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 Sofia Lloyd-Jones, Marketing Director, Crescent Capital Partners
If you could tell your younger self one thing what would it be and why?
Trust the voice in your head; Build core strength.
What action or decision are you most proud of making in your lifetime?
Moving overseas to explore the world, myself and progress my career (in that order) was the best decision I made. It was a bonus that I met my husband through that journey too.
Describe one of your failures. What lessons did you learn, and how did it contribute to a greater success?
I left an amazing role at McDonalds Australia to become Marketing Manager for Bulgari across Australia and New Zealand. I was naively seduced by the product and global brand image, but once in the role I quickly realised that most of the strategic and creative direction came from headquarters in Switzerland or Italy. So after six months in the role, I decided to leave and go travelling. I found my way to the UK, where I was fortunate enough to work in global businesses such as Roche, Unilever and British Airways – I was right in the eye of the storm, helping to drive the strategic and creative decisions for some iconic consumer brands. Without the Bulgari career-misstep, I may not have realised my potential as a strategic brand marketer.
If you had to start your career from scratch, knowing what you know now, what would you do differently?
On paper, my CV does not necessarily look like a text book career progression, but personally I always made choices to move to exciting roles that took me out of my comfort zone. It has always been important to me to keep learning, and I feel the experience across different industry sectors and organisation sizes has helped to make me a more robust marketer. The one thing I would do, looking back, is make the time to network more.
Of the people that inspire you, what character traits do they have which you admire?
I value authentic listeners, rather than people who compete for ‘share of conversation’. In addition, I like being around considered and pragmatic people, who are genuinely positive and optimistic.
If I were to ask people in your workplace for three adjectives that best describe you, what would they say?
Quietly considered, detailed, and strategic.
How do you motivate yourself and stay motivated?
I’ve always been highly self-motivated and have an innate curiosity for what makes people tick, so I never have a problem staying motivated. However, if someone says that something ‘can’t be done’, the challenge to prove otherwise tends to fire my motivation levels up a notch!
If you were to be a mentor to someone within your profession, what one piece of advice would you give?
It’s not enough for marketing to be the voice of the customer within an organisation. As a marketer, you can only be truly successful if you can influence ‘horizontally’ across the business to navigate and break down the department silos – it’s important that everyone in the organisation is thinking about how they impact the customer. In addition, it’s important to build genuine relationships with your peers in IT and finance, learn their language and listen to their input because it will help to make you a more robust marketer, and the dialogue will help them to make better customer centric decisions with resources and infrastructure.
What is your personal mantra?
First understand ‘why’, then ask ‘how could it be better’?
How is gender parity being achieved in your profession and what do you think needs to be done to press for progress?
I think progress will come as much from changes outside the professional world as within, when unconscious gender bias becomes conscious – as the first step to change is awareness.
There is lots of healthy conversation and open dialogue about the gender gap across most of the business world today, which wasn’t there when I started my career, so that is a great start. However, I think positive female role models are important for making progress – ‘do’ rather than just ‘say’. I’m inspired by Mahatma Ghandi’s quote ‘be the change you want to see’.
What would you say the top 3 skills are needed in order to be successful in your industry?
Being results and outcome focused
Creative problem solving
Communication and influencing skills
What kind of legacy do you wish to leave behind?
I’d like to be remembered for the impact I’ve had in building customer centric brands and the support I’ve provided along the way to develop people’s careers.