Women to watch europe 2018
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The members of our Class of 2018 stand out not just for the achievements they notched for their companies, but also for the work they're doing to enable others to succeed in the areas of diversity and inclusion. These women join a community of hundreds of Ad Age Women to Watch around the globe who strive to foster positive cultural impressions of women in the marketing they influence.

Elena Alti

Head of Digital Marketing, Santander Group

Elena Alti

Head of Digital Marketing, Santander Group

By Adrianne Pasquarelli

Money isn't everything. That might sound like an unorthodox take for a bank, but that's exactly the direction in which Elena Alti took Santander, the Spanish bank chain.

When Alti joined Santander in 2012, she had two challenges: The financial services company wanted to court young millennials, and it was doing so during a financial crisis (Spain had officially slid into a recession). So Alti and her team spent months researching and surveying younger consumers about their banking habits in order to fashion the right product offerings and the best ways to package them.

"We discovered that young people don't need or want belongings—they don't want to have a car or a house, physical things," says Alti. "They need to experience things."

The result: the 1|2|3 Smart Account, a product launched in April 2017 that targets consumers 18 to 31 years of age by offering each of them a free account or a premium account that includes some returns from purchases. Under Alti, the bank also introduced its "Beyond Money" campaign last year, which includes a 17-minute film that won the Entertainment Lions Grand Prix at Cannes. The effort also ran digitally and in brick-and-mortar branches. In its first year, the 1|2|3 Smart product exceeded business objectives by 278 percent, Alti says.

Santander worked with MRM McCann on the push, which Alti says helped Santander find a voice for the strategy, and think about marketing in a more entertaining way. "The brand had the courage to say, 'Okay, we're a bank and we work with money, but money is not everything in life. The money is a thing we need in order to achieve what we want,'" says Alti.

It's not exactly the career that Spain-born Alti dreamed of growing up. She aspired to become a chemist and create perfumes before studying in the U.S. at age 16 and discovering marketing and communications. She had stints at global agencies BBDO and McCann, and jumped to the brand side a decade ago at NH Hotel Group. She joined Santander six years ago, and in a manner of speaking, could still be considered a chemist, one mixing up products in the financial realm.

If you weren't at Santander, what would you be doing?
I'd be looking for new challenges that would let me travel in my spare time. I've been almost everywhere in Asia and I like Africa. Traveling is my passion.
What was your worst career mistake—and what did you learn from it?
There have been a ton, but the worst one was being afraid of failure. Many years ago, when I was younger, I was so afraid of failure. I learned that I don't have to let my doubts drive my decisions. I have to trust the information I have and my instincts..
What advice would you give your younger self?
To be patient, to be steadfast and, for sure, to be persistent and humble in every sector. If you're working with a client with a big brand that everybody knows, where everyone does things a different way, you have to be humble and you'll learn a lot.
If you could have dinner with anyone living or dead, who would it be?
I would have a weird dinner inviting my grandpa, though he's already dead, and Elon Musk. In different ways, they both were and are ahead of their times. My grandpa was pushing so many things regarding women, and Elon Musk is one of my heroes right now. They were and are two dreamers that inspire me.
What's one thing the industry can do to get more women and people of color into its ranks?
Diversity issues are there in any sector and in any industry—advertising, banking, it doesn't matter. Women have the obligation to help other women.

Paloma Azulay

Creative Excellence Director for Central and Eastern Europe, Coca-Cola

Paloma Azulay

Creative Excellence Director for Central and Eastern Europe, Coca-Cola

By E.J. Schultz

Paloma Azulay doesn't hesitate when asked where she gets her inspiration: It's from her dad, Daniel Azulay, a well-known Brazilian artist and child educator. "I grew up in the middle of my dad's studio," says Azulay. "This is pretty much how I developed a passion for creativity."

For the past 14 years, her passion has ignited Cola-Cola, where she started as an intern in Brazil and rose through the ranks to become creative excellence director for central and eastern Europe in 2015.

Campaigns led by Azulay, who currently works out of Vienna (but not for long; more about that in a minute), include one that used the contents of shopping baskets as a storytelling tool to help boost supermarket sales of Coke. In one of the videos, "Shopping Personality Disorders," Coke explored the quirky traits of shoppers including "Ms. Can't Wait," who eats a sandwich before checking out. The takeaway: All shoppers behave differently, but they all love Coke. Azulay was also behind an ingenious effort in Italy in which people could record an audio message on a sound chip inserted into a Coke cap, which would play once the cap was opened. "We just had some challenges to expand it due to cost, but it got a lot of buzz," Azulay says. "It's difficult to innovate in 26 markets at the same time, but I saw it was really a shortcut to make things happen one country at a time."

Before moving to Vienna, Azulay worked for Coke in her native Brazil. There, she contributed to big global campaigns for the Olympics and the World Cup. She also helped lead an effort to integrate Coke into the storylines of Brazilian soap operas.

Now, Azulay is leaving Coke, and Vienna, for a recently accepted a job at Restaurant Brands International as global head of creative for Tim Hortons in Canada. As she takes her career to a third continent, Azulay says she will keep life lessons from her dad, now 70, front of mind. "Whenever I'm afraid of doing something, he says, 'Listen Paloma, the boat was not meant to be at the port, the boat was meant to navigate.' He's pretty much my guru."

If you weren't in advertising, what would you be doing?
I would be a story artist in an animation studio or a toy developer. Working with entertainment and storytelling targeted to children has always been a dream. I believe, like my father, that you can shape a better generation if you have a creative childhood with access to imaginative experiences—and nowadays more than ever, thanks to early access to technology.
What was your worst career mistake and what did you learn from it?
During the planning and execution of an important campaign, I had the typical illusion of young leaders that I could make it all by myself. I suffered and learned the obvious: Excellence is not about "me," it's about "we." I learned that the best use of my energy as a leader was in developing and inspiring others.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Listen earlier to your true passions, especially those that come from your childhood. Don't wait years to realize you can work with what you really love and shape your career into the "right" direction.
If you could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
Walt Disney! It sounds like a cliché, I know, but I'm a huge fan of his legacy from a business and personal perspective.
What is one thing the industry can do to encourage more women and people of color into its ranks?
Shift the perception that women and people of color are fragile or have something missing, and recognize in a bold way they are indeed the strongest, richest leaders a company can get. I believe challenging experiences in life make you stronger and better, and definitely women and people of color have experienced many challenges throughout their lives that make them already great leaders. Motherhood is just one example.

Sophie Blum

VP of Global Brand Innovation and Brand Building Europe, Procter & Gamble Co.

Sophie Blum

VP-Global Brand Innovation and Brand Building Europe, Procter & Gamble Co.

By Jack Neff

Sophie Blum could have played it safe when she returned to Procter & Gamble Co. from maternity leave in 1999. But instead of choosing to work on a big-name brand, she became P&G's shopper marketing director for Western Europe—a new position that put marketers on teams with big retailers.

Blum who has been with P&G for over 25 years—she's also been a global sales and commercial leader with responsibility for 26 countries in Europe, and VP-general manager for Israel—has gone on to blaze new trails at, and for, the world's biggest marketer.

Now VP global brand innovation and brand building Europe, she notes that "on top of taking care of the brand-building organization, I'm leading the transformation ... to hopefully a very successful tech company and organization."

It was in Israel, she says—where Blum worked for 10 years starting in 2003—that she learned about brand innovation, specifically while working with that country's deep pool of marketing-tech start-ups. "I created the first open-innovation ecosystem and center [a first for P&G and for Israel], which was multidisciplinary," Blum says. Along the way, she built a business largely from the ground up, doubling P&G's sales and tripling the company's employment in Israel.

