PROI Worldwide spans the globe, comprised of some of the world’s most ambitious entrepreneurial communications firms, including Mahogany Consult from Ghana, Lansons from England and RF|Binder, from the U.S. 

In this PRovoke Media Podcast, the founders from each of these PR firms join Paul Holmes to discuss their unique paths to entrepreneurship, what they have experienced, and what they anticipate for the next generation.

Amy Binder, CEO and chairman of RF|Binder, says one of the reasons she’s optimistic is because it’s no longer about what you look like, what your gender is, and more about what you bring to the table. 

“If you walk into a room and a man is skeptical about your abilities, if you come out with really good advice and you’re really smart and you can make a difference for their business, that’s the only thing that they’ll react to,” she said. “And so I think that is one of the things that’s so critical in winning any business and any entrepreneur — you have to have impact and you have to show that what you’re bringing to them is real value.”

Clare Parsons, co-founder of Lansons shares Binder's perspective. Of the three, she has worked in her career the longest, and has seen the industry unfold over time. She started Lansons with a desire to make a mark and be different, to have the freedom of forging a new path. That autonomy has given her a wealth of opportunities for decades, and she accredits her success to her own work and the community that surrounds her. 

“You have to be true to yourself and you have to play to your own strengths,” she said. “And I think that you have to be mindful of what’s around you.”

All of the guests agree that the path hasn't always been straightforward or easy. Time and time again they have had to prove themselves to colleagues in a way they feel their male counterparts haven’t had to.

“When you are a woman, it’s as though you need to still prove yourself and you need to keep proving yourself,” said Baaba Cofie, managing partner of Mahogany Consult. “But it starts with believing in what you have so that you can present that to them and over time you are accepted.”

Key moments

0:00 Introductions
8:23 The Challenges of Setting up Your own Firm 
12:23 The Importance of Structure
17:38 There are Different Standards for Women in Leadership
21:30 The Challenge to be Taken Seriously
23:54 A Higher Incidence of Imposter Syndrome Among Women
29:00 Progress We’ve Made, Challenges we Face
34:11 Training the Next Generation
36:49 Female Leadership Style
41:51: Mental Health and Work-Life Balance Expectations
45:49: The Next Generation of Women in Public Relations