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Five secrets of female success

Posted by: Hannah Hudson, Cedar

Sometimes, working at a Cedar is like being in a Beyoncé video. (Bear with me on this.)

While we’re not all running around in leotards, flipping our hair and warbling into the faces of clients, we’re definitely channelling an Independent Women vibe as we go about our day-to-day business.

Not only do women make up 58 per cent of Cedar’s senior leadership team (that’s compared with the average of 24 per cent at companies across the globe) but there are also women at every level of the business doing incredible things every day.

From winning awards, to winning new accounts, creating magazines and websites, making sales and keeping the books balanced, it’s fair to say that the company would notice our absence if we all decided to bunk off for the day.

So to mark International Women’s Day 2014, we asked every woman in the company to share her number one tip for success. Our offices in China and South Africa joined in too, with advice ranging from the sensible (‘Be yourself’) to the slightly more silly (‘Don’t sweat the petty stuff; don’t pet the sweaty stuff’).

You can read every single tip on our @cedarcontent Twitter stream. For every person photographed, Cedar will donate £10 to women’s charity, Rosa. The total currently stands at £1,000.

Below are some of the tips that we think make particularly good sense. Future Beyoncés, take note.

  1. Create your own opportunities
    ‘When I was trying to break into journalism, I thought to myself, “where can I make the biggest difference?” I realised that there was going to be fierce competition at my favourite magazine, so it probably wasn’t my best bet. Then I read the masthead of another great magazine and noticed the editorial team was very small. I opted for the latter publication and went on to get my first job there.’ Aviva, Editor

  2. Be passionate about what you do
    ‘Being passionate about your work is so important. It’s what gets you out of bed in the morning, puts a spring in your step, pushes you forward, makes you take risks and inspires your clients (and colleagues, too!). Your passion and energy can blow any presentation or insight out of the water; people listen to passion and buy into passion. It’s infectious too. To quote the great, but bewilderingly wigged, Donald Trump: “Without passion you don’t have energy, with out energy you have nothing”.’ Talia, Partner Development Director

  3. Listen as much as you talk
    ‘As much as you might want to gain the attention of the people you admire, hang back. It can be tempting to go “Look at me!” and show off what you know, but you’ll reach the end of the conversation and realise you haven’t learnt anything because you’ve been doing all the talking. If you want to impress someone, think carefully about what you’re going to say, save it up, then really wow them.’ Gemma B, Senior Account Manager

  4. Don’t ask anyone in your team to do something you wouldn’t be prepared to do yourself
    ‘One of my early mentors at an ad agency told me he got into copywriting after stuffing direct mail envelopes and realising that he could write the copy for them better himself. He worked his way up from letter-stuffer to senior copywriter. He said that it was important to gain as much experience in every role as your career progresses so that when you’re leading a team you know what’s involved in the roles around you and on your team. Understanding your team’s challenges makes you a better boss and improves your ability to lead. This has stayed with me.’ Georgie, Account Director

  5. Gain some work experience
    ‘You can’t sit back and wait for opportunities to come to you. You have to make things happen yourself. Our industry is so competitive that you want to try and stand out when applying for a job. Work experience helped me to do that. I worked on titles such as Motor Boat Monthly just to get a foot in the door. It wasn’t very glam, or even the area that I was interested in, but I made contacts and learnt skills – and it helped me to shine.’ Gemma F, Art Editor 

As part of its commitment to helping other women succeed, Cedar will be running a mentoring scheme later in the year. More details will be announced here soon.

Posted by: Hannah Hudson, Acting Editor, Cedar

Posted in CMA blog
13thMar 2014


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