Hello PPMA friends

It’s International Women’s Day on Sunday and in recognition, our blog post this week has been written by Karen Wormwell, who is co-founder of our long standing digital partners, Ten Horizon.

“I’m honoured and delighted to have been asked by Karen Grave to write this post – we’ve been working together for a number of years and the PPMA is one of our oldest and most treasured clients. Karen like me, is a great advocate for women in the workplace and scarily I’ve now been a working woman for over 40 years, which I think qualifies me to have an opinion on the matter.

Earlier this week in a meeting with a potential client, somehow we got onto the topic of bosses and he said “I think that women make better bosses than men” which I though was a very interesting viewpoint for a man. As we talked further it became apparent that it was the so called ‘softer skills’ that he appreciated the most.

That got me thinking about the women that I have worked with and for, during my career. My experience has probably been mixed and I’ve had many female colleagues, some of whom I’m privileged to still call friends. I’ve also had a number of female bosses, some I’ve learned a good deal from and some I was very glad to see the back of.

One women boss sticks in my mind however – when I was younger I worked ‘in advertising’ which I can reveal is nowhere near as exciting as it may sound. It could be quite a competitive environment, especially amongst women. After only ever employing male Agency Directors, the Chief Exec decided to hire a woman to run our agency. The woman he chose, had zero experience of the advertising sector and had previously worked in HR for a national high street retail chain.

At the time I, along with other colleagues, remember being extremely sceptical about her ability to do the job in what was then, a predominantly male dominated environment. I’m ashamed to say that this view stayed with me pretty much until I eventually left that agency and moved on to another… one with a very different vibe.

My new agency was dominated by old school alpha male types, where it was common for them all to decamp to the pub for lunch and return around 4pm, having consumed several pints. In this very different environment, I quickly realised just how much I had learnt from my old female boss and did in fact, write to her to thank her for being such a good role model and leader.

This experience taught me many lessons which I hope have served me well since, in my role as a friend, colleague, boss, employer and supplier. The key message is to ALWAYS recognise and value the wisdom, power and capability of women. “

To women everywhere – Happy International Women’s Day!

Karen Wormwell, Creative Director, Ten Horizon