Penny has been with Future for four years, leading the company through significant change alongside our CEO, Zillah Byng-thorne. We grabbed five minutes to pick her brains on International Women’s Day.
What is the best career advice you have ever received?
If you don’t ask, you don’t get….
Did the idea of leadership ever scare you? If so, how did you overcome those fears/ reservations?
I did a lot of team sports when I was younger and sometimes you’re part of the team, sometimes you have to take charge depending on the experience of the rest of the team. In the same way, leadership felt like a natural step for me
There are many moments when I have been afraid but I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I hadn’t tried something because I was afraid to I tackle it like a race, game face on and get on with it.
What has been a career highlight at Future so far?
Building a wonderful team who collaborate and support each other
What does success look like to you?
Building a legacy business. We’ve seen Future through substantial change and it’s been an exciting journey to be a part of. It is a legacy business in it’s own right, but it’s nice to have been a part of the recent successes of the company.
What advice would you give young women starting out in their career?
Don’t feel you need to fit in as everyone is different, so “fit” is often perceived by the beholder rather than the participant. Do what you love and if there is something you want to achieve, go after it.
What advice would you give young women who don’t know what they want to do with their career?
Trust to serendipity. Sometimes you need a bit of time, trial and error before you find your feet.
Do you think women are fairly represented in the media industry?
Media lacks diversity in many ways, particularly in socio-demographic, racial and age diversity perhaps even more than gender. To recruit talent and different thinkers, we all need to do more to unlock this.
Penny was appointed as Chief Financial Officer and Company Secretary on 3 August 2015, having joined the business as interim Chief Financial Officer in June 2015. Prior to this she was Commercial Director at AutoTrader Group plc. Penny is a chartered accountant with a background in digital media and expertise in digital monetisation models.