Jeanette, Manager Director at Agent presenting at IWD 2024

A new chapter of growth under Agent’s new leadership

We sat down with Jeanette Gill, our newly appointed Managing Director, for a heart-to-heart about her leadership, inspiring inclusion, her pivotal role in our agency’s growth, and Agent’s B Corp journey.

Congratulations on your new role as MD! What excites you most about this new role?

“I’ve worked at Agent for over 11 years now and this company has always excited me. Whether it’s the team we have in place, the clients we’re working with, or all the added extras that come as standard at Agent. There are so many things happening – our new business plan, our B Corp certification and a whole host of new faces. The Managing Director role is very much about leading the company, so it’s about being able to shape the future. That’s not just about the work we do but how we deliver it – the approach and process. We’ve put Agent under the microscope over the last 12 months and had an in-depth review of the business – looking at how we can do things even better. We know that more and more clients are looking for and wanting an agency like ours – one that’s committed to having a good vision and values. It’s important to me that we’re able to develop the agency so it reflects the demands in the market. And we’ve been working really hard to get the business ready for that next stage of growth.”

It’s Agents 18th birthday this year. What can we expect?

As we go into our 18th year, we want to continue to surprise people, continue to grow and be a leading agency in the industry. It will be a year-long celebration of everything we’ve achieved – for example our awards, launching Agent Academy and our annual All you Read is Love campaign which has now delivered more than £50,000 worth of books to children. It’s also about looking forward – strengthening our position as a leading integrated agency in the North, attracting the very best talent and winning clients who want to grow sustainably.

Why B Corp? Why now?

The B Corp journey we’re on is a testament to our dedication to balancing purpose and profit. It comes from our deep-rooted belief that businesses can be a force for good, striving to meet social and environmental performance standards. I’m really proud of that. I think overall, Agent’s vision has always been clear. We know we want to work with clients who are focussed on doing good work. And we concentrate on sectors we are passionate about, such as decarbonisation in the power sector and our region’s goal towards Net Zero. I’m excited to continue that journey. And we’ve got a significant announcement to make this year as part of that journey…

This year’s IWD was all about #InspireInclusion. In what ways do you see your role promoting inclusion within the workplace?

Inclusion is about making sure everybody is involved and has the chance to achieve their potential. It’s ridiculous to think it would be otherwise. We’ve always championed and put an emphasis on bringing women into our business, recently hiring 10 new female recruits to join our team. It’s also about providing opportunities to develop and ensuring that we’re supporting the team to constantly learn and challenge themselves, to encourage them to grow.

Who has been the most influential woman in your life, and how has she inspired you?

I’ve been fortunate to work with remarkable women throughout my career. However, my biggest inspiration and influence is my mum. She leads by example. My mum has worked her whole life – since she started work in a bank at 15 and she taught my brothers and I the importance of hard work. She’s supports me and believes in me no matter what. I’ve never taken a problem to her without her not being able to provide me with spot on advice – whether it’s something I want to hear or not. She has taught me to never give up – and I’m grateful to have her resilient spirit. My mum is such an inspiration to me and I’m so lucky to have her.

Agent’s annual IWD Connect event is a celebration of how far we’ve come in terms of equity, diversity and inclusion. How important is it that we take a moment to stop and reflect on the importance of this?

Every year our speakers share inspiring stories openly, reflecting on the strides we’ve made for inclusion in the industry. International Women’s Day isn’t just a day; it’s an ongoing commitment to progress. Having conversations are crucial, to acknowledge and support women’s challenges.

Can you share some advice for ambitious young women?

Ok, I have a few tips so here we go… take the opportunities when you see them. Stick your hand in the air, say yes and get involved. Never give up, there’s (generally) always a solution. I’m a firm believer that things happen for a reason. Embrace the belief that everything happens for a reason—trust the path you’re on. Remember, there’s a lesson in every situation – whether it’s good or bad, there’s always something to learn. Stay true to yourself and don’t try to be anyone else. There’s some of my pearls of wisdom!

How will you foster a positive and empowering work culture within your team?

We need to keep doing what we’re doing. We want people to come to work, being their best selves, and create a purposeful career with us. We’ve created an agency that’s not just a workplace, but a community of people driven by passion. It’s a place where people want to come and work and build their career. Our Senior Client Partner, Sarah, started her career here on work experience and over the past 9 years has steadily worked her way up the ladder. We have a number of team members who joined us from Agent Academy – Sean, Sana, Teza, Caroline and Sumbal. The Agent team is so diverse, but together, we have this amazing group of people who are not just ‘Making Good Work’, we’re making a positive impact on our industry and beyond, setting the standard for excellence and equality. That’s what keeps people wanting to work here.

If there was one thing you could change about your career, what would it be and why?

Not a single thing. Everything that has happened in my career, has shaped me as a person and gotten me to where I am now. Having the opportunity to help shape the future of Agent is something I feel so privileged – and excited – to be able to do.