What made you create/co-found your own company?
I started my career in corporate life working in Deloitte, London as a National Marketing Manager in the 90s. Times were different, and I just knew there had to be a better way to do business. It was stuffy, unforgiving and bitchy. There was no mentoring or mindfulness. Even then I knew that life / work was one thing and I made a promise with myself that I would one day run my own business.
What challenges have you faced being a woman in your role?
With regards to the creative industry, I have had to challenge the stigma when referred to as ‘the colouring in department’ or ‘fluffy girly bunnies’. I am made of quite tough stuff but some of this stigma still exists and it is unacceptable.
Another challenge is perceptions from generations before. My granddad ran a successful business employing over 400 people in the 40s to 60s. The succession of the business was only ever going to be his sons (my uncles). My mum and auntie were never asked or anyone, including themselves, thought they ever could. The irony is my uncles didn’t wish to run the business and it was sold.
What do you think are your strengths or advantages?
In general: grit, determination, buckets of resolve and a sense of humour. Plus, having integrity, being personable and good to work with.
Hormones & wellbeing for us all
Hormones and menopause can play havoc with the mind and body for a day / week & sometimes years, throwing it completely out of normal sync. With anxiety, being emotional, irritability and sleep issues, all of which can affect productivity, it’s hard enough for women to describe what is happening, let alone discussing with men or even other women. There is so much more learning to do – both for women & men – and it needs to be tackled, head on.
It is important to note that men are not infallible. Men often have a tendency to push too hard and through problems… leading to health problems, both mental and physical. I know of men in my circle who have had stents fitted in their 30s, heart attacks in their 50s, relationship break downs, divorce or mental break downs.
It is clear we all need to take more breaks (in day-to-day life but also to not be in such a rush to constantly achieve), to be aware of our bodies and be in tune with our emotional intelligence and wellbeing.
We’re not all one fit
Lastly, we are humans and as such we are also multi-layered and complex made up of different backgrounds and cultures. It isn’t just men and women. A lot more education needs to be focused on trans, non-binary plus still on all sexualities, religions, culture, race & disabilities.
Together this will help all people to become leaders regardless of just the male or female debate. It should just be people in business and leading them.
About Lisa Lavis
Lisa co-founded Glow in 2000 and built it into a thriving agency. A former national marketing manager for global professional services firm Deloitte, Lisa combines strong, hands-on leadership skills with strategic marketing and business acumen. She has 25 years’ experience of developing powerful creative campaigns and strategies for businesses in a variety of industries. A strong project manager, with a Business Studies degree form the leading business school, Kingston University, Lisa is a passionate believer that stand out designs, marketing and technology increases profit.