None of Blum's assignments were exactly the safe choice or calculated to move her up the corporate ladder. Going to Israel, for instance, made her a general manager, but one over a country of 10 million people that did little business with P&G.

"All these blocks of experience have led me to a very holistic profile," Blum says. "My bias is tech, start-ups and innovation."

"Sophie is the driving force behind a wide transformation of P&G's brand management," says Taide Guajardo, brand director for the company in Switzerland. "She's breaking the chains of the large corporation and unleashing P&G's brand-builder's talent."

Not surprisingly, Blum is interested in creating what she calls "ambidextrous leaders" for P&G in Europe and beyond. Such people, she says, can "deliver today with success while being able to navigate tomorrow."

If you weren't doing this job what would you be doing?
Probably leading a tech company or a company's transformation to tech. I would certainly be an entrepreneur surrounded by start-ups. And I would also try to be a coach.
What was your biggest career mistake and what did you learn from it?
I almost made the biggest mistake ever when I was tempted to stay in my comfort zone [in 1999]. That would have been terrible. I was offered the most sought-after assignment and the golden path to a successful career at P&G. At the same time, I was approached with a new opportunity, which was a completely new territory.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Be audacious.
If you could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
Leonardo da Vinci. I'm so fascinated and intrigued by this great master of the Renaissance.
What's the one thing the marketing industry could do to encourage more women and people of color to come into its ranks?
Diversity is really a measure and inclusion is a skill. It requires intentionality, awareness and action. Diversity is not about the numbers. That's essential. But it has to be really anchored into a business strategy.

Cristiana Boccassini

Chief Creative Officer, Publicis Italy

Cristiana Boccassini

Chief Creative Officer, Publicis Italy

By Alexandra Jardine

Under Cristiana Boccassini, Publicis Italy has gone from being a small Milan outpost to an international powerhouse. Publicis, rare for an agency in Italy, now has an incredibly diverse staff made up of people from over 20 countries, including South Africa, Brazil, Sweden and Syria.

"We're getting applications from all over the word," says Boccassini, who has been with the shop, along with her husband, Global Chief Creative Officer Bruno Bertelli, since 2011.

Raised in Rome, Boccassini had studied architecture with plans to become an interior designer, but switched to advertising by chance. She believes her design training brings a "curiosity for a new and fresh aesthetic expression" to her career.

She first met Bertelli at JWT Milan, which she joined in 2008. They worked together on an anti-drinking and driving campaign for Heineken that featured a blind man driven by a drunk dog. The pair made an impression: Heineken moved its global account from Wieden & Kennedy to their shop in 2015.

Boccassini describes herself as the more "analytic" part of the partnership, adding that the she and Bertelli have complementary skills.

Despite Italy's conservative attitudes toward working women, Publicis Italy is 52 percent female, with many women in senior roles. "I have always tried to create a meritocratic structure," she says. Her own experiences in the industry, she adds, have been positive, although she admits this may be "down to luck."

Publicis' creatives have been hit by the company's decision not to enter Cannes this year, and Boccassini admits that "the news was a shock" to her creatives. But, because her department believes their campaigns are now appreciated worldwide, she says, it makes up for the lack of a presence on the Palais.

Besides, Boccassini says she's focused on the future, including "the best way to match data with creativity."

If you weren't doing this job, what would you be doing?
I would have liked to be an interior designer or production designer. I think it's possible to design worlds and tell stories in a space or environment just by how objects, decoration, art pieces, colors and textures are laid out.
What was your worst career mistake and what did you learn from it?
The worst career mistake was to work with my husband! Just kidding. But it's often difficult to reconcile your private and professional lives To answer your question, I make mistakes every day. I always push people who work with me to jump into things, make brave decisions and make mistakes because I think it's the only way to progress, advance and improve.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I would recommend pursuing the most interdisciplinary preparation possible, which means a deep dive not only in the creative aspect of our work, but all marketing and communication fields that concern the business of clients. Today advertising needs to be an important response to client business problems or needs, and to have the ability, by means of a creative strategy, to transform these problems into opportunities.
If you could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
I always love to mingle with people more brilliant than me, especially at dinners. I would like to dine with Artemisia Gentileschi, a painter who lived in the first half of the 600s, not just because she's part of Caravaggio's school, one of my favorite artists, but because she opened the road to the concept that men weren't the only ones capable of being artists. I would also invite the actress Amy Schumer because I like her personality, her self-irony and I suspect that, like me, she knows how to enjoy life and appreciate good cuisine and entertaining company.
What's one thing the industry can do to encourage more women and people of color into its ranks?
Demonstrate that our industry is founded on merit, and shining a light on positive examples and the successes.

Helen Calcraft

CEO and Co-founder, Lucky Generals; CEO, TBWA Group

Helen Calcraft

CEO and Co-founder, Lucky Generals; CEO, TBWA Group

By Alexandra Jardine

In February, Lucky Generals became the first U.K. agency to create a Super Bowl campaign. Not only that, the ad was for Amazon, an example of the caliber of client the agency has attracted since being co-founded by Helen Calcraft in 2013 as a "creative company for people on a mission."

Other clients of the 70-strong agency included a one-time project for Twitter, and ongoing work for Hostelworld—for which it recently made a global ad starring Mariah Carey that went viral—and Unilever's Pot Noodle.

Last year, the shop's success drew the attention of TBWA, which acquired a majority stake in Lucky Generals and made Calcraft CEO of TBWA Group in the U.K. Lucky Generals retains its separate identity, but benefits from the wider TBWA network under the deal.

Retaining some independence is important, says Calcraft, whose previous start-up agency, Miles Calcraft Briginshaw Duffy, was merged into Dare in 2010 after being acquired by Canada's Cossette. The process wasn't a happy one, she says, and Calcraft left shortly afterwards. She was working as a consultant when she was approached by now-co-founders Andy Nairn and Danny Brooke-Taylor about starting Lucky Generals. (The name is based on a quote attributed to Napoleon, who when asked how he would win a war said, "Bring me your lucky generals.")

Calcraft's experience previous experience on a start-up—MCBD was a breakaway from AMV BBDO, founded when Calcraft was just 30—was valuable, she says: "We knew that the work you did on your first two or three campaigns would inform the entire journey, and that we wanted to do bold work from the start. Sometimes it's about having the courage to say no."

Courage is something she has plenty of; a single working mother, she's risen to the top of the industry while battling breast cancer twice. She was the youngest-ever president of Women in Advertising and Communications London (WACL), an industry networking association that brings together senior female leaders in marketing and advertising, and is a founding member of "timeTo," a new initiative from WACL, the Advertising Association and industry charity NABS aimed at ending sexual harassment in the industry. Calcraft has spoken openly about being harassed herself as a young executive and says making work safe and equitable for women should be an industry priority. "We want women to know that they are safe and that if they complain, it won't be them who has to go," she says.

If you weren't doing this job, what would you be doing?
I'd be working for a children's charity—and I still hope to, one day. But first I would be sitting at Ugo's bar in Portofino having a Bellini.
What was your worst career mistake and what did you learn from it?
To underestimate what it takes to be part of a successful merger. I learned that 1 + 1 can equal less than 1. Tough lesson. Mergers need clarity and the courage to make difficult decisions, upfront.
What advice would you give your younger self?
That you can get off the bus and get back on it without major damage. Life doesn't run in a straight line. Take the sabbatical. Don't rush the maternity leave. Breathe.
If you could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
Maya Angelou. In addition to being an incredible writer, she was an inspirational activist and feminist, full of wisdom and compassion—and she had a wicked sense of humor. She still has much to teach us all about how to "rise." She's my ideal woman and I even named my youngest daughter after her.
What's one thing the industry can do to encourage more women and people of color into its ranks?
We have to consciously challenge and change our old-fashioned, white middle-class patriarchal ways. That means confronting the fact that our industry is no longer attractive to young people; actively marketing ourselves to more diverse groups of young people in schools; and creating cultural change around paternity leave, and fatherhood in general, to support working mothers. The time is now.

