Celebrating International Women’s Day 2021

To celebrate International Women’s Day 2021, we asked the women who make The Behaviours Agency what it is their thoughts on the women’s rights movement. It’s the perfect time to start the conversation with the passionate people on our team, getting their views on everything from taboos, to careers, to gender equality.

Sue Benson

Sue Benson, Managing Director 

As a female leader, what has been the most significant barrier in your career?

“Actually only myself. The dreaded imposter syndrome is strong in me! I have experienced the inevitable demands because of family life and then more recently, a complete loss of confidence in my late 40s – which thankfully with the help of HRT has gone. Menopause should be talked about more openly. I didn’t have many role models either – and so felt slightly intimidated by women who had got to the top but didn’t have kids.” 

Dorina D'Ambrosio

Dorina D’Ambrosio, Creative Director 

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

“International Women’s Day is a chance to reflect on and celebrate the achievements of women and positive changes that have happened to create equality. It gives us the opportunity to reflect on the many inspirational, supportive and motivational stories which ultimately empower us as women.”


Janey Leonard Myers, Senior Account Manager

What taboos related to the theme of women do you wish were broken?

The taboo I wish to be broken is the use of language when describing female and male leaders in business. When a woman is assertive and outspoken in the workplace they may be labelled as bossy, or even worse. Equally, when a woman is emotional or enthusiastic she may be labelled shrill or hormonal. Casual statements get thrown around like “he’s acting like such a girl!” Men on the other hand are often praised for being opinionated, loud and dominating because people are more likely to respect those qualities in male leaders. In many industries there is still a long way to go to break these taboos. Thankfully, I can hand on heart say that this isn’t the case at The Behaviours Agency. We don’t have double standards, everyone is encouraged to have an opinion. On top of this we have two strong female business owners and women are in the majority in our agency, which you don’t often see in the creative advertising world.”

Tamsin Scott, Head of Marketing

What advice would you share with young women entering male-dominated professions?

“In the marketing profession research suggests there’s a fairly even split of female to male senior-level marketers, stats vary, but many sources suggest there’s around a 50/50 split. Of course, this isn’t the case for all industries and across all organisations. I have certainly experienced working in more male-dominated environments, especially when working in the tech sector. I would advise all women (and men for that matter) who are starting out in their career to find a good role model, someone who you can resonate with, especially if this is lacking in your immediate work environment. Some of the strongest leaders I have encountered have been female and some have been male but what they have had in common is high levels of emotional intelligence and empathy. Actively seek out support and guidance, become a mentee and when your time comes, become a mentor. We all have a duty and responsibility to be positive role models. Help the next generation of leaders learn and grow and to become leaders themselves who others will be happy to follow.”

New job in lockdown

Ellen Jackson, Lead Creative Copywriter

Whose work do you admire in relation to women’s rights and equality?

“Gosh, there are too many to count. The last century has been such a turning point for gender equality. Passionate Emily Wilding Davis being killed by a horse just so we could have the right to a vote. Ruth Bader Ginsberg‘s fight to change gender-blind laws in the US – always with intelligence and decorum. Malala Yousafzai being shot in 2012 and still going on to win the Nobel Peace Prize, the Time’s Up movement across the entertainment industry. And even the activism in our own industry: Badger & Winters ‘Women not Objects’ campaign, ‘Like a Girl’ from Leo Burnett, ‘Dove Real Beauty’ from Ogilvy. There’s so much brave work going on, it’s hard not to be overwhelmed with admiration.”

Nat Taylor, Integrated Designer

Which women inspire you?

“I’d have to say Munroe Bergdorf. She is an English model and activist. She was the first transgender model in the UK for L’Oréal but in 2017 they dropped her within weeks after speaking out on the racism and the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. In 2020 she criticised L’Oréal following a post they made supporting Black Lives Matter, calling them out for their hypocrisy and performative activism. She has since rejoined L’Oréal as a part of the company’s UK diversity and inclusion advisory board.” 

Mary Peel

Mary Peel, Account Executive

What do you think can be done to help achieve equality between men and women?

“Achieving equality between women’s and men’s pay is a choice that businesses decide to adhere to or not. It’s largely uncontrollable except for the few who can decide to instigate a change to business policies. But equality won’t necessarily be fixed with equal pay opportunities, a sinister effect formed from this inequality has presented itself, it’s called the entitlement gap. Social conditioning means that women feel less deserving than men, creating a gap of entitlement that’s directly impacting women’s careers. Focus on this could help alleviate the obstacles women face in their careers. Education, education, education in culture and policies is the key to ensure men and women don’t fall into the outdated and learned behaviours of sexism. This will show that women are valued in pay, progression opportunities and work-life balance. Then they don’t have to feel like they have to chose between having a family or being successful in their careers.”