Co-founder and Chief Creative Officer at The Charles Group, Samantha Edwards joined our Q&A sessions.
If you want to learn more about the diverse team and work culture at The Charles, how the ladies in Samantha’s family have inspired her, and more, scroll down to read the Q&A.
1. Can you tell us about your personal journey and your current position at the agency?
I’m Chief Creative Officer and Cofounder of The Charles Group. I’m originally from Manchester, England but started in New York City shortly after 911. Not many agencies were hiring – but I persevered and landed a graphic designer position at an agency where I grew and developed from a starting junior role to a Senior Associate. I worked for several agencies after that and naturally built a solid freelance business on the side. Aaron and I founded TCG in 2011 after we both realized that we wanted to work at a “different type” of agency. One where people and their creativity came first.
2. How diverse is your team? Do you believe agencies should take further actions to diversify their teams?
Our team is super diverse in terms of a multitude of people from a variety of backgrounds and ethnicities. I would say that we’re currently skewing about 75% female – but that hasn’t necessarily been intentional. I just think strong female creatives naturally gravitate towards us.
3. Do you think there is a gender gap in the digital marketing industry? If yes, what are the main reasons for that?
I think yes there is, particularly when you start to look at certain roles and positions.
4. How can we support the next generation of female marketers entering the digital marketing industry?
By providing support within all aspects: education, work opportunities, having consideration of the role some women play in the home and how that can affect career development and growth overall.
5. Who has been an inspiration to you in your life and why?
I come from an incredibly strong family of women. My grandmother has six sisters and my mum is one of four. So for me I’d have to say it’s all the women in my family. Seeing their strength, creativity, approach to life with humor, grit and gusto regardless of the challenges they’ve faced is definitely a huge driver for me.
6. Why do you think your agency stands out from other digital agencies?
We really focus on people, I KNOW that sound cliché, but excellent creative isn’t just about the skillset. It’s about the person, how they think, how they collaborate, how they connect not only with ‘the brand’ but also with their team AND the client. When all of those things align – we’ve found that’s when you get the best work and the most innovative thinking. Which is why we’re as much about people as we are ‘the process’.
7. How does being a DAN member contribute to your agency’s success?
DAN provides us with an incredible spotlight and network in a highly competitive market, which in turn has given us a fantastic opportunity to work with some of the best companies around today.
Bonus: What has been your favorite lockdown activity to do at home?
Honestly, our business has grown during lockdown – so there hasn’t been much opportunity for me to take up sourdough baking (which I’d love to try). I’m slightly jealous of those that have!