Friday 08 March, 2019

Weber Shandwick Scotland is proud to support International Women’s Day today, 8 March 2019. 

We pride ourselves in recruiting, retaining and promoting women throughout our Scottish offices.

This commitment to equality and balance is reflected across the global Weber Shandwick workforce where we proudly say that 70% of employees are women, and 60% of those women make up the senior leadership teams.

To celebrate #BalanceforBetter we wanted to find out, from our teams in Aberdeen, Glasgow and Edinburgh…

“Which female has had the biggest influence on your career?”   

Rory Brown, Senior Manager

“The most influential female in my career to date has been Jacqui Low.

“She gave me my first job in PR and provided me with an amazing environment to learn in with talented people. She’s achieved so much in her formidable career and is currently a director at Partick Thistle Football Club as well as Executive Chairman of the PR firm she set up over twenty years ago, Indigo PR.”

Harry Hussain, Managing Director, Edinburgh

“My Mum has been the most inspirational woman in my career. As a nurse married to a doctor, it would have been ‘the done thing’ for her to push me down the traditional medical path. However, from an early age, she encouraged me to follow my love for writing and literature. Which all eventually led me here to a career in PR. Thanks Mum!”

Paula McNulty, Associate Director, Consumer  

“The most influential female in my career has to be my English teacher in Grammar School, Mrs Carty. Her enthusiasm and passion for the written word inspired me to not only write, but be inquisitive and creative too.”

Cat Timoney, Associate

“The most influential female in my career is my older sister Mairi.

As an artist and graphic designer, Mairi is fiercely creative and hardworking and is incredibly committed to her work.

“I admire the way she takes inspiration from the world around her, merging everyday objects with beautiful landscapes to create amazing, colourful pieces. This inspires me to push myself to be more creative and look at the bigger picture.”

Julie Williams, Account Director

“I’m lucky enough to have many brilliant women in my life who are strong, smart, supportive and great fun to be around. But one woman who has been particularly influential in my career was my line manager and mentor in my first public relations role.

“I had spent the previous five years working as a journalist in regional newspapers and although PR has many transferable and complementary skills she really helped me learn the ropes quickly. We’re still good friends to this day.”

Thom Watt, Associate Director, Digital

“There are two really obvious ones. The first was my mum, who was the most determined, selfless and endlessly creative person you’d ever hope to meet. She was always two moves ahead of everyone else, and I’m forever grateful that she was always on my side, because she’d have been a ruthless and terrifying enemy.

“I didn’t really know what I wanted to do when I left University, so I was incredibly fortunate to meet a woman called Sarah McVittie, who was setting up a new tech/digi business. She is an absolute force of nature, and has gone from success-to-success. I worked with her for five years, and learned more from that time working alongside her than I had in years of education.”

Anna Longton, Apprentice

“When I was working with the Colombian Government, I met Johanna Molina, Co-Founder of the Intern Group – a social enterprise that takes top applicants and improves their skills and employability through international internship programmes.

“Johanna started the Intern Group to help the growth of the world’s youth while also supporting the economic and sociocultural development of the countries that the company operates in.

“The business has featured in Forbes, TIME, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg and CNN.  What a woman!

“Happy International Women’s Day @JohaMolina13, and thank you for being such a positive force of good and an inspiration.”

Iain Hall, Apprentice


“I’m going to have to be cheesy and say my mum. Our family has been through some tough times in recent years but she always set a great example to chase a career that fulfils you and makes you happy. She has supported me in everything I’ve done.

“…wait maybe I should have said Nat because she gave me the chance here at Weber!”

Rebecca Halligan, Associate

“One of the many women who have inspired in my career so far is Emma Watson.

“As Hermione Granger in Harry Potter, she inspired me to love learning and doing homework, and as a UN Goodwill Ambassador, she’s introduced a generation of young women to feminism. The ultimate role model.”

Steven Flanagan, Senior Manager

“When I was making my way in journalism in my hometown, I was lucky enough to meet Adana Forsyth. Adana was diagnosed as a baby with the most debilitating and cruel genetic condition I have ever encountered, Epidermolysis Bullosa. Just the slightest touch would cause her skin to blister and shear off, leaving her with genuinely heartbreaking injuries.

“Even wheelchair-bound and in constant agony, she had a smile and a laugh that could light up an entire room. She continued to go to school when others would hide away, and showed an irrepressible enthusiasm for raising awareness and money for the charity DebRA to research the condition, even in the knowledge that a cure would never be found in time for her. She thrust herself into the limelight for the charity as often as she could, becoming known to many as the Butterfly Girl.

She was desperately keen to help other people in any way she could, and had a wicked sense of humour that made even the grumpiest of folk crack a smile. I remember sitting with her “when she was having dressings changed – an arduous experience. Rather than wince or complain, she was telling jokes. She was trying to make this painful process easier for her mum, in spite of her own pain. She is, without question, absolutely the most amazing person I’ve ever met.

“Adana died in 2008 aged just 10 – and she remains the most brilliant example of the power of positivity I’ve ever come across. I actually hadn’t realised it had been 11 years since she passed away. Her memory will live long with me, as I’m absolutely certain it does for the scores of people who were lucky enough to meet her in her short but incredible life.” 

Moray Macdonald, Managing Director, Scotland

“Impressive, and sometimes fearsome, women have employed and mentored me from before I even entered the workforce.

“The most useful things I know I learnt from them.  It started in the Scouts where Karen Fulton helped me understand leadership and teams.  Then in New Zealand Deborah Morris, the youngest MP and Minister of Youth Affairs, employed me and in the time I spent with her I learned about people, politics and the media.  We were both inspired by our ultimate boss Jenny Shipley, New Zealand’s first female Prime Minister. For the last 15 years Nora Senior at Weber Shandwick has been my boss and mentor – she is one of the wisest business people I know and I’ve tried to learn all I can from her.”

Amy Moore, Apprentice

“The most influential female in my career so far has probably been my mum. Her work ethic and commitment is totally inspiring and being able to watch her single-handedly juggle a career, motherhood and a social life taught me resilience and helped me believe that it’s possible to achieve anything you set your mind to.”

Lindsay Jepp, Senior Account Director

“Two years after joining the world of work, the company I worked for was subject to a hostile takeover. Most of the people I had grown to trust had left, and I was probably quite naïve about the big corporate life that was to come.

“An external change management consultant who had much bigger priorities than a recent grad to worry about, took the time to take me aside and coach me over the next few months. That wasn’t what she was there to do, but she made sure I got the best out of the situation and was prepared to take advantage of the opportunities that were to come my way.

“I’ll haven’t seen or heard from her in years, but without her mentorship and influence the next chapter would have been very different for me and I don’t think I would have ended up in PR!”

Jamie Bannerman, Manager  

“In a word. Mum. She’s always pushed me to be the best and supported me along the way. She’s there to pick me up when I have bad day – or tells me to get a grip when I think I’m having a bad day but I’m not.

“She’s the best advisor and confidant I could need and without her, I wouldn’t have had the drive and ambition to get to this stage in my career.”