Why McCann's Nicole Taylor feels more pressure to succeed as a woman

Lindsay Bennett
By Lindsay Bennett | 10 September 2018
Nicole Taylor

Now Nicole Taylor is at the helm of McCann Australia she has become one of just two women in a national CEO role at a creative agency, alongside Melinda Geertz at Leo Burnett.

Being a leading female CEO in the ad industry is a responsibility Taylor doesn’t take lightly and she recently joined the Time's Up Advertising movement in Australia.

“I have the added responsibility of being a role model,” Taylor said, speaking to AdNews at the McCann Sydney offices.

“I have more pressure to use my position boldly rather than worry about failing, but I also don’t want to let people down. I want to make sure women who are building their careers and reaching big milestones have the right support to succeed because unfortunately, as an industry, we’ve put a lot of people in positions where they were set up to fail.”

Taylor joined McCann three months ago from DDB, where she spent eight years, most recently as Sydney CEO. Prior to that she worked at Y&R and Telstra.

She believes that early on in her career her gender slowed her down and she wasn’t promoted as fast as some of her male colleagues.

“Around when I was an account director there was maybe some assumptions made that I’d leave the agency to have a baby. I remember questioning why others were being promoted more quickly than I was.

“So early on in my career I would say I was overlooked. Maybe that’s because I didn’t fit the cliché stereotype for leadership, but in some ways, I’m glad I’ve had to go the long way to getting to where I am today because I feel confident being here.”

While even Taylor said she can still suffer from imposter’s syndrome even at the top, she’d rather fail than “toe the line” at McCann. 

Last week, Taylor revealed her plans to break the culture of conservatism at McCann in hope of setting a standard for the wider industry. Read more here.

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