WellFest speaker spotlight: Katy Leeson, managing director, Social Chain - NABS
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WellFest speaker spotlight: Katy Leeson, managing director, Social Chain

Katy Leeson is managing director of the global social media marketing agency, Social Chain, working with some of the largest brands in the world including E Entertainment, Holland & Barrett and Häagen-Dazs.

Katy’s wellbeing journey started when she realised that she was suffering from imposter syndrome. Now, she shares her own story of working in a predominantly male industry to help other women break down barriers at work. She appeared on the 2019 Women Role Models list for her achievements.

Katy joins us at WellFest for our ‘Dare to Thrive’ panel discussion with Natasha Devon, Matthew Knight and Simon White.

Here, Katy reveals how Social Chain supports its people’s emotional health, as well why she values diversity as a key part of wellbeing.


Why do you think workplace wellbeing is important?

We’ve found that making the wellbeing of our employees our number one priority has really impacted the culture at Social Chain.

A happy environment makes for great work and happy clients.

What are you and Social Chain doing to promote good wellbeing?

Freedom of responsibility I think is really important. We allow people the time and freedom to make as many mistakes as possible and try new avenues. By trying what they’re naturally drawn to, they’re more passionate about what they’re doing and create incredible work.

We also have an in-house therapist which people can see at their leisure as well as yoga, meditation stations, unlimited holiday, football plus much more to keep people happy.

Using only three words, describe work.

First. Fearless. Ever-changing.

Getting away from your desk. Discuss.

I’d hate the idea of being tied to your desk. Social Chain has a number of breakout spaces, including sleeping pods, a jungle and a lodge to help stimulate people in different creative environments.

What place does emotion have in decision-making?

That’s a tricky question as emotion can naturally play a part – especially when tough decisions need to be made. But it’s important to remember what’s best for the business. Sometimes the emotion and what’s best for the business might match up, and sometimes they won’t but you know you have to do what’s best.

Are you better at what you do because you work where you work?

After seeing Social Chain’s in-house therapist myself I would say that I’m better for working here and I don’t just mean that professionally.

Being surrounded by passionate and enthusiastic people makes me push myself too.

Diverse teams make stronger teams. Discuss.

The growth of Social Chain has come from hiring people from varied walks of life. How can anyone create a compelling and effective marketing strategy to an audience they’re not a part of and therefore don’t fully understand?

It’s so important to not be out of touch with your audience and instead to surround yourself with a wider variety of people that who be able to understand the cultural references of the audience you’re marketing to, whether that be industry, race, gender, age or social class.

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