Karen Corrigan

Co-founder, CEO and Strategic Director, FCB Happiness

Karen Corrigan

Co-founder, CEO, and Strategic Director, FCB Happiness

By Ann-Christine Diaz

A bad ad drew Karen Corrigan into advertising. In 1987, the former teacher was working in Nike's sponsorship department when she sat in on a presentation of the first "Just Do It" campaign in Belgium. It was a print ad featuring the Air Max shoe floating in the clouds. "I remember thinking, 'Isn't this obvious? Can't we find a better idea?'" she says.

Though unimpressed by the work, Corrigan was captivated by the business. She went to ad school and then became an account director at Y&R in Belgium working under creative director Guillaume Van der Stighelen, who later went on to co-found Duval Guillaume. "He was my mentor and guru, and taught me the difference between strategy and a creative idea, and how you can manage creativity," she says.

Corrigan carried those lessons into subsequent posts, including as managing director at Ogilvy & Mather. She also led strategy at DDB, where she became a VP. Then, in 2005, she partnered with DDB creatives to open her own agency called Happiness Brussels. "Agencies then carried names of owners, like law offices, and we wanted to disrupt everything and become a brand," she says. "We didn't want to be an ad agency. We wanted to go beyond, to embrace technology."

Early on, the shop—which now has offices in Brussels and Vietnam, and recently purchased a virtual reality studio—caught the attention of Interpublic Group of Cos., which in 2011 purchased 20 percent of shares of the company. It's now considered an IPG innovation hub in Europe and Southeast Asia.

Along with her creative partner, Chief Creative Officer Geoffrey Hantson, who joined in 2014 from Duval Guillaume, Corrigan strives for a balance of creativity and strategy. "Too many agencies go for creativity for the sake of creativity, without really caring about the client's business," she says, "or too many strategists go for intellectual strategy without really trying to make it work for creatives."

That philosophy has yielded groundbreaking work like the "resurrection" via hologram of J.C. Jacobsen, the founder of Carlsberg beer, so he could give a TED talk. The agency has also created heart-shaped bandages for Beiersdorf's Hansaplast brand designed to help heal kids' emotional, not physical, ailments. And it was behind an ambitious idea for mobile game "Slotomania," which involved creating a new video for every single minute of the day (that's 1,440, of them, to be exact). As for new business, in 2017 the agency won a big pitch for telecom Voo.

Corrigan's entrepreneurial efforts extend beyond the agency. Last year, along with her daughter, a data scientist, and her best friend, Corrigan created Homeyz, a peer-to-peer app that connects users to people who can help with household tasks.

If you weren't in advertising, what would you be doing?
I would have loved to be an actress playing one character role after the other. I find it so admirable the way great actresses can sympathize with their characters. And being a famous actress also gives you the power to change things. Meryl Streep is one of the great fighters for women's rights.
What was your worst career mistake and what did you learn from it?
It took me some time to realize that you can't take half risks when it comes to entrepreneurship. You either are an entrepreneur or you're not. You either jump or you don't. I'll never make that mistake again.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Only care about what people who matter to you think of you. The moment I could let go of what the small, inner circle of advertising or so-called friends thought of me was the moment I felt truly liberated. It was the moment I could grow into an authentic and strong leader.
If you could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
My first thought was Serena Williams, who means a great deal both to tennis and to black women. Her perseverance and [talent] is just incredible. On top of that I think she's funny. But I think I'd pick Madonna. I love the rebel-with-a-cause thing. She pushed boundaries in words, images, religion, sex, women's power and influence. She opened much more doors to women today than we can imagine. She reinvented herself so many times that sometimes you wouldn't recognize her when you saw her. I'm somewhat [disappointed] that apparently Madonna can't really cope with getting older and the physical degeneration that goes with it. I would tell her that getting old is a part of life, and it's only a physical thing, not a mental thing. I truly believe we are all born with a mental age that remains unchanged until we die.
What's one thing the industry can do to encourage more women and people of color into its ranks?
To all women in the world, I would say: "Stop being a Calimero." The moment you don't see yourself as a woman, as different than men, but as a potential strong leader who embraces her femininity, you will automatically evolve into one. To all men I would say: "Stop being macho." Macho-time is over now. Enjoy women around you who can make a difference and challenge and support your wife or girlfriend when she has it in her. And enjoy taking a step back yourself if needed for your family. To the industry I would say: "Stop looking at or treating women as women." Strong women don't need special treatment. Look at them and treat them as potential strong leaders who can make a difference.

Brianne Ehrenkranz

Senior Director of Marketing for Europe and the Middle East, NBA

Brianne Ehrenkranz

Senior Director of Marketing for Europe and the Middle East, NBA

By E.J. Schultz

Here's something you don't usually see at an NBA game: the president of Poland beaming a video message to fans. But that's what the Washington Wizards pulled off earlier this year for its "Polish Heritage Night," as Andrzej Duda saluted the fans attending that night's game against the Brooklyn Nets in Washington, D.C. The event, centered around Wizards player Marcin Gortat, who's from Poland, is just one example of how the U.S. league is strengthening ties with Europe as it grows its global fan base.

The woman leading the charge is London-based Brianne Ehrenkranz, the NBA's senior director of marketing for Europe and the Middle East. She and her team are using events, social media and other methods to take the league's outreach to the next level. Because the games are played in the U.S., "over 99 percent of people I'm talking to will never see a game live," she says. So the NBA must get creative, using tactics like the Polish night in D.C., in which the broadcaster showing the game in Poland aired content like Gortat addressing the audience directly on camera.

In a land where soccer is king, spreading hoops hysteria is no slam dunk, but Ehrenkranz's efforts are working. Audiences for live TV broadcasts of prime-time Sunday games across Europe are up 58 percent, and the NBA counts 5 million followers on its seven Facebook and Twitter accounts across the continent.

A key part of the social media strategy is connecting the NBA to local celebrities or customs. So if Spanish soccer star and renown NBA fan Héctor Bellerín Moruno is tweeting about watching a basketball game, the NBA amplifies that across its social channels. And if the league shares a highlight on social, it might be overlaid with the iconic "Goooaaalll" call that soccer fans know so well. "We're talking the talk. We're trying to make connections there," Ehrenkranz says. Other content has included off-the-court activities like a video of former player John Amaechi taking NBA greats Isiah Thomas and Dikembe to afternoon tea in London.

Ehrenkranz, a New Jersey native who played high school basketball, can empathize with the challenge of following a team from afar. She loves the New York Yankees, she says, describing herself as "that struggling fan" that has to rely on mobile apps and other means to keep abreast of her team.

