- With Olivia Heeren, Sr. Group Account Director
Group Account Director Olivia Heeren reviews Nina DiSesa’s 2008 professional memoir, Seducing The Boys Club
Nina DiSesa is a strong-willed woman. And she’s not afraid to tell the truth. Those were my key takeaways from her page-turning book, Seducing The Boys Club, which details her interactions with men and women while fighting her way to the top. It’s a good, fast and fun read about those that have helped define the modern McCann, and still contribute so much today.
Nina is long-associated with McCann. During her 16 years, she rose to Chairman and Chief Creative Officer. She also worked at other agencies throughout her career, including J. Walter Thompson in Chicago in its heyday. To say she has a right to pen this book is an understatement.
Nina’s story is honest, and sometimes brutally so. In one anecdote, she recounts refusing to leave a pitch for Coca-Cola, despite a raging nosebleed. It’s not that Nina advocates we give ourselves to injury, rather, she is in a way telling us that if we know what we want, we shouldn’t give up. In her quest and eventual success reaching the top, Nina had to work her way through a maze of men who didn’t trust her, didn’t want her around and didn’t understand how she could make a difference.
The book is also full of practical, relatable advice for how to navigate situations that are often unique to women in the workplace. A particularly memorable approach she presents is the art of S and M (Seduction and Manipulation). While she warns that it may sound negative, it’s actually a way for women to use the qualities we are naturally blessed with to garner respect, clout and encourage collaboration within teams.