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I lead our in-house team of 25 graphic designers, photographers, videographers and animators, who create digital content for 50 Nestlé brands. I love my role because my team are a fantastic collective of creative, collaborative and fun people who make our iconic brands shine. Everyone in the team has a creative superpower and a unique personality, so it feels a bit like leading the Avengers!

Describe your leadership style. How would others describe it?

It is important for me to create an open and inclusive environment where people can share the challenges they are facing and ask what leaders can do to help. It is not always obvious what individuals may be struggling with at work and at home in areas such as mental health, women's health, or neurodiversity – but building trust that allows for honest conversations enables us to make adjustments that can make a world of difference to someone.

What advice would you give to rising female leaders?

As we see gender balance on leadership teams improving, the mental picture of a leader or a person in power is still, for many, a senior white male with qualities such as 'gravitas', 'charisma' and 'confidence', which can be at odds with how many women were raised or taught to behave. Female leaders need to find a balance between building their executive presence and staying true to who they are and how they want to interact with others. I have met many soft-spoken or introverted females who are great leaders and have helped me re-define my notion of what an impactful leader is (it is not always about big speeches and wearing a suit and tie!)

How have power structures changed since the beginning of your career? What changes are most needed now?

Companies today know the right things to do. We sometimes still see lags in mindset which can show up as micro aggressions in the workplace or virtue signalling without true understanding of what equity and inclusion is. I believe making an effort to live it day to day through small but thoughtful changes can be more powerful over time than grand gestures.

What’s a practical strategy that you use to create inclusion on your team?  

I let people manage their own time and how they work, be it navigating childcare, physical and mental health needs, or seeing families who live far away. I have seen this flexibility not only enables everyone to deliver the best results, but it builds trust and openness in the team.