Sue Unerman

Sue Unerman

Chief strategy officer


Contact me
My Character:
  • Intellectual
  • Powerful
What's the best lesson you've learnt this year?

Enjoy yourself – it's later than you think. Also, cars these days don't come with spare tyres – so if you get a puncture, you need a tow truck.

What's the most satisfying thing you've done recently and why?

Working with my co-author Kathryn Jacob on a book proposal and interviewing more than 100 people for the book. The intention is to make real change happen in the world of work, which is pretty satisfying.

You're asked to do a TED talk. What would you choose to talk about and why?

I'm writing a book about women and work. There's just not enough women in very senior positions, in business and in government. There's an expression: you can have what you want or you can have your reasons for not having it. My TED talk will be about strategies to enable women to get what they want at work.

You've got £1 million to invest in something. Who/what gets your money?

Lots of time is wasted at work, and there are two major reasons: people are afraid to embrace change and their own creativity; and people are stuck with heritage ways of working. I think I'd invest my million in a company that could truly coach people to improve in better thinking and more agile ways of working.

What single thing would improve your life?

The ability to do meetings by hologram.

You've found a time-travel machine. Where do you go?

To the future, where they have invented stuff that we could do with now – eg. transporters à la Star Trek; androids to provide practical 24/7 care for the elderly and put the shopping away and empty the dishwasher; cars with spare tyres in them. Bring them back, take them to market.

It's 2020. What are you doing?

In five years, I hope to be writing a follow-up book about how my second book changed diversity attitudes at work and revolutionised the proportion of women in senior management and government.

Oops, the world ends tomorrow. What do you do today?

Hug my family.

But if you could be anyone else in adland for a day, who would you be and why?

Claire Beale: would like a go as editor-in-chief. I'd like to know what real power feels like.

What will be your legacy (assuming the world doesn't actually end tomorrow)?

My words. Book one, Tell The Truth: honesty is your most powerful marketing tool. And watch this space for book two.

This is still a great business because…

Loads of people really care about the quality of the work they do.

What makes you, you?

Falling over a lot and keeping on getting up and trying.

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