MediaCom's Deirdre McGlashan on dropping 'digital' and why young women shouldn't be scared of the tech industry Part of The Drum's ongoing Girl Guides series, by Jessica Davies
“My job is to eliminate my job.” That’s both the personal and professional goal of MediaCom’s global chief digital officer Deirdre McGlashan, and she won’t rest until she has nailed it.
Sitting comfortably at the London headquarters of the GroupM agency in a pair of killer Dutch-designer heels, McGlashan speaks heatedly about one of her biggest pet hates – the word “digital”.
“My biggest bugbear is when people use digital as a catch-all, either as a catch-all for ‘they don’t do it’ or because they think ‘you’re digital, therefore you must do everything’.
“When people say they need a digital person in their team, I ask them to explain what they mean, but without using that word – then I can figure out what they need, and it might be that they need a strategist, or a media planner or trading person, or an account manager with digital skills – but I won’t know that if they keep telling me they need a digital person,” she says.
After speaking fervently about this our conversation naturally turns to the seemingly sticky issue of her own job title. But she immediately reveals that culling her own job title is her number one priority at the agency and stresses that digital should be defined as a mindset – not a medium.
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