Inside story of this leader's rise through advertising and the firm that inspired 'Mad Men'

Lianna Brinded
Head of Yahoo Finance UK

Jan Gooding has had one of the most storied “portfolio” careers in the world of advertising and is the outgoing chair of LGBTQ+ rights charity Stonewall.

She is also the chair of the audience measurement body PAMCo and the president of the Market Research Society. 

Gooding sat down with Yahoo Finance UK for its premium show Global Change Agents with Lianna Brinded and discussed her incredible career and what it was like working at Ted Bates — the advertising firm that inspired the series ‘Mad Men’ and was famed for depicting the sexist, booze-filled world of advertising in the 1960s and 70s.

“It was a shock to go there... but I was immensely excited about the work. And I couldn’t believe I was being paid to think about brand strategy and that was extremely thrilling,” she said.

“But I have to say the working culture was shocking because the misogyny was not something I was led to expect. I have been well educated, and I did not know until I went into advertising that my gender had anything to do with anything.

“And there was strange bits of advice like all account people were told to have about their person, £50, a corkscrew, and a credit card at all times which spoke volumes, not that you were at the bottom of the pile so you were expected to open the wine but also… in terms of priorities.”

Jan Gooding. Photo: Jan Gooding

In the full interview, Gooding also discussed:

  • How her worst job led to opportunities for a fulfilling career

  • Why there is no such thing as ‘meritocracy’

  • How she overcame sexism, ageism, and relentless challenges during her career

  • What makes a great leader

  • What challenges the LGBT+ community faces into 2020 and beyond

  • Why corporates are needed in PRIDE events

Global Change Agents with Lianna Brinded explores the stories of some of the most inspirational women across business, tech, and academia. Catch up on all the latest episodes here.