really have a business role model but I would say that my father has been a true inspiration to me. He was a hugely successful International CEO but throughout my entire life there hasn’t been a single school play or major life event that I can recall him missing. I was always in awe of how successful he was but also so present in my life.
WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT YOUR CURRENT WORKING ENVIRONMENT?
The continual changes that are happening –some more challenging than others! No day is ever the same and this makes life interesting. In addition, I have the best team in the world and they make my life so much easier.
WHAT WOULD YOU CHANGE ABOUT YOUR DAILY WORK ROUTINE IF YOU COULD?
The number of meetings that I have!
WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF PROFESSIONALLY IN FIVE YEARS’ TIME?
Hopefully doing a job that challenges me where I can make a difference. Being passionate about what I do makes me care so as long as I have that I will be happy.
DO YOU FEEL YOU CAN BE THE SAME PERSON AT WORK AND IN PRIVATE?
More or less. I am quite an introvert naturally so I use up a lot of energy being more of an extrovert in the office which is important and necessary. Privately I therefore like to spend time with my husband and dog!
WHERE AND IN WHAT ROLES ARE WOMEN IN THE LEADERSHIP STRUCTURE AT YOUR COMPANY?
Within the UK there are 2 women who sit on the UK board – myself as CMO and our Director of HR.
DOES DIVERSITY MATTER TO YOU?
It does as long as it is for the right reasons. I would hate to think that I, or any other woman in the workplace, was given a job or promoted into a role because I am a female. I want to have worked for and deserve what I achieve in my career.
HOW GOOD IS YOUR WORK LIFE BALANCE?
Pretty good although my husband would say it probably could be better! I am trying to not do any email from Friday afternoon to Monday morning which works most of the time! Getting a balance though is key – everyone needs a break and taking time away from the office I believe gives clarity of thought.
WHAT QUALITIES DOES BEING IN YOUR ROLE NECESSITATE?
Learning how to deal with difficult stakeholders is key so being resilient and not taking things personally is necessary. This can be hard and it has taken me many, many years to get better at this. I also think that being empathetic is key to leading a successful team or business. Learning how to be clear in communication both within your own team and other stakeholders is necessary to ensure that you bring everyone along on your journey.
ANY FINAL COMMENTS?
Always be authentic.