Perspectives: Women in Advertising: Laura Stroup, Head of Talent, BBH NY
In honor of International Women’s Day, AdForum is showcasing the achievements of women in advertising in the month of March through a series of interviews. We would like to thank Laura Stroup, Head of Talent at BBH NY, for taking the time to offer her thoughts and reflect on her career.
AdForum: How would you describe the current overall culture at your agency? How would you describe the culture among your female colleagues and what are the differences?
Laura: Our culture is very respectful and supportive of each other, particularly amongst our female population. People forge fast friendships and strong work partnerships, which leads to success in their roles at the office and beyond.
AdForum: What do you see as being the biggest change in the advertising industry since women have begun to break the “glass ceiling” into Sr. Executive level positions? What are some of the challenges that still exist for women in reaching the upper echelon of management?
Laura: Ensuring that those individuals have the support around them that they need to achieve continued success. Often, teams are very lean and having the resources around you for the literal tasks at hand for support, but also to ensure that anyone promoted to Senior Executive roles, male or female, have the ongoing coaching and mentorship and training required to succeed. It’s not an overnight accomplishment.
AdForum: What do you consider the biggest personal achievement in your career that still fills you with the most pride?
Laura: Appreciating that I have the career that I set out to have – little by little, year by year, colleague by colleague – and appreciating the achievement while still being incredibly driven to continue to improve myself and help those around me realize their full potential.
AdForum: How do you find the best work-life balance to help you stay productive and creative at work and to help you live a happy, sane life outside of the office?
Laura: My life is not split to inside or outside of the office; for what I do there is always one eye open or ear to the ground of who I might meet that will someday be our next phenomenal hire. That could be at a dinner party or waiting for a breakfast table. If work needs to happen on a Saturday, then sometimes spin class needs to happen on a Tuesday.
AdForum: Was there a job you had at one point, outside of advertising, that prepared you most for success later in life?
Laura: Working for my Dad’s construction business on a college summer break. With him, I learned that the details are critical, your integrity is everything, and carry an emergency Snickers bar.
AdForum: Can you reflect on a mentor that helped guide you in your career and tell us what made them special?
Laura: I worked with Maria Gianoutsos for six years, and when we were introduced by a mutual friend, she saw potential in me that I hadn’t had the perspective to see in myself. She pushed and championed and supported me along a critical time of growth in my career. Her relentless spirit is infectious and she taught me an enormous amount about perseverance.