If you were not doing this job, what would you be doing?
I'd love to find ways for tech to do a better job helping our lives, schedules, and the vetting of verified reviews.
What was your worst career mistake and what did you learn from it?
The few times I haven't trusted the people around me or haven't prioritized my team, the end result suffered. And conversely, the biggest successes and most rewarding times in my careers were 100 percent due to great people—and a little luck.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Approach each challenge with curiosity—a gift of advice given to me by [Olympic medalist] Leon Taylor.
If you could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
Either a sing-along with Lin Manuel Miranda and my boys, or one with Michael Lewis to brainstorm his next book topic. Hopefully the topic would be the heroines of #timesup.
What's one thing the industry can do to encourage more women and people of color into its ranks?
In my experience it's about empowering this important group up the ranks rather than into them. We as an industry are doing a better job with recruitment initiatives and embedding mentorship. But the drop off between the "ranks" and senior management is astonishing. It's a problem, which I think needs to be addressed before we have a game-changing moment. I'm trying my best to be a part of finding solutions and would encourage everyone to speak up, be honest, and don't be afraid to go for what you want.

Nilufar Fowler

CEO, Mindshare Worldwide Central Team

Nilufar Fowler

CEO, Mindshare Worldwide Central Team

By Megan Graham

Nilufar Fowler is "all too rare in our business: someone who has both vision and the discipline to deliver," says GroupM Chief Transformation Officer Lindsay Pattison. "For Nils, it's all about the work, the results and not the politics."

As CEO of Mindshare Worldwide Central Team, Fowler is responsible globally for managing client teams and services. Now based in Sussex, her background, she says, "is really mixed"; her parents are from India and Sri Lanka, and she was born in England. That broad worldview has also informed her career. "It's meant I've spent a lot of my time traveling around the world to different places," says Fowler.

Fowler joined Mindshare in 2007 as a strategist, then moved to Southeast Asia to lead the Unilever account in Thailand. She later became Mindshare's Thailand CEO. In 2014, she returned to the U.K. to run the Unilever account globally, and shifted into the Worldwide Central CEO role last year.

Fowler has been outspoken about gender and diversity issues in the industry, speaking, for instance, at Cannes about the portrayal of domestic violence in advertising. She's also a proponent of getting young women into STEM, and mentors teenagers who aim to be the first in their families to go to college.

If you weren't in advertising, what would you be doing?
I would probably be a chef. I have a huge passion for food, a huge passion for cooking. It's actually my go-to relaxation thing—hosting dinner parties and supper clubs. One of the things I love about it is experimenting with lots and lots of different things. My poor family has been the guinea pigs for many, many disasters.
What was your worst career mistake and what did you learn from it?
I made a career move at one point and I knew instantly, within six to eight weeks, that the job itself was interesting, but culturally it was a real mismatch. Partly, I just convinced myself that the culture didn't matter as much as the work. It was the most miserable two years I had in my career. The mistake wasn't that I took the job, it was that I wasn't brave enough to admit it was not the right place for me.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I think not to worry quite so much about pleasing other people. I'm really quite blunt and tend to get to the point quickly. Right up to probably the last 10 years of my career, I'd allow myself to get sidetracked into work that wasn't particularly interesting for me, work that wasn't going to benefit my career, but I didn't really like to say no to people very much. It's a distracting way to work. You're not focusing on what's actually going to make a difference. The thing that probably changed it for me was having a child. As a working mother, you just have less time. You become a lot less tolerant of distractions. It almost took the constraint of needing to balance home life, family life, child life with work to be able to say no.
If you could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
I've been thinking about Martin Luther King Jr., recently. I had a couple days on my own in Boston last year and I went out to the JFK Library and requested to read personal correspondence and papers. They were kind enough to give me access to the correspondence between JFK and Martin Luther King. One of the things that struck me was how incredibly optimistic he was about the potential future of race relations, not just in the U.S., but globally. I would love to sit across a table from him and talk with him about how he thinks that's panned out for the world. I don't think the world is where he thought it was going to be.
What is one thing the industry can do to encourage more women and people of color into its ranks?
We have a lot of work to do with the women who are already in our industry, about making this a more flexible place for women to work. I found it hard coming back to work after having a child. Sometimes I look at the way we behave in the industry, just simple things, like hour flexibility and location flexibility and the ability to work from home. Instead of saying, "Should we do that?" it should be "Why don't we do that?" As for getting more people of color and people from more diverse backgrounds, a huge amount of this is visibility and getting out to people at the most formative points in their careers and talking to them. I mentor young girls between the age of 13 and 18, where they are aiming to be the first person in their families to go to university. They don't even know that this industry really exists. They don't understand anything about the media part of this industry, the tech side of the advertising industry. Sometimes just getting out there and talking to them about these career choices is all that is needed.

Roshni Goyate

Co-founder, The Other Box

Roshni Goyate

Co-founder, The Other Box

By Angela Doland

The founders of The Other Box met at a pro-diversity event that didn't live up to its promise. "There were no women of color on the panel—there were more women than men, but there were no women of color in the conversation," says Roshni Goyate, a copywriter based in London, who founded The Other Box with Leyya Sattar to encourage more inclusivity and diversity in creative industries.

Within a week of their initial meet, they had set up social accounts for their project and were hashing out the mission statement. The name they chose "refers to the idea that if you're from a minority or underrepresented background, you tend to be pigeon-holed or put in a box," Goyate says. "It also refers to forms where you have to tick that you're 'other.'"

Goyate, born in London to immigrants from India, has always been drawn to creative pursuits (she also plays drums in a Brazilian samba band). After she discovered copywriting and became a freelancer, she says shen often visited agencies where she was the only woman of color in the room. "Eventually that started to wear me down," says Goyate. "I really felt the imposter syndrome."

On its social accounts, The Other Box champions minorities doing great work. It's also a community that offers talks and events for creative people from diverse backgrounds. "Being able to share experiences, talk about things, celebrate each other and understand that they aren't alone really makes a big difference," she says.

Goyate is also getting an MA in Culture, Diaspora and Ethnicity, which feeds into her work for The Other Box. Goyate and Sattar—also a Women to Watch Europe honoree—run workshops in agencies to help people understand their unconscious biases, and to recognize language or behavior that isn't inclusive.

For example, "in the U.K. you still have a big drinking culture, and agencies here boast about their fridge full of beer for drinks every Friday," Goyate says. But people might be in recovery, or might not drink for religious reasons, and "that's the kind of thing we can get people thinking about. … The goal is to give people from all backgrounds a chance to talk about things they wouldn't ordinarily get a chance to talk about in a very open, judgement-free space."

If you weren't in this job, what would you be doing?
I grew up playing the tenor saxophone and was part of the school wind band, jazz quartet and the school choir. I still play Brazilian samba, which I started at school. So if I wasn't doing this, I like to think I'd be doing something musical.
What was your worst career mistake and what did you learn from it?
When I was a new freelancer, I got caught out a couple of times by clients who drastically changed the brief after I had started on the project, which led to crossed wires around expectations. I learned the value of talking about money upfront (and revisiting the conversation whenever necessary), whatever type of business you run. And to know my own worth.
What advice would you give your younger self?
"You know more than you think you know, so speak up with confidence. And just because your experiences and opinions don't match up with what you see in the mainstream, doesn't mean they're any less valid."
If you could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
James Baldwin. He was endlessly eloquent, mesmerizing and, of course, an exceptional thinker and writer. I could sit with him for hours enjoying good food, wine and mining his brilliant brain for tips on writing, living and the importance of self-expression.
What's one thing the industry can do to encourage more women and people of color into its ranks?
To take an intersectional approach. Here's what I mean. A woman doesn't stop being a woman because she's a person of color. A person of color doesn't stop being a person of color because they're queer. A working-class person of color with a disability doesn't stop being a person of color because of their disability. The industry could do better to stop seeing these interrelated structural issues in isolation from one another, and understand there are often multiple forces of oppression at play at any one given time.

Ulrike Handel

CEO, Dentsu Aegis Network Germany

Ulrike Handel

CEO, Dentsu Aegis Network Germany

By Megan Graham

Ulrike Handel is a fixer.

