Breaking the barriers for change
Having turned her breaking point into a jumping off point, first as a mentee and then as a mentor and lead on the Whose Your Momma programme, Perkins has a unique perspective on the growing conversation surrounding “bringing your whole self to work.”
She explains, “Creativity is part of our DNA at LEGO. We drive creative behaviours across our entire business, and it is one of our core values. That demands that we actually give people the time to be creative and curious.”
New creative outlets
These new ways of working demand that companies don’t use how they operated in the past as a blueprint for success in the future. According to Perkins there is something inherently fearful in the industry’s understanding of in-housing.
Many brands, she believes, get to “phase one” of in-housing where they simply save money on art work, production or creating content quickly. This is why the advertising industry can be dismissive of in-house set ups. LEGO has had an in-house agency for nearly 20 years and see’s the true value and its future in being strategic creative partners to their marketing teams, with shared values and ambitions. “As the in-house agency at LEGO we are incentivised by business performance, the same as our marketers, rather than revenue and profit margins which is what drives the traditional agency model,” she adds.
In many ways the rise of in-housing, far from simply being something the industry should be fearful of, actually offers creatives a greater range of options for their life and career than ever before. How many of the 12% of women planning to leave the industry in the next two years, could successfully take their creative careers in house for example?
For Perkins, established agencies need to work harder to identify and support women in the middle of their careers, where we see the industry lose talent, and keep them within their networks.
To this end the Who’s Your Momma network is launching a new website to partner mentors and mentees via an algorithm, a move which will allow the movement a greater reach and scope than ever before. As Perkins' experience underlines, the best way women in the creative agencies can change the narrative is prioritising what’s important; holding on and holding each other up.
As a creative leader who has worked so tirelessly not just at building her own career, but levelling the playing field for the next generation of female creative talent, Perkins proves the power not just of holding on, but showing up and pushing for progress.
Visit Who’s Your Momma's website to apply to be a mentee.