OgilvyAsia Admin
What Does It Take To Be A Creative Woman In Asia?

SheSays is a global creative network for women, founded in the UK in 2007 and now operating chapters in 21 cities around the world. The organisation is run by volunteers and offers free mentorship and events for women in the creative and marketing businesses, as well as courses, career management and a collaboration platform called shout. ogilvydo spoke with Lizi Hamer, Creative Director & SheSays Singapore Organiser, about the state of play for women in advertising in SouthEast Asia.

What’s the driving idea behind ‘SheSays’?

Quite simply, we want to see more women at the top.

How big is the organisation now and when did it come to Singapore?

The SheSays Singapore Chapter began in 2013 with Grace Clapham and Camille Schu. Now we have a wonderfully diverse group of women who attend our events, from media, marketing, startups and other creative fields. My own relationship with SheSays began in Australia, where I worked with Yasmin Quemard and a wonderful group of women who were honest enough to push my personal development. I believe I would not be the woman I am today without the influence of this incredible group.


What activities and resources does SheSays offer women in Singapore?

We host monthly events that feature female guest speakers and where women get the opportunity to tap into our network, so we often connect women across different disciplines. We support women in voicing their challenges and help them find people who can offer advice and guidance.

The creative industries style themselves as more of a meritocracy (good ideas come from anywhere, the best idea wins) than most industries. Why do you feel there is still the need to offer guidance and encouragement for women in particular?

It is true good ideas come from anywhere. But it takes a certain eye to spot a good idea, grow it and protect it! You become an excellent creative by making the best ideas. My guidance for women is about accessing the best briefs, at the best agencies, to allow your best work to be born. My encouragement for them is to be loud about your ideas – no one can hear a silent pitch.


What advice would you offer managers and leaders who want to improve the ratio in their own organisations?

Women represent one half of the global population. So their views and values are critical for ensuring a more prosperous and inclusive future. Actively seek women who believe in your business and can help build a community around it. Find new ways to let women shine and have their voices heard in your organisation. I do think women in leadership positions have an obligation to encourage and support women in their own organisation. Support for women from women is essential.

Did you have a woman as a mentor?

I’ve never actually had a female boss, but I have had an incredible group of strong men who have supported me throughout my career. Female ‘influencers’ have often come from outside of my industry. Working with Terry Ryall and Tracey Herald, at the UK charity Vinspired, helped me recognise that I could do anything I put my mind to. I think having a rich network of smart, courageous female peers is essential. I’m incredibly proud and humble to have found them both in Australia and Singapore.

What have you got in your sights for 2015? What would you like to achieve this year?

I want to continue to travel across Asia to build my understanding of cultures, heritage and change. I absolutely intend to continue to meet, invest in and collaborate with women across Asia. Ultimately, I want to develop my own start up ideas and kick some more commercially-oriented goals. Watch this space.

Lizi Hamer is Creative Director with Arcade, Singapore and a SheSays Singapore Power Organiser. The SheSays global site weareshesays.com showcases each chapter’s events cross the world. More info via @SheSaysSG

to News Alerts

    We'd love to hear from you.