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Wunderman Thompson's Inspiration Personified: Georgia Swanborough and Evie Nagy


Account director and senior account manager at Wunderman Thompson and RISE Lead's on gender equality and connecting women with valuable experiences

Wunderman Thompson's Inspiration Personified: Georgia Swanborough and Evie Nagy

Wunderman Thompson are the inspiration experts.​ Because of this, we know that inspiration doesn’t come from any one place, but rather it should be drawn upon from a diverse and inclusive culture. ​

This allows us to see things differently, to reject conventional thinking and to push the boundaries of creative bravery.​ The emergence of hybrid working environments has meant that finding opportunities for meaningful connections and a sense of belonging are more important to protect and nurture than ever before. 

In this new environment, it’s imperative for businesses to actively build a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace where everyone feels welcome, valued, and heard. Our Business Employee Resource Groups are just one way we bring people together and provide a positive forum for development, education and idea exchange around a common interest. 

We now have 20 of these groups across the Wunderman Thompson network devoted to topics such as AAPI, Sustainability, Marginalised Ethnicities, Disability, Women and more. They’re a key component of what makes Wunderman Thompson inspiration experts, and ensure that their core values are reflected in every aspect of the company. 

In 2022 the company added Business to the existing ERG program, which creates more opportunities for the diverse voices of employees to directly impact their work. This is just one way we’re putting inclusive experiences at the heart of our business to help drive growth for our clients, and something we’re passionate about sharing to inspire the wider industry. By incorporating these groups, we take ownership and responsibility for creating culturally competent work that drives conversation to enrich our culture and wider society.

Here are thoughts from their members on what inspired their creation, and how they use them to inspire change from their corner of the world.

Name: Georgia Swanborough & Evie Nagy

Title: account director & RISE Lead / senior account manager & RISE Lead

City: London

Business + Employee Resource Group / Affinity: RISE

Q> Can you tell us a bit about yourselves and your roles?

Georgia> I’m an account director in client leadership team and have been at Wunderman Thompson UK for over three years. I’ve worked on Nestlé (Nespresso, Purina, Aero, and Rowntree’s), Unilever and HSBC Global and have been on the RISE team for two years. My proudest moment in RISE was hosting my first Four Walls panel, moderating a conversation on career growth by some of the amazing female leads within the agency.

Evie> I’m a senior account manager in client leadership, and I’ve been at Wunderman Thompson UK for two years. I started off in the Shell team and have been on the Nestlé (all the confectionary brands, yum) and HSBC UK teams for the past year. I’ve been with RISE for two years.

Q> What made you crave more cultural inspiration at work?

Georgia> I’m super passionate about gender equality, both in and out of the workplace. RISE gives me the opportunity to meet with like-minded women within Wunderman Thompson, who shared values and common goals. I think it’s important to have the opportunity to get involved in agency initiatives outside your day-to-day and get inspired by people you may not have the chance to work with otherwise.

Evie> I understand the way I interpret creative stems from my own life and industry experiences. When I joined RISE, I wanted to connect with women who have their own valuable experiences. This means I have a sounding board for my work (both client and RISE) that I can go to, to ensure I’m not in my own echo chamber.

Q> What is the purpose of your group? What is the change you are trying to achieve? 

Georgia> RISE’s purpose is to ensure our female talent feel supported, empowered, and valued. In RISE’s infancy, we have been focused on this commitment within Wunderman Thompson UK. 

Now that we’re more established, we’re starting to see how we can help to elicit change in the wider network too. One of the ways we hope to achieve this is by making sure more of our female voices are heard, not only within the agency, but in the wider industry. In 2022, 69% of Wunderman Thompson UK PR was from women, compared to just 33% in 2021.

Evie> On International Women’s Day in 2022, we also launched Magpie, which is a self-serve mentoring app (like tinder for mentoring). Instead of having one mentor, Magpie promotes connecting with different mentors based on what support you need, collecting shiny pieces of advice (hence the name!). This was launched as a pilot for women at Wunderman Thompson UK, and we were proud to see over 50% of women in the agency used it in its first month.

We closed out 2022 by opening it up to the rest of the agency, and were delighted when it won Best Talent Initiative at The Drum Agency Business Awards! Looking ahead to 2023, we’ve just launched it in APAC, and are aiming to roll it out across North America later in the year, too.

Q> Why is your group important to the culture of Wunderman Thompson / the wider industry? 

Georgia – We have several initiatives that help us achieve our purpose. Magpie’s roll-out to hubs across the world shows how RISE has had to help feed the appetite for female-focused mentoring within the Wunderman Thompson network. RISE & Shine is our bi-monthly breakfast where we share updates on RISE, upcoming events and host an inspiration session on female creators, and RISE & Wine, is our networking event for women at Wunderman Thompson.

We also run sessions called RISE Four Walls, which was born in the wake of the tragic death of Sarah Everard. It’s an opportunity for everyone with the agency to come together within a (usually virtual) and provide a safe space to discuss a specific topic. We’ve covered topics such as Personal Career Growth, Parenthood at Work, Menopause with Sharon Vibert of Henpicked, and Gendered Ageism with special guest Jane Evans.

Pictured: RISE Founder, Helen Lee, hosting Four Walls Live on IWD 2022, with special guests Caroline Mastoras, Christaan Lette and Sufia Parkar.

Each of our initiatives are open to the entire agency, which we hope help to create a culture that encourages a safe and open dialogue, and the ability to learn from one another. More and more, we’re looking for opportunities to collaborate with the wider WPP network, and hope the values we’re trying to instil will stay with people throughout their whole careers, at Wunderman Thompson and beyond. 

Q> What’s been the best part about being involved in your group?

Evie> I’m always blown away by how creatively courageous the women I work with are. We push to have those sometimes-uncomfortable conversations, which we know will help promote and support women who have different needs.

Q> What happens when you get together?

Georgia> When we get together with the core RISE team, we’re generally well-prepared with an agenda to discuss upcoming events and initiatives – but naturally when you get a group of passionate women in a room together, it’s difficult to stay on topic! Although I think that’s when the best ideas form. I think the same can be said for all our events. They allow us the space to share ideas, experiences and be vulnerable, where everyone feels respected, valued, and heard. 

Q> How has your group inspired change, both within Wunderman Thompson and the wider industry? 

Evie> I’d hope that people see the initiatives that we’ve done through RISE proves that empowering your workforce creates more engaged talent. Talent that is continuously being encouraged to engage on subjects that are outside their day-to-day. This helps them build (or even challenge – never a bad thing) their views, which hopefully helps them create more informed work for clients. Our Drum Award win for Magpie shows the changing perceptions externally about mentoring and how that looks within the industry today.

Q> What is your advice for other agencies who are looking to foster a sense of community among employees, and expand the work they are doing internally to effect change for their clients/the industry?

Georgia> I don’t think RISE would be as successful as it is without having listened to what people need from the agency to better feel supported. A lot of our initiatives started from research or feedback received from women within the agency, which is something we’re hoping to do more of in 2023. Creating a space that allows people to be vulnerable and share their own experiences and stories, helps fuel the passion and motivation that’s crucial in effecting change.

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Wunderman Thompson London, Wed, 08 Mar 2023 16:15:40 GMT