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Celebrating Women's History Month: Conversations on Inspiring Inclusion

Celebrating Women's History Month: Conversations on Inspiring Inclusion
Honoka Miyata

Earlier this month, Hotspex and Hotspex Media had an International Women's Day 2024 Virtual Panel focusing on this year's theme, Inspire Inclusion.

Kseniya Kachor, Client Success Manager (Hotspex Media), Samantha Wanjiru, Account Director (Hotspex Media), Emily Barsby, Research Associate (Hotspex),  and Brianna Mooney, Director of Research (Hotspex) shared their experiences navigating their career thus far, the lessons they've learned throughout their journeys, and the hope they have for the media and market research industry.

Here’s what they had to say!

Kseniya Kachor, Client Success Manager (Hotspex Media)

Which CORE values resonate with you the most and why?

I think courage is very much important and something that resonates with me, and it doesn't necessarily have to be from a standpoint of I'm doing something that is scary or trying something out that's that I simply haven't done before. But just having the courage to stand up for what's right or if you see that you know, somebody may be getting mistreated or something doesn't necessarily sit well with you, whether it be just from like a bystander perspective, or just in general, like at the end of the day. We're all human beings and we're all here to do good work. So having the courage to kind of have your own values as well and bring those to the table and bring those to our workplace

What are your hopes for women in the Media/Market research industry?

I would love to see the continued growth within women in our industry. It's always great to have these strong leaders that we can look up to.  On the media side we have some amazing woman empowerment, from our VP level to our Account Director, there's so much to learn from all these incredible women. So just seeing that continue throughout I think would be absolutely amazing and also give everybody else who's also entering into the industry, maybe for the first time, some motivation to see where they can grow as well.

Samantha Wanjiru, Account Director (Hotspex Media)

What Does International Women's Day mean to you?

For me specifically, it's just an extra special day to celebrate milestones and contributions I believe that women have made it thus far and I think it also serves as a point of check-in to continue to create spaces like this panel and continue to advocate for the empowerment of women across the world. I think it's important to be mindful that outside of our world [media/advertising], we are also people and there are different varieties of issues that are concerning to women across the world. So it's really great to sit down for a moment reflect and figure out how you want to support that.

Any advice you might tell your younger self before embarking on this Journey?

For me, actually, I will say nothing. I think she did a fantastic job with the information that she had at the time and I honour that space that she was in and I'm thankful for that. And now with what I've learned and the foundation of what she's built, I can take the baton and continue in the journey. So for me, I would say that but I think if there's anyone who is you know, embarking on this journey of entering the corporate world, wherever in whichever industry it is, don't be afraid to take space. Make your presence be felt if you have the opportunity to be in decision-making tables, do not let imposter syndrome get to you - you are meant to be here so show up as your full and vibrant self, because I think that is really kind of the key to keep going.

Emily Barsby, Research Associate (Hotspex)

What is One word that describes the women in your life?

A word that I like to use is determined. We have such a strong group of very intelligent determined women, especially when we have anything anything that comes up from a client it's never "Should We or Can We?" but it's always a question of "How will we do it?" Because we know we can and I find it very rewarding to work with people like that.

What do you think men can do to help achieve equity and break stereotypes around women?

I think something that's very important, which is something I touched on earlier, is having these conversations. One of the most groundbreaking things I've heard this week is that you can't be comfortable unless you're uncomfortable, which means you have to sit down you have to have conversations.  You have to listen and that goes for everybody. Also listening to us (women), and everybody that gives them their platform, so they can speak and so we can learn from each other.

Brianna Mooney, Director of Research (Hotspex)

Who inspires you and why?

It would definitely be my mom. She's a shining example of sort of grace and selflessness. My mom is someone who really strikes a healthy balance between being there for herself ,while also helping to lift others, so it's definitely inspiring for me.

What do you think men can do to help achieve equity and break stereotypes around women?

Regularly reflecting on your own biases and assumptions is something that can help, and also putting in the work by educating yourself or putting yourself in those uncomfortable conversations is something that helps with that.

Which CORE values resonate with you the most and why?

Courage is definitely the value that resonates with me the most. When I think about courage, it can be both very challenging, but also very rewarding. Courage requires you to sort of be comfortable with being uncomfortable and you have to at times act despite the risk of failure. There can be fear of rejection or the unknown and there's the emotional vulnerability that comes with it as well. But the thought of coming out on the other side of all of that is one of the things that makes it resonate with me most.

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