An Interview With Sarah Neblett-Lindo, Global HR Director at Croud

We’ve had a Q&A session with Sarah Neblett-Lindo, Global HR Director at Croud‘s London office.

She shared her career journey, Croud’s work culture, and her valuable insights into diversity and gender equality in the digital marketing industry. You can scroll down to read the full Q&A:

1. Can you tell us about your personal journey and your current position at the agency?

I began my journey with Croud in June of last year, as the agency’s new Global HR Director. I landed in HR quite accidentally upon concluding a law degree. I’d planned a career in the legal profession, but my interest in people and business pivoted in a slightly different direction. Today, with nearly 14 years’ experience in HR across various sectors, three of which were with another UK-based marketing agency, adm Group, I was thrilled to join Croud and help nurture the company’s culture.

Upon joining the business, my main goal has been to deliver a strategic HR proposition for the organization. One of my key focuses has been developing Croud’s diversity and inclusion agenda. This has been coupled with organizational development on which we can continue to grow a high-performance business while also developing more employee wellness opportunities.

2. How diverse is your team? Do you believe agencies should take further actions to diversify their teams?

We’re proud to share that our team at Croud has an even 1:1 ratio of males to females – but like most agencies, there is always room to grow and further diversify our team. Not only is it important for agencies to be hiring female marketers, but they should also be taking further action to open up more leadership roles for women within the business. Putting women in seats of power, in roles that are able to effect change, will allow them more representation and opportunities to have their voices be heard.

3. Do you think there is a gender gap in the digital marketing industry? If yes, what are the main reasons for that?

According to a recent Deloitte report, a notable gender gap exists within our industry, with only about one-third of digital marketers being female. Historically, women have been viewed to be less capable and have always been deemed secondary to men. This translates into the level of seniority we are able to obtain in organizations and as a direct result, remuneration. Consequently, we’re often given less opportunity to share our true potential as professionals.

But at Croud, and across the entire digital marketing ecosystem, I’ve had the pleasure of watching extremely talented female digital marketers emerge, not only proving the great talent that exists among women, but also the immense potential to close this gender gap within the industry.

4. How can we support the next generation of female marketers entering the digital marketing industry?

Female digital marketers have undoubtedly proven to be just as skilled, creative and hard-working as the men within this industry, but there’s still a general lack of conversation around this unspoken prejudice that people often have towards women. Of course, being a woman is one factor that defines us but this can be coupled with various other intersectionalities, such as race.

It’s our responsibility across teams, agencies and the industry to prioritize uncomfortable conversations about gender inequality and lift up the women who are driving this industry forward. Having these discussions will allow for more opportunities to create real change, whether it be in the infrastructure of agencies, thought leadership across the digital marketing industry, and the overall regard for women.

5. Considering the industry dynamics, do you think it’s more challenging for women to become leaders in the digital marketing ecosystem? Why/why not?

As with most industries, I believe there is a greater challenge for women to become leaders in the digital marketing space. Oftentimes, we’re still having to fight for our voices just to be heard; women are required to prove themselves to be taken just as seriously as men with a misplaced understanding of confidence versus competence. However, I remain extremely hopeful for the future of female leaders within this space, as I continue to see women pushing boundaries and furthering progress within digital marketing.

6. Who has been an inspiration to you in your life and why?

My mother has been by far the greatest inspiration in my life. She has a fantastic work ethic and has always placed a great deal of emphasis on education, advocating for the doors that knowledge can open. She obtained her degree later in life while working full-time and juggling a family. As a child, she always pushed and encouraged me to aim high and, more importantly, keep going. She has certainly shaped my professional mindset and career.

7. Why do you think your agency stands out from other digital agencies?

At Croud, we pride ourselves on being an agency that truly cares for our clients, partners and employees, and ground ourselves in our three core values – passion, imagination and integrity. We always aim to implement strategic changes within our business to help drive our company culture forward and lead by example within the industry. Transparent, open communication with senior management is highly encouraged at Croud, and through this discourse, we are able to continue exploring new ways to champion our employees and build this agency upwards.

8. How does being a DAN member contribute to your agency’s success?

Through our membership with DAN, Croud has had a number of opportunities to shout about our hard-working, passionate team and the amazing work they’re delivering. Employees across our business have been able to position themselves as thought leaders within the industry, allowing them to share their unique ideas with other digital experts. DAN allows us to share Croud’s voice and be a part of an amazing community of marketers.

Bonus: What has been your favorite lockdown activity to do at home?

Baking cakes has definitely been a favorite – I have a terrible fondness for cake, and the lockdown has been the perfect opportunity to make all of my favorites. Everything can be solved with a cup of tea and an unashamedly large slice of cake.

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