Talon celebrates Female Leadership at MAD//Fest 2023

At Talon, we’re committed to fostering an inclusive environment where everyone feels they belong. We champion equality and believe in the power of female leadership – and the positive impact it can bring whole. This July, we co-sponsored MAD//Fest London’s new Female Leaders’ Bar, a vibrant and inclusive networking space that celebrated female leadership and set out to inspire the next generation of female leaders.

This innovative space served as a hub for celebrating the achievements of female industry leaders and fostering meaningful connections between current and future leaders. It created an inclusive environment where the power of diversity and the strength of female leadership were at the forefront – and was a great meeting place to connect with over 1500 people daily.

Championing Women at Talon

Talon holds a people-focussed philosophy. We pride ourselves on the people who represent our business. We strive to create an inclusive environment where everyone can thrive, and supporting initiatives like the Female Leaders’ Bar is central to our values. Our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion is led by the People Team and the Belong COG. Belong helps to shape our internal working practices, policies and recruitment strategy to ensure Talon is a great place to work for all talent.

Supportive Policies in Place

We believe that a diverse and inclusive workforce is essential for driving innovation and achieving success. We’ve implemented several policies that support women and working parents in the workplace. Our Schools Out! policy recognises the need for flexibility during school holidays for parents, and our Smarter Working policy offers flexibility in relation to location and hours worked. We also have dedicated policies and companywide education programmes from fertility assistance through to menopause. Additionally, we offer enhanced maternity pay and emergency backup child and elder care to provide comprehensive support when needed.

Recognising Female Talent

Talon has recently promoted a suite of talented individuals within the organisation. Vicky Marshall and Nicci Loudon have taken on the roles of Head of Client, while Jo Kennedy and Shannon Clark have been appointed Business Directors. Furthermore, India Relph has been promoted to Planning Director, and Laurie McAllister now leads as Head of Marketing – UK, Grand Visual & International. These women embody our core values and the essence of leadership, inspiring others with their passion, big ideas, empathy and dedication.

Some of the Talon team at the Female Leaders Bar

Top Tips from Our Female Leaders:

To celebrate our sponsorship of the Female Leaders’ Bar, we asked our talented female leaders for three words that encompass leadership and the women who have inspired them. Here are their answers:

Sophie Pemberton, Group Chief Strategy Officer at Talon:

The 3 things a leader needs to be a strong leader are honesty, empathy and a sense of humour.

A female leader who inspired me is Katie Ingram. Strength, smarts and sass, what a combo.

Elise Wise, Business Director at Talon:

The 3 things a leader needs to be a strong leader are resilience, empathy and to be trustworthy.

A female leader who inspired me is Golda Meir.

Jo Kennedy, Business Director at Talon:

The 3 things a leader needs to be a strong leader is – to show great emotional intelligence, to lead from the front and inspire confidence at all levels

A female leader who inspired me is Carolyn McCallI saw her present at WACL a few years ago and her entire speech was captivating and inspiring. I still remember her discussing her career whilst she had a young family, and the advice she gave to “just say to yourself and your company, this is such a short period of time in my career where I need a little support and flexibility. A good manager and company will understand, and for that you will give hard work and loyalty” I took that on board and not only lived by that for myself, but now my kids are so much older, I hope that I can pass that advice on colleagues who are now approaching that stage in life.

Hayley Tiptaft, Group People Director at Talon:

The 3 things a leader needs to be a strong leader is empathy, consistency, and integrity.

Name a female leader who has inspired you. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the women who championed me and were phenomenal role models: Nicola Walton, Victoria Sutton and Lesley Brady. Always available, always listened, always reliable!

Camille Uzan, Business Director at Talon International:

The 3 things a leader needs, to be a strong leader are: 

  • Great communication skills to navigate the unavoidable bias and inspire others
  • Excitement for challenges with a strong ability to problem-solve
  • Curiosity, to encourage free thinking and create change

Amy Horton, Group Chief Transformation Officer at Talon:

The 3 things a leader needs to be a strong leader is and visionary, empathetic and determined.

A female leader who has inspired me is Beryl Burton, the awesome female cyclist.

Emily Alcorn, Head of Effectiveness at Talon:

The 3 things a leader needs to be a strong leader are empathy, confidence, and a challenger mentality.

A female leader who has inspired me is Sophie Pemberton…always challenging, supporting, and guiding!

Jo Jackson, Head of Client at Talon:

The 3 things a leader needs to be a strong leader is…..confident, you need to believe in yourself and your capabilities, be bold and have a voice.   Passion, to be a strong leader you need to have passion for what you do and a desire to keep listening, learning and challengingand finally team spirit, share your experience with your team, lead by example and motivate the team to be the best they can be.

Sharon Hogan is a female leader that inspires me.   Not only is she a fantastic actress, but a writer, comedian, producer, and director!   Not only did she create the amazing series’ Motherland and Catastrophe, but she also broke Hollywood creating the successful comedy drama – Divorce.   Her work is relatable, and she is clearly a powerful and successful woman in everything she does.