It is so important, of course, to have perspective.

It is impossible not to warm instantly to Katie Kempner.  She is head of global communications for ad agency CP+B but also the creator and host of an online show called “Perspectives with Katie Kempner” (www.katiekempner-perspectives.com). The show’s mission is to inspire and empower working women.  She asked me to be one of a series of interviews from AdWeek Europe last month.

I was at AdWeek to participate in the Economist Global Commerce Round Table, where we debated the role of technology as a force for change in the industry chaired by Global Digital Publisher Nick Blunden.  Simon Dalglish from ITV, Dale Gall, Profero, Libby Hills, Credit Suisse, Marc Mendoza Havas and I had a lively conversation where we admitted that useful and essential as technology is, it doesn’t of course replace creativity and consumer insight. 

Katie Kempner is perched in the gallery, with a full film crew, nestling above the main business of the conference.  She describes her show as “a series of inspiring conversations with incredible working women balancing busy lives.”

Immediately after the Economist session I was whisked up to the Gallery where Katie asked me, as she asks all her guests, how I balanced work and life.  There was instant recognition and the relief of shared experience.  I may have been a bit too honest in my answers – I’m not sure that it is possible for working professional mums to do everything.  Something has to give, and it’s better for you to choose that something (in my case a limit on business travel) rather than to try and do everything and then find that the thing that gives is something you weren’t anticipating and can’t compensate for.   We agreed that most working mothers have at least two full time jobs, and in my experience many have several part time ones as well – working on pro-bono boards, chairing industry committees and of course running the parent teacher associations at their kids schools because they can’t bear to see it done by someone less experienced at managing difficult stakeholders than they are.

I had a busy day that day (it kicked off at 530am and involved being on the panel at the conference, being in a run through, 3 “what shall we do next meetings”, 1 client inspiration session including speed dating with start ups, networking at a club that I belong to and then celebrating a family birthday (lunch is for wimps)).  My ten minute chat with Katie felt like a refreshing shower on a hot day, or how I feel when I drop into a Starbucks for an Americano (cold milk on the side) and they’re playing one of my favourite tunes.  Katie has created a club and a channel for women like her, and I’m delighted to have been a participant.  The interviews with a series of working women amount to a snapshot of our time.  They build up to a fascinating insight into what they (we) have in common, and how we differ.  It would be brilliant to have something like it in London.  Katie, can you start us up please ?

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