A view from the top
A view from Roisin Donelly

A view from the top

Coming back from a two-week family holiday in a Wi-Fi-free and telephone-signal-challenged wilderness, it's a relief to overcome the separation anxiety I've felt from the outside world and be reconnected with all the digital tools that help me keep in touch.

The theme of the week has been diversity. I’ve seen from experience that diverse teams build businesses more successfully than homogenous teams, as well as create a more fun place to work, and so I’ve always committed to building a diverse marketing team at Procter & Gamble.

I started the week catching up with our brilliant marketing teams on the strategies, plans and exciting new initiatives that will be landing across the rest of the year. My role is not to sign off but to ask: "How can I help you make this better?"

One of the brand managers, Sam, has just returned from Tanzania, where she visited communities that will benefit from the great "clean drinking water" campaign we’re launching with Asda. Other brand managers share what they are hearing and have learned from the most important source of data we have – our consumers.

On Monday evening, I went to Downing Street, where the Chancellor was hosting Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg, who was talking about her book Lean In. Sheryl is urging a future where women lead 50 per cent of companies and men lead 50 per cent of homes. She tells us that men who do laundry have more sex: this could be a brand-building idea for P&G laundry.  

Sheryl joined the Thirty Club for lunch on Tuesday and it was a great opportunity to catch up with some of our key agency partners and media owners and to listen to more inspiring stories from Sheryl and Facebook.

On Tuesday evening, I went to Nicholas Hytner’s brilliant new Othello at the National Theatre with my daughters. It is set in the present and Sheryl would have observed that there were a couple of women in the boardroom scene and the army ranks but not in leadership roles. We have certainly made progress since Shakespeare’s day, but there is still a long way to go.

On Wednesday evening, the Opportunity Now Awards recognised the companies that are making real progress on gender diversity. The highlight was a talk by Rita Clifton on the critical importance of branding for leaders. The event also launched The Times’ Top 50 Employers for Women and P&G is proud to be on the list.

On Thursday morning, I joined a panel debating the potential of mobile at the Rutberg Summit. To me, mobile is a channel, not a medium. The mobile device is with consumers day and night – at work, at home, in-store and even in bed – so it offers great opportunities for brands that get it right.

I finish the week in P&G’s management review addressing the key business challenges this month and looking at how we can help make the business stronger. This takes place in our business sphere, where state-of-the-art technology gives us real-time data at our fingertips.

Following my week championing, celebrating and learning about diversity, I took a moment to assess the leadership team around me and the people we serve in our organisation. We have exceptional talent in every function and at every level at P&G, and I remain as proud to be a part of it today as I did on my first day as a marketer.

Roisin Donnelly is the corporate marketing director and head of marketing at Procter & Gamble