The Women in Media Awards are back for 2018! To celebrate this wonderful fact, and to recognise some of the killer women in our industry, we’ve created a women in media series – and have profiled some pretty inspiring women so far.
Earlier this week we spoke to one of last year’s winners and all-round powerhouse Alison Cole from Groove Q – so we thought our next profile should be just as impressive.
Meet Imogen Hewitt, group managing director at Havas Media!
What was the best advice you were ever given?
“Get a bigger problem”. It was a favourite saying of my dad’s when I was whining about one of the myriad trivial issues that can take up too much of our time and minds.
It’s a brilliant way to cut through the pointless and re focus on stuff that makes a difference. It’s also funny and reminds me of my dad, who was brilliant and kind and often deliberately provocative.
What’s the hardest lesson you’ve learnt in or out of the workforce?
You can’t do it all yourself, and even if you do, it won’t necessarily be better. I had to learn that lesson in and out of the workforce.
In the workforce, learning to be a leader means learning to trust others to deliver. They may not do it that same way you would do it, but that might just be a great thing.
And out of the workforce; I am lucky enough to have a husband that works at home. There are more tree climbing, falling off things, bruises, scratches and dirt than if I were at home with our kids, but they are braver and more resilient as a result.
What women do you find inspiring?
Most women, in one way or another.
What turns you on? What do you love?
I absolutely love honesty. I love to surprise people with the truth and see people be relieved by hearing the truth.
Working this hard, having a family, managing the mother guilt, always being unsatisfied, committing to making our agency the best place it can be for staff and clients, striving to always help (or find a way to), being a daughter and a friend and a mother and a partner is a constant, right on the edge, game of survival.
If we gloss over how difficult things can be we do no service to those that look up to us.
I don’t pretend I have the answers and it’s liberating for everyone. I love knowing that women who hear this truth might have permission to be at least a bit more human in their pursuit of having it all. Whatever that is.
What advice would you give to young aspiring women?
You know that little voice in your head that says “I don’t know what I am doing” or “when is someone going to tap me on the shoulder and ask what I am doing here”?.. everyone has that, everyone, but not everyone listens to it.
Defy that voice, make yourself do the things you’re not sure you can do (or get away with). You will learn fast and get comfortable with being uncomfortable; both markers of potential and success.
That and “don’t be a dick”. There are already enough of those.
What profession, other than your own, would you never want to attempt?
I would never ever ever want to work in trauma. I could never deal with proper heart wrenching suffering on a daily basis. I think people who can and do are real life super heros, but I would go to pieces.
What profession, other than your own, would you want to attempt?
I’ve always had a fascination with old things, objects with stories longer than our lifetimes. I’d try my hand as an antiques dealer, historian or auctioneer.
Why are women vital to your industry?
Because women are vital to every industry. Because diversity of experience, opinion and style always makes things better. Because the more lenses you view something through the closer you get to understanding people’s experiences.
Without that we just sit in ivory towers telling our clients what we think about things we’ve never experienced or cared to find out about. If you don’t care enough to wonder what people other than you think, best get a different job in my opinion.
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