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Embracing honesty, imperfection and making mistakes - IWD Q&A


(L-R) Kes Burr, Nell Dix and Faye Lockier

In recognition of International Women’s Day, some of the women of Antidote sat down to share their experiences of being a woman in the world of PR. Here’s how it went…


Founder and CEO of Antidote Communications Becca Williams reflected on what has driven her from an early age: “it's something I think a lot about in terms of how I got here and it goes right back to when I was young. My dad was an entrepreneur so he was a big role model for me and I developed this fire to prove that I could do it as a girl, just as much as he could.”


Managing Director Faye Lockier added: "I think there is something to be said around 'girl dads’ and the influence that has on upbringing. Since there were no sons in our family, I felt an encouragement for my sisters and me to succeed and push boundaries in any way we wanted. In that sense, I've never felt constrained by what a girl can or can’t do. I just had such a drive to do a job I loved and that fulfilled me”.


What is something you believe needs changing for the better?


Becca: “I've seen a lot of women fall out of the workplace when they get to a certain level because of structural inflexibility, making it extremely difficult for women to balance a successful career with family life. That's why I think there are more men at the top”.


Faye: “I think one of the big areas that needs an overhaul everywhere is manager training. There are many instances, in technology and engineering in particular, where women are being managed by men who have never managed women before. They haven’t had to handle issues like managing period pain, helping to off-board or onboard mothers or support someone going through menopause. Those are all issues, as a manager, whether you're male or female you should be able to handle and discuss appropriately.”


Biggest barriers you’ve had to overcome in the professional world?


Faye: “Early on in my career I had some brilliant male managers but I actually observed women being some of the biggest barriers to growing female talent. There's plenty of space for everyone to succeed so we need to be building each other up and calling out behaviour that doesn’t help us achieve our collective goal of equality.


“There are these big initiatives, big awareness days that happen, but for me, it's the small microaggressions that can be a daily occurrence for many women that are the problem and often go unnoticed.” 


What interested you about the world of PR and comms?


Account Executive, Nell Dix said: “I've always enjoyed reading and writing, and enjoyed keeping up to date with what’s happening in the world - I find it exciting. 


“We joke here at Antidote that a lot of us have some kind of background in drama, so it could be something to do with the storytelling element that intrigued me about PR.”


Kes Burr, Account Executive, added: “PR blends creativity with corporate perfectly. If you're a creative person, or creatively inclined, I think it's a really good avenue to pursue. It also tends to be a female-dominated industry where women are really able to thrive. That was really encouraging to me”.


What does International Women's Day mean to you personally and professionally?


Nell: “For me, International Women's Day is a celebration of the hard-won social and political achievements made by women throughout history. However, it's more than just reflecting on how far we've come - it's a resounding call to actively use our voices, platforms, and positions of privilege to continue knocking down barriers, and empower and uplift other women.” 


Kes: “I see International Women's Day as a chance to reflect on what we’ve achieved, but it also highlights how much further we have to go. The existence of the awareness day and the fact that it's still a necessary part of the modern calendar highlights the current gaps in equality”. 


What advice would you give to women beginning their careers in PR? 


Becca: “It's crucial to acknowledge that life isn't perfect. Embrace honesty, share your failures, and normalise them. Avoid setting unrealistic expectations, as it perpetuates a cycle of failure. Overcompensating by burning out doesn't prove success. Life isn't about everything being flawless; it's about taking risks, learning from mistakes, and moving forward.”


Nell: “I've realised that both personal and professional growth often requires stepping into unfamiliar territory. It's about pushing boundaries and embracing discomfort. You won’t learn unless you put yourself in situations you're not comfortable with.”


Faye: “Recognise how you can build those support systems and networks to gain that confidence. Be proactive in building connections. Identify opportunities, like scheduling coffee meetings, to connect with people and ensure meaningful interactions. Taking initiative in creating these connections is crucial for career growth.”


Kes: “Mistakes, embrace them. We're so scared of doing something wrong. I think especially when you're working with a lot of men, making a mistake as a woman feels as if you've let yourself down. But, again, it has to be done to learn and grow.”

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