Our Women and Leadership programme is designed to equip women from across the business with the tools, skills, confidence and support network to progress into senior leadership roles underpinning our ambition to have 40% women in leadership positions, globally, by 2020. In our regular series, ‘Five minutes with’, we catch up with some of this year’s cohort to hear about their experiences on the programme.

Why did you apply for the programme?

I am lucky enough at dentsu to be surrounded by a large volume of women in leadership roles. Each woman in these roles has an individual leadership style which differentiates them from the other leaders within the business. I wanted to use the Women In Leadership course to help me on the path to discovering what sort of leader I want to be as I progress through my career at dentsu. Evolving my knowledge is something I have always been proactive on during my time at the company – I started out as a graduate planning Radio, which then evolved into planning OOH and Cinema. I then made the decision to move to the AV team in order to broaden my knowledge and discover more about not only media, but about myself and how I can adapt to change. Being part of the programme would help me enhance the knowledge I have gleaned so far in order to build and shape my career progression at dentsu.

What do you hope to achieve from being on the programme? 

Using the Horizon’s framework and setting SMART goals has helped me as I advance to the next level in my career, however I believe the support and knowledge I would gain from the programme will aid this greatly. I read an article recently on Forbes.com written by Nina Angelovska regarding the balance of Women in Leadership vs Men. In the article, she cites Sheryl Sandberg’s book ‘Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead’ which discusses the inner obstacles women must overcome to reach higher levels of management, particularly relating to confidence. I found this to particularly resonate to my own personal career journey. My self-confidence has grown greatly in my time at dentsu thanks to the support of colleagues and my own effort at working to believe in myself and my abilities. I’d like to use the programme to learn from the career progression and personal stories of other women within the industry – both leaders and those that aspire to be - to build a support network. By doing so, my goal is to further develop on my own confidence, as well as the confidence of other women around me to instil the belief that we can be the leaders we are more than capable of being.

What’s the most important thing you’ve learnt so far?

I’ve learnt that any issues and doubts I had about myself as a leader which I thought were exclusive to me, were actually shared with a lot of the other participants on the programme. It’s really interesting to communicate with colleagues across the business and discover we all have similar experiences, regardless of level, department or location. In addition, I have learnt that self-evaluation and reflection is an important part of my career development and is something I will be encouraging my team to do more often. The programme has provided me with an opportunity to take a step back and really think about my management style, which is something I have found extremely valuable.

Becky McArthur is an AV Planning Manager at Amplifi