McCann’s Suzanne Powers and Microsoft’s Kathleen Hall on Changing the Game

McCann’s Suzanne Powers and Microsoft’s Kathleen Hall on Changing the Game

McCanners had the pleasure of attending “Game Changers” at our offices this morning, a panel discussion with Suzanne Powers, McCann WG Global Chief Strategy Officer, Kathleen Hall, Microsoft Corporate VP of Global Advertising & Media, and moderator Devika Bulchandani, MD of McCann NY/President of McCann XBC. Suzanne and Kathleen were both honored at the Advertising Women of New York’s 2016 Game Changing Awards today, which celebrates "true catalysts of innovation.” They spoke to the agency about their journeys to success – and hurdles along the way. 

Microsoft has built an inspirational brand, so it stands to reason that the woman behind the brand is also inspiring. Kathleen, when asked simply about transforming the Microsoft brand, said you have to take a no-fear approach and be willing to "throw your badge down."  Kathleen always starts from data-based knowledge to ensure that she has a bulletproof idea. But ground-breaking ideas don’t come easily.  Suzanne shared that behind every good idea, there is a team that is constantly fighting hard (literally sometimes) to push to make it better. Both women spoke about healthy tension and respect that needs to exist on a team. Both agreed that the best teams are built by starting with a group of people with complementary but diverse backgrounds, and common values.  

Kathleen and Suzanne also shared personal stories about gender stereotyping and unconscious bias encountered along their paths to success. Both panelists supported the idea that women sometimes have to ignore the forces that are working against them in order to move forward. The best advice given was to stand up for yourself while being true to yourself and know that performance is the #1 factor in a successful career. 

It was a truly inspiring discussion that left no question as to why these amazing women are being honored by AWNY. Also, we learned that we all need to look up Suzanne on Snapchat. 

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