But Handel, the first woman to run an ad agency network in Germany, didn't find too much that was broken when she joined Dentsu Aegis Network in Germany as CEO, running the network's entire operations and activities across agencies including Carat, Isobar, MKTG, Posterscope and Vizeum. Previously, she was responsible for the turnaround of Ad Pepper Media International and worked at Welt Group and Axel Springer.

The challenges Handel says she has now are balancing internal and external efforts — getting face-time in with clients and also making time for internal operations and employees. M&A is another challenge, she says.

"I'm always pitching against all the other competitors, which are not just Accenture but also private equity companies, companies from China wanting to enter the German market … this is really a big challenge to get companies into our group and at the same time be competitive with price," she says.

Though the business model was "robust," as she says, it needed some help -- including on the seven-person executive team, which has three new members.

Handel wanted a team that was more diverse in its makeup, with people from both its traditional media brands and its digital companies. Then she got to work instilling a "digital-first mindset" in the group, which has been accomplished in part by implementing agile work methods like allowing employees to have flexible hours or work remotely.

Handel says the company is now growing in revenue and profit and has better culture and retention.

"That just shows how fast you can change people businesses," she says. " We don't have a development cycle like car companies…"

Handel has also worked to improve gender diversity and encourage employees to be innovative and entrepreneurial in their thinking. She has her Doctor of Philosophy in communication and media studies, a degree in media management from Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hannover, an economics degree from Universtität Hannover and a master's degree in arts, entertainment and media management from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

If you were not doing this job, what would you be doing?
Probably I would have my own business. Personally, I'm very interested in the sports and nutrition business.
What was your worst career mistake and what did you learn from it?
When I was young, perhaps I was too honest with my opinion. When I was very young I was very open and honest and told everybody my opinion.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I was always told, find what you really want, then follow your plans.
If you could have dinner with anyone, living or dead (excluding relatives) who would it be?
Jack Welch, former chairman and CEO of General Electric.
What is one thing the industry can do to encourage more women and people of color into its ranks?
Being a good role model. I think it's all about really role models and mentoring. I have a mentee in the UK, and it's just great to hear her visions but also her doubts. It's so easy to destroy the doubts. Our industry is already female and role models will pave the way.

Cathy Ibal

VP of Ad Sales, Eastern and Southern Europe, the CIS, Africa and the Middle East, CNN International

Cathy Ibal

VP of Ad Sales, Eastern and Southern Europe, the CIS, Africa and the Middle East, CNN International

By Angela Doland

Cathy Ibal persisted.

Ibal, who leads ad sales for CNN in more than 100 countries across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Central Asia, started her career there as a research analyst on audience and media, "with nothing to do with sales," she says. But the idea appealed to her and, in 2006, Ibal applied for an account manager job in the department. She was turned down.

"I had a VP at the time who said, 'You're a research person, you cannot be a good salesperson, they're two different profiles,'" she recalls. "I was very discouraged. I thought about it and came back and said, 'Let's make a deal. I can take the lowest position in sales for six months as a trial."

She was confirmed as a sales manager the following year.

Today Ibal, who is French and based in the Paris suburb of Neuilly-sur-Seine, oversees a team of 20 frontline sales staffers plus 10 reps covering a complex and geopolitically diverse swath of the world, such as Italy, South Africa, Abu Dhabi and Russia. She helped lead her regions to double-digit growth in 2017, her first full year in her current position, after a promotion that had her one of CNN's four advertising leads globally.

CNN offers a range of ad products, from TV commercials to digital products on CNNStyle to integrated ad content on Great Big Story, its social video network aimed at younger viewers. Ibal's team boosted its business after a 2016 transformation strategy that put more focus on multiplatform efforts. Now, over 70 percent of campaigns at the company are multiplatform, spanning a mix of TV, digital, mobile and social, she says.

The job involves working with a diverse range of advertisers, too. Many are European luxury brands, including Bulgari, Gucci and Brioni. But travel is also a big category (airlines like Emirates and tourism boards like Dubai Tourism) along with corporate advertisers, such as the Italian energy group Eni and Nigerian industrial conglomerate Dangote Industries. The last is coming on board as the first African brand partner for the Great Big Story network.

"These are dynamic markets, Africa and the Middle East," Ibal says. "A lot of things are happening in that part of the world, and they want to get their brands more exposure."

If you weren't doing this job, what would you like to be doing?
I'd be a corporate lawyer.
What was your worst career mistake and what did you learn from it?
I didn't follow my instinct and was blinded by someone's opinion. The consequences of that decision were profound and time-consuming to fix, and taught me to trust my instincts. If you make a mistake like this, you need to learn from it.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Don't take no as an answer.
If you could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
Daft Punk

Elidh MacAskill

VP of Creative and Media, Asda

Eilidh Macaskill

VP of Creative and Media, Asda

By Jack Neff

Eilidh Macaskill had a promising career in fashion, including fashion journalism, before she made a surprise move to Walmart-owned Asda, the long-struggling U.K. version of the budget retail chain, as VP-creative and media in 2016.

The veteran of Monsoon Accessorize—she was global marketing director of the 1,400-store fashion chain—and former editor of Time Inc.'s InStyle U.K., says she's pleased so far with her choice. So is rival Sainsbury, which agreed earlier this month to take a majority stake in a combined enterprise that will preserve both the upscale Sainsbury's and Asda brands. Macaskill is expected to continue her work on the Asda side of the house after the merger closes later this year or next.

"I really engage well with turnarounds when there's a challenge to hit the ground running," Macaskill says. "I'm quite curious. I was very familiar with George [Walmart's and Asda's high-end fashion brand] and the fashion element. But I loved the idea of being so relevant to so many people in a business that actually can impact people's lives."

When Macaskill arrived in 2016, which was the company's second quarter of fiscal 2017, Asda's same-store sales had hit its nadir of a drop of 7.5 percent. Asda's sales started growing again in the first quarter of last year for the first time in 10 quarters, and same-store sales started growing in the second quarter, breaking an 11-quarter slump.The chain now boasts four straight quarters of sales growth and three of same-store sales growth.

At the same time, Walmart's U.S. business looks to Asda for guidance in key areas, such as omni-channel retailing, given Asda is well ahead of the U.S. business in store pickup and delivery. And as Walmart looks to up its fashion profile, George, Asda's fashion brand, is also getting more prominence on both sides of the Atlantic, including, this summer, the brand's first standalone TV ads in many years.

"Eilidh is an inspirational leader who elevates the work and the people at every interaction," says Asda Chief Customer Officer Andy Murray, who Macaskill reports to. "All the metrics we use to measure creative and media impact have truly stepped up under her leadership, and as a result, we have returned to growth. What makes Eilidh a stand out in this industry is she refuses to believe in false choices. She shows you can be creative and business savvy, nice and hold high standards, devoted to family and have an ambitious vision for her career."

"We have worked very hard over the past year-and-a-half to turn Asda around," Macaskill says. "It's a big ship, and there's a lot of work we have to do. I'm really proud of the team that Andy and I have, and the agencies we work for and how we have moved the dial with the customer in reducing the leaky bucket."

