Inside Edelman is an ongoing series that spotlights our colleagues who are doing extraordinary work across our network. This year's International Women's Day theme is #ChooseToChallenge and we’ll be spotlighting our female leaders, discovering how they build inner resilience, and their advice for future leaders.

With the status quo being challenged more and more, in the past 10 years, what have been the biggest changes you’ve noticed for women?

I think the challenges have become more nuanced – both in the conversation as well as in the action to take. Intersectionality is a more prominent discussion, which is great. Men are more involved than ever, which is great. But we still have so much further to go, and to make up ground from the unequal impact of Covid too.  

What advice do you have for a woman starting her career?

Have the confidence in your own intelligence to ask questions. Don’t be afraid, or worry about being judged. My favourite question is “why?” – asking what is our aim, and what are we trying to achieve? It’s a core part of the work we do in our team with data - being crystal clear on objectives - and I find it serves me well in many areas of my job!

How do you build your inner resilience?

I won’t claim to have cracked this... but I find it useful to take a step back, and put issues in perspective. I also really like just outlining the options – in this situation, what are all the possible roads we could take. No judgement on which is better or worse, just all the options. And more often than not, when you’ve done that exercise, it’s pretty clear which one will have the best outcome. I find it reassuring to have this tried and tested approach that works for me.

What do you believe will be the biggest challenge for the next generation of women?

I don’t think the challenge is just for women – it’s for everyone. The challenge will be to continue to push forward. It’s tempting to think inequality problems are solved because we’re talking about them. Sure, that is important, but we need focused, consistent action – both big and small, systemic and individual, in behaviours and mindset. Even down to the day-to-day things – like the way we run meetings. If they’re not structured, it may not create the space for everyone to contribute.

What is one of the best pieces of advice you’ve received in your career?

Stay curious, and learn how to listen really well (that’s two!)


Louise Turner is Managing Director at Edelman Data x Intelligence (DxI).