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Top take-outs from Omniwomen 2018

Every year hundreds of attendees from across the Omnicom agency groups meet to celebrate International Women’s Day. This year’s Summit, now in its fourth year, was bigger and better than ever before with speakers including Shelley Zalis (CEO The Female Quotient & Founder, The Girls Lounge), Ruth Hunt (CE, Stonewall) and our very own Sam Phillips (CMO, OMG UK and MD, OMG Ethnic).

The event was opened by an award-winning spoken word artist Jaspreet Kaur, who took us on a journey with her power of words poem.

The line-up for the CEO Panel presented by Sam McAlister, could have not been better selected with representation from both male and female Omnicom leaders (Paul Brazier/AMV BBDO, Toby Hack/PHD Media, Sairah Ashman/Wolff Olins, Sara Tate/TBWA, Phil Burgess/C Space and Gabby Ludzker/Proximity) who shared their personal experiences growing in leadership, facing challenges, inequality and standing up for their beliefs.

So, what were the top 8 things we took from the event?

  • Leaders are made not born. They’re not all the same extroverted, confident, dominating characters; we have authentic, sometimes vulnerable, passionate people caring for our businesses and people.
  • Eat the elephant one bite at a time. It’s better to make even a small change than plan for the perfect moment.
  • Diversity is about so much more than gender, ethnicity, sexual preference or religion; it’s about behaviours, characters, lifestyles and opinions. We’re not great women, we’re great people.
  • Everyone is faking it until they make it, so just take it on.
  • Make the conscious time to switch off.
  • Ban the 5pm eyebrow arch or tut.  Respect the need for modern and flexible patterns and the boundaries people put in place for spending time with their loved ones and families. There is no work/life balance, just life.
  • Say yes to things – they might just open the most incredible opportunities and experiences.  Be open to this and embrace change.
  • Take short-term pain for long-term gain. If it was easy, we would all do it!

It was very impressing to see how well female leadership roles are represented in Omnicom Group in 2018:

  • 48% of Omnicom UK senior management & board positions are held by women (+20% growth in 3 years)
  • 53% of roles in management are occupied by women
  • 42% of roles are in board positions.

Omnicom Group leads way above the IPA 2020 target which is set at 40%.

Having the opportunity to listen to some inspiring stories made us believe that whilst we are all different, we all can equally make the same mark in this life if we choose so.

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Diana is a Performance Director at OMD UK

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