If you weren't doing this job, what would you be doing?
My sliding-door career would definitely be producing film. I'm a voracious film addict and geek. I won a Vimeo short fashion film award years ago when I was at InStyle U.K., but I'm much more interested in being behind the camera than in front. I love the idea of orchestrating talent and helping them create.
What was your worst career mistake and what did you learn from it?
My first international assignment was in New York, as deputy managing editor of U.S. InStyle. I was seven-and-a-half months pregnant when I landed. I went to relaunch the magazine. Creatively it was a huge success, but I would have made faster progress in the beginning if I'd leaned into the differences and adapted my own leadership style more quickly.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Martha Nelson, who launched InStyle U.S., once told me that it's a marathon and not a sprint, and that no experience is ever a waste. I'd also tell myself that it's OK to celebrate my successes. And then I'd also tell myself that my kids are still going to love me even when I don't make it home for bath time night after night.
If you could have dinner with just one person living or dead, who would it be?
I would love to sit around a long table into the evening with Catherine the Great, Rosa Parks, Iris Apfel and Maya Angelou — women whose actions or choices show that balance between curiosity and bravery. But then I'd also make sure that Sean Spicer was there because I think he absolutely would have some good stories to tell.
What's one thing the industry can do to encourage more women and people of color into its ranks?
You've got to realize it's not just enough to talk about it at the top in management meetings. You've then got to put it into action when people are hiring for every single position. And you have to be prepared to hire from outside.

Vicki Maguire

Joint Chief Creative Officer, Grey London

Vicki Maguire

Joint Chief Creative Officer, Grey London

By Alexandra Jardine

Vicki Maguire, a Brit with a reputation for frankness, never worries about vocalizing her views. She often calls the homogeneous London agency world, for instance, "pale, male and stale."

It's not surprising that Grey London's joint chief creative officer started her career in less-corporate circumstances. Her first job was selling vintage clothes from her parents' market stall, and then she worked in fashion for the likes of Vivienne Westwood and Paul Smith. When she moved into the agency world, she says she was shocked by the lack of women in senior positions.

"One agency tried to change my name from Vicki to Micky so as not to put the client off," she says. "And once I had to go two floors down to borrow a tampon as there were so few other women. … In fashion, I saw strong women with their names about the door who weren't afraid of anyone."

After working at agencies in Sydney and Amsterdam, Maguire joined Grey London in 2009. There, she has created work including a multiple award-winning campaign for the British Heart Foundation. Now, she and her joint chief creative officer Caroline Pay—also a Women to Watch Europe honoree—see themselves as role models for women in the London ad scene. And they run a successful department that hasn't lost its step despite the high-profile departure of the agency's senior management team in 2016.Appointed shortly afterwards to run the creative department, Maguire was instrumental in winning Marks & Spencer, one of the U.K.'s most prestigious retail brands—a vote of confidence in an agency under new leadership. Pay joined her the following year.

"It helped that I was Marks & Spencer's biggest fan and fiercest critic," she says. "I had bought [its popular] pink coat, worn the tights and could be very eloquent about the brand."

Her partnership with Pay works, she says, because "we both have strong bullshit radars, respect for openness and honesty, and treating people like human beings.

Outside of work, Maguire owns a own sweet shop where she says she held "confectionery confessionals" with customers who come in and bare their souls, much like people do with bartenders. Inside the agency, she takes a similar approach, saying she doesn't want to be the kind of creative chief who has people "queueing at my door while I'm off lunching at the Ivy. … I've learned more from the assholes I've worked with on how not to treat people and do a good job."

If you weren't doing this job, what would you be doing?
I'd be on the family stall on Leicester market, selling broken crap to hipsters.
What was your worst career mistake and what did you learn from it?
Sooo many. Probably covering a Vivienne Westwood wedding dress in red lipstick. I learnt that just because you love something, doesn't always mean you're good at it. Fashion wasn't for me.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Where do I start! Drink more water. Never pay over 20 quid for makeup. Don't waste your tears on pretty boys and stupid bosses. Leggings and children never lie.
If you could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
I've just been reading about Bessie Stringfield, one of the first black women to ride a motorbike across the states.
What's one thing the industry can do to encourage more women and people of color into its ranks?
Stop playing lip service and start making changes. Reframe the question: Why should women and people of color want to come and work in this industry?

Cat Paterson

Senior Brand and Commercial Director, Future Brands, PepsiCo

Cat Paterson

VSenior Brand and Commercial Director, Future Brands, PepsiCo

By E.J. Schultz

Cat Paterson is studying to become a yoga instructor—fitting since she has exhibited extreme flexibility in her career. After graduating from the University of Oxford with degrees in philosophy and theology, Paterson has held jobs spanning strategy, M&A, finance, business development, marketing and innovation at companies including Deloitte, Bacardi and eBay. Now at PepsiCo, she's helping the food and beverage giant operate more like a start-up as it seeds new products across Europe and sub-Saharan Africa.

Overseeing a small and nimble team in London, Paterson played a critical role helping PepsiCo roll out Drinkfinity, a so-called "personalized beverage" system that includes liquid ingredients in a pod that, when combined with cold water, creates a 20-ounce beverage. It's the kind of innovation PepsiCo is banking on as it diversifies away from cola.

To straddle the line between corporate behemoth and spunky startup, Paterson says her team takes advantage of PepsiCo' heritage, data and retail relationships, while also embracing the "drive and entrepreneurialism" of a newcomer. "If we start getting a load of feedback on social or direct from customers, we are really open to saying, 'Have we got it right? … We should be prepared to adapt and learn and change."

"Change" is a Paterson mantra. "I've always tried to get out of my comfort zone and try something very new, either function-wise or industry-wise," she says. That attitude led her to a previous role at eBay, where she learned the ins and outs of e-commerce—knowledge that is at a premium as major marketers, including PepsiCo, sell more goods online. "If you haven't actually been in [e-commerce] you will never really get just how complicated and vast it is," she says. "So that was something I wanted to challenge myself to do."

Paterson's well-equipped for her role overseeing sub-Saharan Africa after recently taking a six-month honeymoon/sabbatical driving across the continent. As for her career adventures, she says, "I've never said I want to to do a particular thing within five years. It's always been, 'I have no idea what's out there.' The job I have now didn't exist three years ago. The job I have in 10 years might not exist now. So it's always a willingness to try new things and be open to opportunities."

If you weren't doing this job, what would you be doing?
I'm currently completing my yoga instructor training, so quite possibly that. Or perhaps career coaching. Or Master of Wine. I'm open-minded!
What was your worst career mistake and what did you learn from it?
I think there are behaviors that I've challenged myself to change, from post-launch reviews to taking more time to nurture the person behind the job description. I've seen the balance of my time shift more to celebrating successes and genuinely learning from mistakes.
What advice would you give your younger self?
It's a cliché because it's true, but you can't have it all. And maybe we shouldn't want to. Because sacrifices make your choices mean more.
WIf you could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
Ryszard Kapuscinski, the Polish travel writer and war reporter. He was present for almost every major revolution, coup and large-scale political upheaval of the 1950s to 1980s. To experience first-hand his view on the world, and the people that shaped it, would be deeply fascinating.
What's one thing the industry can do to encourage more women and people of colour into its ranks?
I think in any industry it's about better visibility of both women and people of color in leadership role—and communicating the impact they're having on their teams and organizations. Empowering women is one of PepsiCo's top priorities as part of its Performance with Purpose (PwP) agenda; our CEO Indra Nooyi has both a personal and corporate passion for gender parity. I've already seen first-hand how diverse teams perform better, and I think we're nearing a tipping point in comprehending, and therefore actioning, that across industry.

Caroline Pay

Joint Chief Creative Officer, Grey London

Caroline Pay

Joint Chief Creative Officer, Grey London

By Alexandra Jardine

Ask Caroline Pay why she left Mother—where, as creative director, she won and led the Boots account—to go to BBH in 2013, and you get an insightful answer: "I wanted to be scared," she says.

