Back in 2016, Jen Smith, was one of the people in her organisation tasked with enabling more women to rise to the top.
I came to Open Shine initially as an observer, we wanted to run a female leadership programme with Shine within my agency Maxus, and so I came to see what the experience would be like for the 200 wonderful women who would be selected to take part in that.
While my intention was to be a scientific observer of the process, the reality was that I was a fully emerged, emotional and utterly engaged Shine devotee by the end.
Having the gift of time to devote two days to talking and thinking about your own wishes, desires and ambitions is the biggest gift I think I have ever been given. Having the superb facilitators in Cal and Anna meant that I could not skirt around the real issues that lay underneath the surface, and instead was gently led and then sometimes more forcefully pushed to acknowledging what it meant to me.
My Shine awakening was to realise I was ambitious, but that equally there was no career fairy godmother.
I was guilty of being the good girl, believing that if I put my head down and did what was asked of me the career fairy godmother would bestow on me the opportunities I desired. Instead realising that no one gives a crap about my career as much as I do, I took back the reigns to my own life and created opportunities where they didn’t previously exist. I pitched to my global board to create a new job which I felt would benefit me and the organisation. And I was successful!
In 2017, Maxus merged with another agency and I decided it was time to make a bold move. Together with my business partner Sally Weavers, I set up Craft Media – an independent communications consultancy designed to join up creative and media thinking.
I came out of Shine a different woman to when I went in.
Within two years we have worked with a range of clients including: BodyShop, Which?, BrewDog, ASOS, S’well, St Johns Ambulance and The Women’s Equality Party. We have won Gold at the Media Week Awards for our work on Which? And I’ve just been nominated for Making Media matter in Campaign Magazine’s Female Frontier Awards.
You can find out more about Craft at www.craftmedia.london and on Insta at @wearecraftmedia . If you are a business who wants to take greater control of your communications strategy, a creative agency who wants your work to appear in media with the same creativity as the execution or a media agency who needs a boost of creative strategy please give us a call!