A highly experienced marketing and branding professional, Rhian joined HiveMind after spending the past decade in Dubai where she ran her own marketing and communications consultancy. She has also held several senior marketing roles at leading corporates including Royal Bank of Scotland, Alliance & Leicester Commercial Bank, and Mubadala Investment Company.
I’m Rhian, I’m the Marketing Director for HiveMind Network and HiveMind Consulting.
After graduating with a Journalism degree from UWCC, I started my career at Accenture on their graduate program and worked with some amazing clients along the way.
Prior to relocating to the UK and taking on my role at HiveMind, I spent a decade in the Middle East where I ran my own marketing and communications consultancy and worked as a Brand Strategist and fractional Marketing Director.
I have three teenage children and now live on the coast in South Wales where we like to be outdoors as much as I can hiking and enjoying the beach. I also consult pro-bono on marketing and communication strategies for a Welsh charity that celebrates great achievements in supporting under-privileged children. Working remotely has enabled me to have an incredible work/life balance.
The short answer to this question is yes, but I think I’ve done this subconsciously where I’ve had a general framework and always sought out my next role based on the next stage of my career development. As a student I knew I wanted to work in the City. I also knew I wanted to work in a fast paced, agile environment and be constantly learning and developing. I have always focused on the next five years ahead of me: where I wanted to be and what I needed to deliver to enable that progression.
Always. The challenges, including deadlines, reacting and capitalising on real time opportunities, managing stakeholders, navigating the difficulties with projects, and constantly adapting to the ever-changing business landscape in domestic and global markets are what makes it fun. It’s a constant challenge – and that motivates me.
Career-wise I would say my biggest achievement to date was founding and building what has become a global franchise.
Bringing up three children while balancing a busy career is always a notable achievement.
Tenacity has been a key factor but also being able to work with a range of different people – and I would regard myself as a real people person – has also been hugely beneficial.
I think mentoring has been key to my own professional development and, as a mentor myself who currently works with two young and vibrant volunteers, I have seen how much of an important factor it can be in nurturing talent. I think it’s important to reward up and coming talent with the same opportunities and a mentoring programme can be crucial in achieving that aim. It’s essential to have a mentor who challenges the status quo, provides an excellent sounding board and always thinks laterally. I currently work with an incredible strategist who inspires my thinking in these areas.
There is still a pay disparity for many women within some sectors of the UK which needs to be addressed. Part of the solution lies in building confidence, so women are better-placed to recognise their value in the workplace and not feel hesitant in bringing that to the table.
We have, however, come a very long way over the last 25 years. When I first started my career, any woman in a senior position was immediately shelved if she decided to start a family. The glass ceiling was well and truly in place. Over the years it has become more acceptable to have a family and a career and to be able to manage the two. The key to that is to seek out roles with the right leadership support; somewhere that empowers you to make decisions, manage your time and where they encourage a balance between home and work. A focus on wellbeing and happiness is also important. I am incredibly lucky in my current role to have a management team which delivers on all these areas.
In the words of the US businesswoman and philanthropist Sheryl Sandberg, I would “Lean In” and believe. Being assertive is not the same is being aggressive – a woman in the workplace should know what she wants and set out to make it happen. It’s so important to believe in yourself, your capabilities, your gut instinct and your ability to achieve greatness. ‘Lean In’, in every aspect of life. Never be afraid of falling as failure enables learning and the opportunity to make sure the comeback is even greater
My current challenge is with HiveMind Network and HiveMind Consulting. We are building a global brand to rival the ‘Big 4’ in the consulting space and we have very aggressive growth targets that double down over the next five years. I plan to deliver against the business objectives and grow a global team of marketing and communications experts within our Head Office function. We are focused on building on our inspiring and vibrant working environment as I described above.
Beyond that, I’m focused on becoming a CMO and leading from the front with a brand strategy that is shaping organisational transformation and innovating the business model to deliver growth and ultimately brand loyalty (something that every CMO strives for in this ever-fickle landscape of choice). Reiterating the words of Sheryl Sandberg, I am ‘Leaning In’ at every given opportunity to help HiveMind grow and achieve its full potential.