Her former creative partner at Mother, Kim Gehrig, now a high-profile director, encouraged her to go into directing, but Pay knew it wasn't for her. At BBH, she was deputy executive creative director working on turning around marketing for the U.K.'s biggest retailer, Tesco, when longtime friend Vicki Maguire brought her on to help run the Grey London creative department in March 2017.

Maguire praises Pay's "pace and energy," and says she's great at bringing qualities out in other people that might otherwise have been overlooked. Pay describes their partnership as a "two-headed monster," and says they're both fixers and like-minded about what works.

Despite her appetite for challenge, Pay, who has never had a female boss, never aspired to run a department—until she had a baby, eight years ago. "I had this fantasy that I would be sitting at home and baking, but I knew about 45 minutes in that I just wanted to get back to work. It was around the time that 'The September Issue' came out, and I felt like I went into motherhood as Grace [Coddington, now American Vogue's creative director at large] and came out as Anna Wintour."

Today, Pay promotes diversity in creative roles. She points out that both she and Maguire hail from a working-class, suburban "High Street" [Main Street, in the U.S.] background of watching ITV and reading Heat magazine, and that they run a very open, "unashamedly emotional" creative department where people are free to share their personal issues and to have a life outside of work.

"The other day, one of our creatives told us he wanted a sabbatical to spend more time with his wife and child," says Pay, and they were so touched, "we both started crying."

If you weren't doing this job, what would you be doing?
I'd like to think I'd be an international pop star, a TV presenter, a teacher or, ideally, a combo of all three.
What was your worst career mistake and what did you learn from it?
I worked in a sandwich shop when I was 18. I knocked the electronic fly killer off the wall and thousands of dead flies went everywhere. Lesson was, "Don't do that again."
What advice would you give your younger self?
Don't try and please everyone, just be yourself regardless of whether it upsets people or not.
If you could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
Jesus Christ. I love fish, wine and beards.
What's one thing the industry can do to encourage more women and people of color into its ranks?
Shine a light on the most unlikely role models.

Sam Phillips

CMO, Omnicom Media Group U.K.

Sam Phillips

CMO, Omnicom Media Group U.K.

By Megan Graham

Sam Phillips wasn't always outspoken. But 15 years ago, when her son was born with Down Syndrome, she realized that while many people know someone with a disability, it's mainly a verboten subject in the U.K.

"I found my voice talking about areas of diversity and inclusion," says Phillips, who is now chief marketing officer of Omnicom Media Group U.K. She was recently invited by the U.K. government to be its inaugural Advertising Sector Champion for Disability, educating the Council of Europe on media's role in increasing awareness of people with disabilities. In May, she will lead a session on disabilities at the Global Festival of Media in Rome, and will do a fireside chat with the U.K.'s Minister of State for Disabled People, Health & Work Issues at Media Week's Media 360 event.

She says these efforts help people see the world in a different way—and that it behooves the industry to understand these perspectives. "You think differently because you've had different life experiences," she says. "Why are we not tapping in to this?"

Phillips also leads overall diversity and inclusion efforts across Omnicom U.K.'s agencies in her role of chair of Omnicom People Engagement Network in the region. WIthin the company, she's a founding member of Omniwomen UK, a global organization dedicated to improving the number and influence of female talent at the holding company, and executive sponsor of Open Pride UK, which launched last year across Omnicom UK to foster an inclusive and engaging work environment for Omnicom's LGBT community.

"We are really at the start still, but starting to get steam," she says of these efforts. But in terms of diversity and inclusion, "until we can honestly say that we reflect our population, we're not there yet."

If you weren't doing this job, what would you be doing?
I would love to be in politics. I just have a genuine belief that we can make life better. I'm passionate about that.
What was your worst career mistake and what did you learn from it?
I haven't had any actual disasters. That's not to say I haven't had some big learners along the way. A big learning is I didn't appreciate when I started work how important culture was. In retrospect, I was at a job where I wasn't the right cultural fit, which made me uneasy and doubt whether I was good enough.
What advice would you give your younger self?
To understand that being the authentic me genuinely was enough. I wish I'd realized earlier that being myself and being different was an advantage, not a bad thing. For example, if I talk about my disabled son, people are going to remember me. That's not why I'm having the conversation, but it is something that makes you a bit different. Why hide that? It takes a lot less energy to be yourself.
If you could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
Emmeline Pankhurst, one of the founders of the suffragettes in Britain. She was right at the start of this movement.
What's one thing the industry can do to encourage more women and people of color into its ranks?
Get allies more engaged. To drive more gender equality, we need to get the men more engaged. We've got some great examples around Omnicom about men who are really, really into this.

Roxane Philson

CMO, ONE

Roxane Philson

CMO, ONE

By Adrianne Pasquarelli

No one can accuse Roxane Philson of thinking small: Her goal is to end extreme poverty by 2030.

As chief marketing officer of ONE, a 16-year-old nonprofit co-founded by U2's Bono that fights extreme poverty and preventable diseases, it's her job to mobilize its 9 million members to lobby lawmakers, as well as to create campaigns that engage consumers with the cause.

"The challenge for the sector I work in is, how do you connect to someone you might never meet?" says Philson, a British native who was based in ONE's Washington, D.C., office for six years before her move to the London office last year. "And how do you do it in a way that isn't about pity, or objectifying, but is about empathy?"

One way is through "Poverty Is Sexist," a campaign Philson helped introduce three years ago to tackle gender inequality as part of the larger quest to annihilate global poverty. An iteration two years ago focused on HIV and AIDS; last year and this year, the push has focused on girls' education. Each evolution is planned to fit into current political events, including summits hosted by world leaders. Philson is hoping to offer a women's empowerment package as part of the G7 Summit this June in Quebec, Canada.

Though "Poverty Is Sexist" was created internally, Philson and her team of 25 also work with a mix of external agencies. Additionally, Philson has collaborated with content creators and influencers on YouTube channels to better engage new audiences, such as a recent partnership with beauty blogger Tanya Burr, a British YouTube star.

"It's the greatest honor in the world to be able to be creative about something that's meaningful and, if done well and effectively, will have an impact on people's lives for the better," says Philson.

If you weren't at One, what would you be doing?
I'd be a gardener. The simplicity of working with nature, rather than politics, is occasionally appealing.
What was your worst career mistake—and what did you learn from it?
I sometimes underestimated the importance of sharing success with internal and external stakeholders. It's easy in a job like this to get so focused on what you can do in any given day for the mission that you forget you need to communicate that impact effectively to your team, to your executive management, to your board, to your donors.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Don't get caught in the management trap too early; focus on your own skills and passions too. The rest will follow. And learn an instrument because your singing voice won't improve!
If you could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
Choosing between Chancellor Merkel, Nefertiti and Boudica is a challenge, but you get the picture.
What's one thing the industry can do to encourage more women and people of color into its ranks?
Equal access of opportunity at the entry level is a must, so paid internships are critical. Not everyone has the finances to do this for free. I had to work nights at a pub during my first internship.

Meta Redstedt

Global Master Brand and Communications Director, Essity

Meta Redstedt

Global Master Brand and Communications Director, Essity

By Jack Neff

Meta Redstedt recalls being in a meeting with an alcoholic-beverage marketer struggling to find the brand's purpose. "I don't have any trouble finding purpose," she says with a laugh. "The problem is nobody wants to listen."

Essity's purpose? In part, it's to help people deal with incontinence.

Redstedt came to Gothenburg, Sweden-based paper-products company Essity seven years ago to work on Tena, an incontinence brand of pads and pants, as global master brand and communications director. She says she's built up Tena by focusing on her favorite part of marketing: understanding people's psychology and deep-seated needs.

