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The inspiration

Every marketer knows the stories of Lord Lever, Charles Revson and Steve Jobs, has probably read Al Ries and Jack Trout, Philip Kotler and Byron Sharp and seen the work of Bill Bernbach, David Ogilvy, Wally Olins and John Hegarty. What’s interesting about these ‘Masters of Marketing’ is that they are all MEN.

The huge contribution to marketing by women – the innovations, the creation of brands, their design, their growth and their often amazing revitalizations – is, by contrast, often ignored or overlooked. Their stories, their challenges and their success just don’t get the same airtime.

Giles Lury looked back over the 250 stories he has published in his books The Prisoner and the Penguin, How Coca-Cola Took Over the World and Inspiring Innovation, he was shocked to discover that in only 15% of them the lead protagonist was a woman.

So, he decided to right the wrong and write a book dedicated to these ‘Wonder Women’ – the women who invented, nurtured, built, and rebuilt the brands we know and love today.

Katy Mousinho came on board because promoting the unique talents, energy, and intellect of women in business and at home is a cause she’s passionate about. Giles and many others might well recommend her as a candidate Wonder Women herself. She has had a highly successful career as Managing Director at Hauck Research International and The Value Engineers. She is a successful insight specialist, a trainer in personal development and an inspiration and role model for many she has worked with.

What we hope to achieve with the book

We can honestly say that our aims are about and for the industry we have both spent our working lives in. Sales of the book would be nice. Some praise and recognition are always welcome. But neither of those are our main drivers.

We agreed on three objectives:

  1. To create awareness of and celebrate women’s success in the world of marketing
  2. To inspire others (both women and men) with the stories and thoughts of successful women and encourage marketers to adopt what we believe are the more ‘feminine’ aspects of thinking and doing
  3. To encourage all women in marketing to recognize, have confidence in and grow their talents

The aim was to achieve balance in the book. We didn’t want the book to be too strident: this isn’t a book that ‘bashes’ men. It is does, however, champion women and change the narrative around the feminine traits that are too often characterized negatively.

A book in three sections

At the heart of this book are the inspiring stories. Storytelling as a means of emotionally engaging people while getting them to think is something that we have long championed.

Insightful interviews with some successful women in marketing gives us a glimpse into their experiences, both as women and leaders. We loved their honesty, passion and sage words of advice to both women and men who want to succeed in the world of marketing and leadership. 

Finally, ‘Insights and Thoughts on a Brave New World’ pulls everything we learned together and provides some of our thoughts on what the future might hold.

“I am a big fan of anyone telling uplifting stories of women shaping the world around them.  That’s what we do at The Female Lead.  Mousinho and Lury are telling marketing stories and for the spotlight to be on women, after decades of male dominance, it’s both refreshing and original. If ‘seeing is believing’ then we are all in for a healthy injection of inspiration.”

Edwina Dunn, OBE

“Great marketing overcomes all obstacles to solve consumer problems. The Wonder Women in this incredible collection of inspiring marketing stories show us all what is possible when you have a vision and the determination to succeed. I love how Katy and Giles really get to the nub of each challenge and how these Wonder Women overcame adversity to achieve the spectacular.”

Matt Close, EVP Global Ice Cream, Unilever

“If we needed reminding just how focused, determined, and creative women are at work, then look no further than Wonder Women, which tells the stories of some incredible pioneers past and present. Giles and Katy summarize things perfectly; it is together we thrive, men and women united in coming up with solutions to help each other, in a world which has never needed our collaboration more.”  

Charlotte Lambkin, Member of UK Advisory Board at Edelman

“The stories and interviews ably demonstrate how much women have contributed to marketing and how things have got better. Its conclusion that despite the need for further change women see the future as bright and diverse is a positive rallying cry for us all in marketing.”

Sophie Devonshire, CEO The Marketing Society