Meet the new Phyllis generation

Lemon2020

Christie Cooper

“I’m very lucky to have a partner who’s a great father and happy to be a stay-at-home dad, a creative partner who’s very supportive and a workplace that is understanding and flexible.”

Have you encountered any obstacles in your career path, specific to gender, that you’ve had to overcome? In what creative way did you rise above it – or try to?

Juggling work and family has been my biggest struggle. While I don’t like to think of my children as obstacles, it’s hard work being a mum with a job that can be very demanding on both my time and energy. I’m very lucky to have a partner who’s a great father and happy to be a stay-at-home dad, a creative partner who’s very supportive and a workplace that is understanding and flexible. Many women in agencies don’t have this level of support and I think that’s one of the main reasons you don’t see a lot of female CDs, ECD or CCOs.

How do you open doors for other women to succeed? What has made the most difference to you in your career to date?

Agencies don’t have any problem getting young women in the door but they need to work on keeping them there. Creating a work environment where they can feel confident, celebrating their achievements (because they probably won’t), and being supportive and flexible if they have children, all help. What’s made the biggest difference to my career has been having managers who allow me to be myself, listen to my opinions, understand that there are (a lot of) times when I might not know what the hell I’m doing, and believe in my ability to get there in the end.

 

Christie is a Creative Director at DDB New Zealand, where she’s worked for over 13 years. During her time there she’s staged an online Animal Strike to change New Zealand’s animal testing laws, pulled off a Reverse April Fools’ for BMW and put on the world’s first live broadcast freediving event for one of the country’s biggest beer brands. Along the way she’s won awards at Cannes, Spikes, D&AD, The One Show, Clios, The WARC’s, The London International Awards, The Effies, AWARD, Axis, Caples, ADFEST and Young Guns.