By Suzanne Basra, Content & Internal Communications Manager at Ogilvy UK


Joining a panel of leaders from across the industry in Cannes today, Ogilvy UK Chief Production Officer Clare Donald discussed the topic of diversity, more specifically - women in the workplace.

The subject of a huge number of talks at Cannes Lions this year, Clare offered her insights and tips.

Set clear boundaries

What will you accept in terms of behavior in the workplace?

This doesn’t just apply to women but should apply to every persona across the board. Clare urges women and men alike to make it clear what you consider acceptable behavior and don’t be afraid to call out actions that do not adhere to this.

Careful not to lose a good culture

Working in a core team consisting of herself and three (witty) men, Clare admits to enjoying “the banter” of the everyday with her colleagues.

While for some women in the workplace, lighthearted banter and joking in the office is not a laughing matter, Clare is fortunate her colleagues are respectful and she admits not wanting to lose this element of her team’s culture. “This is the real knot of the issue” she says, “being able to have human interaction while still protecting the vulnerable”.

The value of mentoring

Openly admitting her love for mentoring (having two mentees at any given time), Clare stresses the importance of having a “go-to” person within an agency.

While mentoring may not be commonplace within every agency, having a person that staff can contact with questions or concerns regarding gender in the workplace is important and something Clare encourages.

Collaboration is essential

“This isn’t men vs women. We don’t want to create camps” Clare asserted.

In the same way that collaboration between teams within an agency is important and can produce more effective and impactful work, so too can diversity of gender.

Collaboration between men and women and different personalities within teams is good for business.


Follow the action live from Cannes on Twitter & Instagram using  #OgilvyCannes

There's more from Cannes Lions as we catch up with Ogilvy UK's Kevin Chesters following his panel discussion on YouTube and storytelling here.

Also get the low down on Thandie Newton talking diversity at Cannes Lions here.