Lorraine Ansell is an award-nominated voice over artist and studio engineer.
She previously worked in communications for L’Oréal, YSL, Stella McCartney and Amnesty International. She is a graduate of CEMS (Global Alliance in Management Education).
Find out more about Lorraine here: https://www.lorrainevoiceart.com/
Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your current role
I am a global chatterbox which means I talk for a living! I am a voice over artist and studio engineer and also spend a lot of time writing. Being a voice over artist means that I have to understand content, context and emotional states to be able to verbally communicate copy for clients – these have included FuJIFilm, Sony, John Lewis, Bose, Audible in an audio drama, films, radio and TV. I also direct voices and recently worked on a great automobile video production, directing children. In terms of my writing, I produce anything from advertising copy to short stories, articles, blogs and video games.
It has been a crazy risk-taking journey to get here from studying economics almost 20 years ago and working around the world in a variety of roles. I started working at the Grand Maison de Beaute (that is L’Oreal in Marketing in Paris working on international shampoo and styling brands), before moving to London to work in operational marketing. Following that, I worked on haircare and colour brands and led campaigns in Glamour and Hello!magazines. Then I worked in PR for YSL Beauty and Stella McCartney which meant working for amazing brands and people, before moving to the media team at Amnesty International in the press and AV team.
Did you ever sit down and plan your career?
When I graduated from university I did have a definite career plan which was to work in marketing and advertising houses and maybe one day launch my own advertising or PR agency. That was before I realised more about myself and what I wanted to create from my career. Thanks to my business education through CEMS – the Global Alliance in Management Education – which enabled me to study in London, Paris and Barcelona, I lived and worked in different cultures, which gave me a fresh take on what I wanted to experience from life.
This led me to a realisation that I love creatively challenging projects, writing and using my voice. I carved out a niche in areas that gave me both inspiration and stretched me.
Have you faced any particular challenges along the way and if so, how did you deal with them?
There have been so many challenges and a fair few failures along the way, both professionally and personally. In a work sense, a project I worked on to arrange a Christmas Gift with Purchase promotion failed and I was left mortified. I had to take stock and with team support managed to find a solution. Now, even after 15 years I sometimes shudder when I see gifts at Christmas time. I really felt my career had ended and I decided to move into comms shortly after that.
In my personal life, amongst the failures, I’ve had three miscarriages which resulted in me becoming very depressed but also reevaluating my whole life and what I actually needed from it. I had to accept I would never have children and dig deep to find out what I wanted rather than what society said I should want. As you face such challenge or failure, you gain experience and develop resilience. I have reached a point where I accept setbacks, take responsibility for my feelings regarding them (whether good or bad) and move on. I am very positive, so I let a lot of things go, knowing that there are more exciting things around the corner.
If you could change one thing for women in the workplace, what would it be?
I was recently on a panel at the LSE for the 30 years of CEMS where we talked about the changes in the modern-day workplace. As different generations work together more closely and technology changes, what does the future hold for us? Change remains the only constant and for women to reach a point where they feel happy and successful, I would implement more initiatives that focus on “being” rather than on “doing more.” We are all in such a race to achieve the “next big thing” and we lose focus on what we really need. When the workplace moves away from the 9-5 model that still pervades, then we will need training on how to live authentically, rather than chasing a non-functional business model set up.
How do you feel about mentoring? Have you mentored anyone or are you someone’s mentee?
I love mentoring. I have many mentors myself and I am a mentor to various people. Mentoring is a great way to learn and bounce ideas off someone who will listen to you and help you find answers to situations in a way that is safe. I have mentored since I was at university with CEMS. Through that network my mentoring and mentee network has also grown. It is a great way to learn from different generations, as well as being able to give back your experience to others.
What has been your biggest achievement to date?
Being truly me every day.
What is your next challenge and what are you hoping to achieve in the future?
Who knows what the next challenge or opportunity is, but I await eagerly to find out. Whatever it is, I am ready for it!