Tag Archives: women

Imposter Syndrome

13 Mar

Celebrating women this month and one of the thing we often fall prey to – the Imposter Syndrome. I wrote this piece for the Amsterdam chapter of SheSays and blatant self-promotion am sharing it again here:

I was flown into Milan to help the Wunderman Microsoft Team. I had only spoken with the MD via email before arriving in the office. She had basically said yes when can you start after our first conversation based on the recommendation of hiring me by our Global Director within the Paris team. I literally went out there armed with my phone and my laptop and only my solid knowledge of how to get Microsoft campaigns out the door. When Friday came I hopped in a taxi to Linate (because Milan public transportation was having a strike) and waited for my plane. Literally, as I walked across the tarmac to board I was terrified that my telephone would ring and the MD would say, “fraud! Don’t come back on Monday!’’ But that call didn’t come. I went back on Monday, and the following Mondays for several months and no-one ever said I wasn’t a fabulous Global Advertising Director with a solid knowledge of how to get Microsoft working with Wunderman and producing great campaigns. Why? Well because I wasn’t an imposter. I was fabulous, I am fabulous. I can do it.

So, what would I tell my younger self… this year’s self? Believe. Not just I think you can, but KNOW you can. Because I think we all fall prey to these fears more often than we care to admit. And that is I believe one of the biggest factors in holding 51% of the world back.


How to break the glass ceiling?

20 Aug

I know the world, and particularly younger women, feel that this topic is boring and unnecessary. But this week I was once again one of the only 2 women in a meeting. Why oh why in my professional life do I wonder at the fact that even in 2014 I am still often one of the only women in a meeting? Why is marketing so male dominated? Getting a bit bored of being in board rooms filled with testosterone tainted hot air.

Inspiring people part II

23 Jun

When someone you know uses their talents and ambitions to change their corner of the world, then it’s our responsibility to shout it out for them.

Nassira Boudhan is just such a lady. Having two corners of the world to tend to (Morocco and the Netherlands) she is bridging two cultures and travelling a lot to make changes. Changes for women and girls. Because over 50% of our world is women. On Monday her website/webshop a-lief.com goes live.

A-lief is fashion for education, with an eye to sustainability. Empowering women in Morocco so that they can educate their daughters.



10 RULES FOR BRILLIANT WOMEN (courtesy of Tara Mohr)

1 Apr


Because we can never empower ourselves enough!  I particularly like the filter advice tip…

It’s time to step up, brilliant women. Here are ten principles for owning your brilliance and bringing it to the world:

1) Make a pact. No one else is going to build the life you want for you. No one else will even be able to completely understand it. The most amazing souls will show up to cheer you on along the way, but this is your game. Make a pact to be in it with yourself for the long haul, as your own supportive friend at every step along the way.

2) Imagine it. What does a knock-the-ball-out-of-the-park life look like for you? What is the career that seems so incredible you think it’s almost criminal to have it? What is the dream you don’t allow yourself to even consider because it seems too unrealistic, frivolous, or insane? Start envisioning it. That’s the beginning of having it.

3) Gasp. Start doing things that make you gasp and get the adrenalin flowing. Ask yourself, “What’s the gasp-level action here?” Your fears and a tough inner critic will chatter in your head. That’s normal, and just fine. When you hear that repetitive, irrational, mean inner critic, name it for what it is, and remember, it’s just a fearful liar, trying to protect you from any real or seeming risks. Go for the gasps and learn how false your inner critic’s narrative really is, and how conquerable your fears.

4) Get a thick skin. If you take risks, sometimes you’ll get a standing ovation, and sometimes, people will throw tomatoes. Can you think of any leader or innovator whom you admire who doesn’t have enthusiastic fans and harsh critics? Get used to wins and losses, praise and pans, getting a call back and being ignored. Work on letting go of needing to be liked and needing to be universally known as “a nice person.”

5) Be an arrogant idiot. Of course I know you won’t, because you never could. But please, just be a little more of an arrogant idiot. You know those guys around the office who share their opinions without thinking, who rally everyone around their big, (often unformed) ideas? Be more like them. Even if just a bit. You can afford to move a few inches in that direction.

6) Question the voice that says “I’m not ready yet.” I know, I know. Because you are so brilliant and have such high standards, you see every way that you could be more qualified. You notice every part of your idea that is not perfected yet. While you are waiting to be ready, gathering more experience, sitting on your ideas, our friends referenced in rule five are being anointed industry visionaries, getting raises, and seeing their ideas come to life in the world. They are no more ready than you, and perhaps less. Jump in the sandbox now, and start playing full out. Find out just how ready you are.

7) Don’t wait for your Oscar. Don’t wait to be praised, anointed, or validated. Don’t wait for someone to give you permission to lead. Don’t wait for someone to invite you to share your voice. No one is going to discover you. (Well, actually, they will, but paradoxically, only after you’ve started boldly and consistently stepping into leadership, sharing your voice, and doing things that scare the hell out of you.)

8) Filter advice. Most brilliant women are humble and open to guidance. We want to gather feedback and advice. Fine, but recognize that some people won’t understand what you are up to (often because you are saying something new and ahead of your time). Some people will find you to be not their cup of tea. Some will feel threatened. Some people will want to do with your idea only what is interesting or helpful to them. So interpret feedback carefully. Test advice and evaluate the results, rather than following it wholesale.

9) Recover and restore. If you start doing the things that make you gasp, doing what you don’t quite feel ready to do, and being more of an arrogant idiot, you are going to be stretching out of our comfort zone–a lot. Regularly do things that feel safe, cozy, and restorative. Vent to friends when you need to. Acknowledge the steps you’ve taken. Watch your tank to see how much risk-taking juice you have available to you. When it’s running low, stop, recover and restore.

10) Let other women know they are brilliant. Let them know what kind of brilliance you see, and why it’s so special. Call them into greater leadership and action. Let them know that they are ready. Watch out for that subtle, probably unconscious thought, “because I had to struggle and suffer on my way up…they should have to too.” Watch out for thinking this will “take” too much time — when the truth is it always has huge, often unexpected returns.

Shesays widget

1 Nov

Great widget! Great initiative. If over 50% of the world is women why are we so miserably under-represented in the higher positions in marketing communication? Well shesays (weareshesays.com) wants to change that. And with this great widget now they have an easy way to find the right women for the job. Because when you need something doing – get a woman to do it!