Talking creativity, copywriting and female role models with Cate Sloan, Lead Copywriter
International Women’s Day 2018 will bring together friends, colleagues and whole communities to think, act and be gender inclusive in order to positively fuel the global momentum striving for gender parity with this year’s theme; #PressforProgress.
To celebrate the positive achievements of the women working at Net Natives, we caught up with Cate Sloan, one our influential and inspiring women and Lead Copywriter, to share her thoughts, advice and achievements.
What challenge(s) did you face and overcome to get to where you are?
I was told again and again that I couldn’t make money out of writing. It was hard not to go down with that ship. And also, if the creative culture in a company isn’t strong, the worth of copy not proven, then your specialism can be overlooked pretty quickly. You’ll get briefed in for jobs with something like ‘can you wave your fluffy magic wand over this’.
What are the three most important things you do (or did) that contribute to your success?
I did a Masters in Critical Theory and Writing. I married someone who wants to talk through the madness with me. And I prioritise sleep over everything during the week.
If you could tell your 18-year-old self something that you know now, what would it be?
I’ve agonised over this, because if I go back and tell my 18-year old self something, she might listen and do things differently and that would change EVERYTHING. And I love where I am. But if I had to, I would say write more letters and don’t underestimate yourself.
Who are your top three female role models, and what about each inspires you?
My gut reaction is Joan Didion, Mary Shelley and Frances McDormand.
Joan Didion changed the way I read, she changed the voice in my head. She was relentless in her career, she has a staggering gaze and she taught me the measure of cool, collected, piercing prose.
I want to say Mary Shelley because of so many reasons but I’ll talk about the less obvious, so not the fact that she wrote Frankenstein but the way she wrote it. She was living in Switzerland and she writes in her letters about how the monster lived to her, how she could sense the scale of it out there on the snow planes. It pursued her, and if you’ve ever read the book you will know how Frankenstein pursues you between the lines, waiting in your periphery until you go home and pick up the book again and see the thing through. I am in love with her imagination.
And Frances McDormand, she is often on my mind like: ‘How would she do this thing? How would she navigate these moments?’ It’s her integrity and the wisdom and the quiet force of her performances. She’s the centre of the world in all of her films, she makes it all worthwhile, she makes things endure. And, she doesn’t bend to the Hollywood aesthetic, she’s one of the only ones.
What is the most fulfilling part of your role?
My team, and being allowed to have a niche, in equal parts. I feel like I’ve only just begun to scratch the surface of what I can do here, and I know that whatever ideas I have, I will be listened to.
What is your biggest achievement/proudest moment in your career to date?
I haven’t had one yet. I mean I might have, but I’m hard on myself. I’m not sure what it would take to let me be proud. An Academy Award?
What advice would you give other women looking to follow a career path in creative writing and marketing?
It would have something to do with identifying your niche and something to do with choosing your battles and something to do with integrity.
What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
Celebrating some humans who weren’t celebrated for a long time. Because it’s not just about women is it? It’s a symbol for the marginalised. At least I see it that way. And then we can bring the kind amazing men into the fold, the ones who want to celebrate us too.
If you would like to know more about the opportunities at Natives Group, please visit our careers page or get in touch.
- Want to read the rest of our International Women’s Day series? Visit www.natives.group for more