One year on – Ann-Marie Blake reflects on Women in Communications

Back in April 2020, IABC UK&I hosted our successful “Women in Communications” event, with five incredible speakers and over 50 guests discussing tips and practical advice on how to navigate a career in comms, with a particular focus on the challenges faced by women.

One year on, our speakers share their takeaways from the event, reflect on what has changed since then, and share an update on their work.


Ann-Marie Blake 



IABC UK & Ireland Board Member

Ann-Marie is a business communicator with over 20 years’ experience and IABC International Executive Board Member. She has worked across various disciplines including marketing, corporate affairs, media relations, change and internal communications. A keen mentor and executive coach she’s passionate about helping others to build their confidence so they can reach their full potential.


Ann-Marie’s Book recommendations

  • Who Moved my Cheese, by Spencer Johnson
  • Year of Yes, by Shonda Rhimes
  • Emotional Intelligence: Why it can Matter more than IQ, by Daniel Goleman


Key takeaways from 2020 Women in Communications event:


1) Performance is ‘table stakes’. You need to do more than a good job to succeed.

2) Be proactive about managing your image – if you’re not doing this someone else is doing it for you.  Don’t be shy about sharing things you’ve done well.

3) Network network network.


One Year on – and what a year it’s been!


Over the past year  I’ve been keeping busy trying to effect real change in the industry. The PRCA census shows that we still have much to do in the space of diversity so I joined with like-minded professionals and co-founded the PRCA Race, Ethnicity & Equity Board. Our aim is  to achieve both immediate and long-term proportional racial equity in the communications industry. 

An early delivery has been the  Ethnicity Pay Gap guide. It’s  packed with practical tips for employers on how to track and act on ethnicity pay gaps. Being in lockdown hasn’t stopped me, and networking at the IABC UK & I monthly virtual drinks has helped me keep in touch with my friends from the association. 

I’m also trying out Clubhouse, the audio-only social network. I’ve met some wonderful people and am part of a Female Marketers group who are really generous about sharing insights and experiences about running an agency.   


In terms of book recommendations, Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey was one of my 2020 highlights. It’s an autobiography, but full of exceptional insights about life. One of my favourites “Be less impressed, get more involved”.


Our event Women in Communication – Pathways to Success was held in April 2020 and was free  for IABC UK & Ireland members. Interested in becoming a member to join more events like this? Visit our website at to join today. Use the code IABC20 at checkout when you join or renew through 18 April 2021 and you’ll receive a 20% discount on international dues.

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