Carter Murray is proud to be supporting International Women’s Day 2018. We have interviewed a series of our female clients asking them how they are pressing forward for women’s gender parity #pressforprogress
Carter Murray interviewed Andrea Martens, Chief Marketing Officer, Jurlique International
If you could tell your younger self one thing what would it be and why?
You are ultimately responsible for driving your career – your success, the opportunities you take advantage of and ultimately what you achieve. You need to become your own best advocate, to back yourself and have the courage to take advantage of opportunities that will help you continue to grow, develop and be challenged. No one else understands your ambitions like you do – what motivates you and where your strengths lie, so take control and make it happen.
Having worked for some of the best organisations globally, I have seen how these environments can provide opportunities for growth such as new learning experiences, different markets and cultures, and a variety of brands and people. These opportunities are often there for the taking but you do have to back yourself, seek them out and put yourself forward.
The mentors, leaders and coaches with whom you surround yourself are key; take the time to invest in yourself to establish these relationships and then be open to the feedback and challenges that they put in front of you. Learning never stops, each day presents a new opportunity for feedback, coaching and development which will move you one step forward.
What action or decision are you most proud of making in your lifetime?
To take on the challenge of combining motherhood with being a senior business leader.
I am a mother of two amazing children, now 15 and 12 years old and I genuinely believe that whilst juggling career and family is not easy, amazing things can be achieved and it is worth the effort.
I work tirelessly to understand what the two key elements in my life – family and work – really need and where I can add the most value. These needs change monthly, sometimes daily, but by truly understanding what is important to everyone individually, I am able to be very clear on what my boundaries need to be. I can then make choices in terms of what to focus on and when to walk away.
One of the key areas that I seek to consistently focus on and invest my energy in both personally and professionally is to deliver against my personal mission of ‘paving the way for girls and women to unlock their magic’. I am extremely passionate about empowering females to achieve their full potential in their lives, be that in that in their careers by providing them with inspiration to overcome career hurdles or personally to truly follow their dreams, breaking down their own self-doubt.
Describe one of your failures. What lessons did you learn, and how did it contribute to a greater success?
Early on in my career I felt like I could not bring my whole self to work as a leader – that in order to be successful I needed to lose my natural warmth and the caring part of my personality and not show any vulnerability, particularly when operating in a large corporate environment.
It simply didn’t work. I was unhappy trying to be someone I’m not and I was unable to truly connect with my team. Because of this, there was a general lack of engagement at work.
Fortunately, I was able to turn this around. Today I believe in being an approachable and authentic leader. This doesn’t mean I don’t hold myself or others accountable, but I truly believe you will get the most out of your work experience by being who you are.
I’m a huge advocate of collaborative and cross functional problem solving that gives everyone the bigger picture and I invest in being a visible leader and creating an environment where my team feels engaged in what they do and are constantly learning.
If you had to start your career from scratch, knowing what you know now, what would you do differently?
I am who I am today because of all the things I have experienced in my career. If you don’t fail from time to time, you’ll never learn to avoid that same mistake in the future. The same goes for understanding how it feels to truly achieve something remarkable. A rounded, well-lived life leads to broadened experience, imagination, innovation and creativity.
It’s also OK to understand when you are at your best and the ingredients that make that happen. For me it’s about staying fit, eating well and rejuvenating by spending time away from work and with my family and friends. I am proud of the fact that for the past 15 years since my son was born, I have worked from home every Friday. I believe this greatly contributes to my high level of productivity.