Louder in the back please!

You get a 21% improved profitability in companies with diverse boards. So why is this still a struggle? Episode 2 of Word on the Street welcomes Kathryn Jacob, CEO at the infamous Pearl & Dean and Sue Unerman, Chief Transformation Officer at multi-award winning agency MediaCom

They join Katie to discuss their life in the media industry and the steps that lead them to co-writing a book together; “The Glass Wall: Success strategies for women at work – and businesses that mean business”

They shout about the importance and success of diversity beyond gender, shared parental leave, and the responsibility you hold as a leader to make sure the voices in the back are heard at the front. The humility and experience of these two women is not to be reckoned with. 

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Links & references

Katie Street:

Street Agency:

Get in touch: [email protected]

Kathryn Jacob:

Pearl & Dean:

Sue Unerman:


Purchase the book – The Glass Wall;

Just After Midnight:

Episode highlights

“From the most senior client facing people, 4 out of 5 of them were women, and 3 out of the 4 of us worked part time. And you look around the rest of the industry and you didn’t see anything like that at all. So I thought, okay … how’s that happened? It was hugely successful time for MediaCom. Why isn’t everywhere like that? And I went to my friend, Kathryn Jacob, who is one of the handful of CEOs for media owner, Pearl & Dean, and said to her, “I want to do a bit of exploration of this and why there isn’t the level of diversity everywhere else.” – Sue Unerman

“One of the reasons why I want to be a CEO is because I wanted to create the kind of environment where I’d want to work. I’d seen lots of really, really talented women just fall and just go “I don’t want to play this game anymore.” Also women saying “It’s just me isn’t it? This is why this isn’t working for me, I’m not getting promoted because it’s me, I don’t fit in.” And actually, it’s not that you don’t fit in it’s because the world you work in is adapted to a specific type of you know, attitude which is alpha male and presenteeism driven and looks to recruit people who are like the people who are in charge because that’s who they feel safe with.”  – Kathryn Jacob

“The thing about the “Glass Wall” is that it’s sort of this invisible thing that creates a set of rules and behaviours that you’re not complying with. You’re not playing the game, but you’re not aware of what’s going on. So what we say is be aware of the “showing off” thing. You can then make a decision and choose whether you’re going to play along or not.” – Sue Unerman

“Any business should be reimagining their future. What a great moment to be doing that. It’s a huge opportunity for the creative industries who, after all, are creative.” – Sue Unerman

“Senior management is there to help everybody fulfil that potential. And that’s not something that should be outsourced to a division of the company. It’s not a HR job, it’s if you work leadership, then you’re there to help everybody that works with you to fulfil their potential and that’s how you grow. That’s how you become a better organisation.” – Sue Unerman

“There is that sense of collective responsibility, ability and ownership which you get if you’ve got a diverse team. I mean, it is the “Avengers Assemble” thing – that’s how they do so well together, it’s because they can take on all sorts of challenges and their strength is in there, as in their unity and sense of purpose.” – Kathryn Jacob