Focus groups are one reason she's so clear on the goal of dealing effectively and discreetly with a problem that affects one in three women over 35 and one in four men over 40.

"Usually after a focus group people want to get up and go," Redstedt says, drawing on her work for Unilever, Johnson & Johnson and well-regarded Swedish agency Forsman & Bodenfors, where she was account executive on Volvo. But with adult-incontinence focus groups, she says, "they want to talk longer" after the session. "They have very good advice and they help each other and they more or less network."

These groups also help her target ads, Redstedt says. And they've helped her realize that men were likely to respond to humor in adult incontinence ads, while women needed a more sober, if still lighthearted tone. The brand's new ads targeting men, from AMV BBDO, London, feature fictional Stirling Gravitas, "the most in-control man in the world," a strategy that helped spur 40 percent sales growth in 2017 for Tena Men, according to Redstedt's boss, Georg Schmundt-Thomas, president of the global hygiene category at Essity.

But a "Let You Be You" campaign from AMV BBDO for Tena's women's products, which focused on how they help women feel they can motorbike or go dancing without restrictions, led the women's products to 8 percent sales growth last year, according to Schmundt-Thomas.

If you weren't in this job, what would you be doing?
I would definitely be in marketing, maybe at an agency. But Essity is a fantastic company and there's always something new—I don't want to do anything else.
What was your worst career mistake?
I was in a job at another company and I felt from day one that it wasn't for me because I didn't like the way people treated each other. I thought I had to leave the very next day. I stayed two-and-a-half years. I should have given up much earlier. If you're in a place where you don't fit, you should quit directly. You should not try to fix it or find some way around it.
What advice would you give your younger self?
To always try to work with somebody you can learn a lot from and who will support you, because that's more important than anything else when you're young.
If you could have dinner with anyone living or dead, who would it be?
It would be very interesting to have dinner with Oprah Winfrey, to learn her tips and tricks on how she makes such strong connections with so many women over and over again.
What's one thing the industry can do to encourage more women and people of color into its ranks?
One thing I like to do, and it works in my company, is for managers with experience to constantly spend time thinking of who you can help around you. And when you're interviewing with people outside and people reach out to you, to connect and try to give something.

Nishma Robb

Marketing Director, Google U.K.

Nishma Robb

Marketing Director, Google U.K.

By Meg Graham

Nishma Robb knows a little something about imposter syndrome.

The executive, who's marketing director for Google and YouTube's advertising products in the U.K. and the former chair of [email protected], has been vocal about feelings she'd be "found out" even as she climbed the ranks in the marketing world.

Robb recalls walking into rooms and being the only woman of color, she said on the "Badass Women's Hour" podcast earlier this year.

"When you don't see anyone like you around you, you fear that you're actually not meant to belong," she said. "I would talk about my achievements as being lucky ... and that's actually a really dangerous thing because you don't credit ability or your experience or your achievements at all in that way."

And her achievements are considerable. Prior to Google, Robb worked for I Spy Marketing, where she focused on developing client strategy and relationships. Acquired by iProspect in 2012, at Dentsu U.K., she did much of the same work and was a key part of the new business pitch team on brands including British Airways and Sky. Robb is also a non-exec board director and fellow of The Marketing Society, a global network of senior marketers.

Imposter syndrome isn't something you might never completely get over, she says, but she's worked to acknowledge her achievements and has pushed to get women and people of color into the industry.

Inside Google and out, Robb is known as a champion for diversity in business. She regularly appears on panels and keynotes, and has written on topics including the portrayal of women in advertising. She has said she wants to "radically change the way women are represented in our world—in film, media and advertising—so that little girls and boys realize there is no such thing as 'girls' jobs' or 'boys' jobs.'" One goal for this year, she's said, is to make progress in recruiting and developing diverse talent.

But Robb says her most significant achievement is being a mother of twin girls, who are big fans of "Bedtime Stories for Rebel Girls" (Robb invested in a Kickstarter campaign to print the book).

Another achievement? As she says in her bio, it's her "impressive collection of shoes."

If you weren't doing this job, what would you be doing?
A DJ or a fashion stylist.
What was your worst career mistake and what did you learn from it?
I stayed too long in jobs, and never experienced working abroad.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Be brave and jump to new opportunities—even before you may think you are ready—and take your time. There's no rush. You could be working until you're 70!
If you could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
Beyonce, for all the obvious reasons and because she has also had to battle imposter syndrome, or Frida Kahlo—an incredible creative force of a woman.
What's one thing the industry can do to encourage more women and people of color into its ranks?
More role models to prove that this is an industry they too can thrive in, and more data and education for those in power to show how they need to redesign recruitment, workplaces and cultures to be more inclusive.

Leyya Sattar

Co-founder, The Other Box

Leyya Sattar

Co-founder, The Other Box

By Angela Doland

Leyya Sattar, who grew up in small town outside of Manchester, England, wanted to be a creative because of an American TV show character she loved: Wilhelmina Slater, the diva-like creative director played by Vanessa Williams on "Ugly Betty."

"I was only 11 at the time, but I knew she was powerful, a woman of color, creative and looked amazing," Sattar says with a laugh. "I set goals for myself. I thought, 'How will I get from here to New York?'"

Sattar eventually left her small town and became a design manager in London. "I knew there must be other black and brown people in the industry, and I wanted to find them," she says. After meeting copywriter Roshni Goyate (also an Ad Age Women to Watch Europe honoree), they teamed up to build The Other Box.

"Our mission is to increase diversity in the creative industry, to celebrate and champion people of color and other minorities," Sattar says. That was something that resonated with both co-founders, who describe themselves as "two London-based brown, female, working class, state-school educated, second/third generation immigrants working as creatives in design and advertising."

The Other Box was among a few start-ups to get a shoutout from diversity advocate Cindy Gallop last year in her closing keynote at the 3% Conference. Gallop put Sattar and Goyate's names up on a slide and said, "Check them out, absolutely hire their talent, work with them, do anything you can."

The group hosts events and leads unconscious bias workshops in workplaces; it addresses race, but also sexual orientation, class, gender, parenthood and age. One topic of conversation is micro-aggressions, "like asking someone where they're from because they have a different skin color," Sattar says.

The Other Box works with brands, too. With London-based fashion brand Skinnydip, it hosted an event for International Women's Day and chose 12 creative muses—musicians, artists, designers—for a spotlight on female creativity and talent.

Sattar recently quit her job at a design company to focus full time on The Other Box. "We've created amazing things off a few hours a week," she says. "What happens when it's full-time?"

If you weren't doing this job, what would you be doing?
II think I'd be continuing my quest to be the real-life Wilhelmina [the creative director from "Ugly Betty"]—but a nicer version.
What was your worst career mistake and what did you learn from it?
I would say "yes" to every opportunity that was presented, without qualifying if it was the right opportunity for me. And it was mainly due to the fear of missing out, something quite common with millennials. What I learned was that I'm just getting started, there are so many more opportunities waiting to be had that are better suited to my mission and goals.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Embrace everything about yourself that makes you "different." All of the things you wanted to hide so you could assimilate and fit in, embrace it all as it will lead to your passion and purpose. Oh, and listen to your mum. She really does know best.
If you could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
Beyonce, of course! I feel like we could be best friends if she just gave me a chance.
What's one thing the industry can do to encourage more women and people of colour into its ranks?
For starters, do our Know Your Bias workshops!
Illustration by Franziska Barczyk. Photos courtesy of subjects. Web production by Chen Wu/Ad Age.