What is it that you do?
I am a Partner at Today the Brave; a newly founded, full-service independent creative agency based in Sydney.
At Today the Brave, we believe in two things: beautifully simple strategy and world-class creativity, and we are made up of the best of the old world, blended with the new. In my role, I am charged with helping run the business day to day, working with our clients to help find their ‘why’, briefing teams on new strategies and building our diverse portfolio of clients.
What’s something people would never guess about you?
I have a BSc in Geography. Not a traditional degree for someone in the creative industry, but my career path hasn’t been linear!
Who did you want to be as a kid?
I actually wanted to be a vet — having always loved animals and having a menagerie of pets at home in London, it felt like a natural career path for me. Interestingly, my career advisor at school thought I would be suited to being a midwife.
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
I really love what I do. I’m driven by making big changes in businesses and brands, and I’m grateful to have such a strong team and brilliant business partner, whom I truly admire and respect. Building strong relationships with people excites me. In business, it’s about really listening and understanding what people want and making it happen for them — this is my driving force.
Can you share a highlight in your career?
The highlight would have to be doing what I’m doing now in building Today the Brave. I’ve been fortunate to have worked at some of the best creative companies in London and Sydney. From starting my career through the scholarship programme at Saatchi & Saatchi in London, I ended up staying for six years and moved to the Sydney office. I then transitioned into marketing and went client-side to work for Westpac. Whilst there, I undertook an MBA at the University of Sydney, which ultimately led me into the world of Management Consulting at Ernst & Young. The pull back into the creative industry was strong, and I feel equipped with a broad skill set to be doing what I’m now doing for businesses at Today the Brave.
Who are the women that have inspired you the most?
There are so many women who have inspired me throughout my life and career across industries, business sectors, countries and all walks of life.
Inspiration comes from people, anywhere, just like ideas.
Those I have particularly admired have exhibited incredibly relatable qualities in leadership styles. They were equal parts strong and confident without being overpowering and dominant.
And they were not afraid to be feminine too.
What is good about being a woman in the creative industry?
I think it’s about listening and being inclusive, irrespective of your gender.
Have you faced any challenges?
As they rise up the ranks in their careers, I think most people face challenges. For me, changing careers and transitioning between industries from advertising to marketing and consulting, whilst in a similar wheelhouse, are all quite different. At Ernst & Young, for example, you’re in the company of fiercely intellectual people with incredibly diverse backgrounds. Finding your voice in that group was a real challenge, but throughout my time there, I leaned in, learnt a great deal, had my mind opened and thrived as a result.
What change in the creative industry would you like to see?
I’d like to see more mentoring in the creative industry. I continue to mentor MBA students in their final module at the University of Sydney as well as supporting budding entrepreneurs through Incubate, Sydney University’s award-winning startup Accelerator Program. I think we all have a responsibility to share our knowledge and give people an opportunity to experience our industry.
I’d also like to see more integration between different disciplines of thought and experience. And really encourage more collaboration, where you bring together the best people in the market to solve tomorrow’s client problems. And this is largely what we are doing at Today the Brave.
What advice would you give your younger self starting out in the creative industry?
Back yourself, in every way and in everything you do.
Stop listening to the chattering monkeys— a wonderful sound bite from one of my brilliant former CEO’s.
And I would also heed the advice from my darling dad, who would always say to me, “Just go for it, Dilly!”.
Take chances even when you don’t feel ready because you quickly adapt and rise to the challenge.