Inspirational Woman: Eloise Bristow | Head of Marketing at Moving Mountains

Eloise Bristow, Moving Mountains

Eloise Bristow studied biology at the University of Bristol – her dissertation was about whether imported commodities labelled as alleged superfoods are worth the hype from a social and nutritional standpoint, or whether the humble oat is a better option (more often than not, the humble oat prevails!).

Looking at how what you eat can affect your footprint – that’s where her interest in FMCG started. Now more than ever it’s time for green brands to take centre stage, so a career amplifying environmental causes is the best way she can use my skills to achieve this.

Eloise believes that there is no time like the present for sustainable FMCG to take centre stage, and it is through her work at Moving Mountains, that she is able to help amplify the conversation around this. Her role involves orchestrating the company’s marketing strategy to align across all touchpoints of communication from retailer decks to packing, whilst producing impactful marketing campaigns that disrupt the category.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

I did, and still do often.

Firstly, making sure I was in the right career and industry for me. For me, that was working in a field I had genuine interest in anyway, to make sure the topics I was reading and talking about each day were things I would want to learn regardless – for me that’s food and its impact on climate. Combining that with a role which utilised my most natural skills to make my life easier.

Secondly, I have definitely planned my milestone timelines – making sure my career moves complement and add to my skill set, and to make me the most employable marketer I can.

Also, sounds obvious but your job is your CV – so make your daily activities into case studies you are proud of!

Have you faced any challenges along the way?

Not so much a specific, but ongoing challenge of being in small food. With limited budgets, it can often feel like you have to run fast to stand still. That said, you will come out with very critical and creative skills when it comes to maximising budgets.

I like to operate big brand, Small budget energy – which means taking the budget route (often involving a lot of DIY), but occasionally investing in ‘big brand’ activation when it’s worth it.

What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?

This is probably an unromantic factor, but realistically I can’t discredit that I’m privileged enough to go to university and have access to a conducive working environment my whole life.

But in terms of action, I took to work within my power: I knew I needed both quality marketing experience in a commercial work environment, and also a demonstrated understanding of the environment and climate justice.

So in my first few years of my marketing career I worked voluntarily at two climate charities, which gave me the ability to work on projects to compliment my skill set, which were also in a relevant area to me.

How do you feel about mentoring? Have you mentored anyone or are you someone’s mentee?

I really can’t recommend mentoring enough, especially being in a small brand where resources are limited. My mentor has been pivotal in being both a sounding board to crazy ideas, as well as offering invaluable career advice. If you’re lucky enough to get one, do so!

If you could change one thing to accelerate the pace of change for Gender Parity, what would it be?

Women are supposedly empowered to ‘have it all’ by having the privilege to both contribute to society and raise a family, but the fundamental issue is that our support systems haven’t changed with this societal shift.

Realistically, until men are given equal parental responsibilities (and accordingly work leave) as women by their employers/our government, we can’t fully achieve equality in the workplace.

Furthermore, our 40 hour week is pretty archaic; built around the 1960s model involving a women at home to support children, a man at work. But now we’ve evolved in the workplace to expect both genders to contribute to society in a way which was never factored in before, and our work culture has not caught up.

As unfortunately, the unpaid labour of children falls largely upon the woman. A system which supports both parties equally and allows people to raise children collectively would bring about huge change.

If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self what would it be?

Not my own or even a new idea as I first read this in Grace Beverly’s book, (and it was a bit of a lightbulb moment for me), but something that resonates with me and is a perspective I wish I had heard earlier in my career – particularly when I was putting in additional hours to improve my work, and was conflicted in feeling like I wasn’t choosing myself by working particularly hard – is the below.

In the UK we think of self care as something very different to working hard. But actually, as our careers are such a big part of our lives, they can be two sides of the same coin. AKA in the same way that having a slow day, putting on a face mask and treating yourself can be self care, self care can also look like choosing to invest in your career by getting lost in your work, creating something you are proud of and ultimately moulding yourself to be a better marketeer (even if it might not feel like it).

Diamonds are built under pressure, and I can personally say I’ve honed my best skills by *occasionally, by choice and at a time when I think it will benefit myself* becoming a bit obsessed with my work. As long as you’re putting in the work to benefit yourself, and it’s a choice you are making, then put in the graft for your own growth.

What is your next challenge and what are you hoping to achieve in the future?

It’s hard to look beyond plant-based burgers, as that’s always been a dream for me! But heading up a brand that has a really strong mission: for example, the standard of marketing and mission at Tony’s Chocolonely is something I aspire to. Their mission to highlight the injustices of the chocolate industry is so entrenched in their marketing – even their product divides into ‘unfair’ chunks when shared.

Read more about our inspirational women here.

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