Michaela Gschwendtner | Marketing Executive

To celebrate International Women’s Day on Wednesday 8th March, we organised a special edition of MediaCom Talks based around this year’s theme #BeBoldForChange. MediaCom Talks is a series of events in which a group of people are invited to talk about a given subject, and have four minutes in which to get their point or story across.

This marked the first MediaCom Talks to be held by the MediaCom North Group, and each office addressed the topic in a slightly different way. In Leeds, clients presented alongside MediaCommers, and in Birmingham, Abhi Punj from Bloom came in to introduce ‘the professional network for women in communications’.

Here in Manchester, we approached Deputy MD, Nicola Marsh, and the newly-formed Senior Women’s Group, to see if they could get involved. We were delighted that no fewer than nine of our brave women – and one even braver man, Group MD, Paul Cooper! – agreed to put their hand up and come and speak in front of the agency. Their brief was: describe a moment in your life when you were bold; what motivated you; what difference it made; and what others can learn from your experience – and all in under four minutes!

I say brave because standing up to present in front of your colleagues about a work-related topic would be daunting enough. But to see our ‘magnificent 10’ share such personal and candid stories about themselves and their experiences was genuinely moving – there wasn’t a dry eye in the house at one point! It was an emotional and truly rewarding hour and it made me (and I’m sure I speak for many others) truly proud to be part of such a strong and inspirational group of women here at MediaCom.

Our aim with this event was to reflect the wider aims of International Women’s Day, and the theme #BeBoldForChange: to inform people about diversity issues, encourage people to speak up, and change individual behaviours, to enable people to contribute to the movement for gender equality. And, judging by the feedback I’ve had, we smashed it! I’ve had too many emails praising our speakers to list here, but I think COO, Chris Broadbent summed up the general feeling:

“You are all fantastic role models, and very brave for the content that was shared. We are lucky to have you in our business.”

The full list of speakers and their stories is below, and there’s also a video, above, about the day:

Nicola Marsh: “Don’t be afraid of making changes”

Saira Anjam: “Finding your passion”

Laura Hands: “Embracing my inner introvert and how by accepting the things that make me different I have become happier and better at work”

Julia Shepherd: “Being a working parent”

Clare Deacon: “Ask for forgiveness not permission – the need for action, and application to the workplace.”

Aleks Certa: “The Power of asking for help”

Laura Thomas: “Vulnerability and showing it in the work place.”

Ffion Turner: “Always leave the office on time”

Charlotte Dearsley “The importance of expressing an opinion and diversity of thought”

Paul Cooper: “The gender makeup of the agency, gender balance in leadership and a dad’s role in bringing up the kids.”