In It Together: Unati Moalusi, Chief People Officer, Wunderman Thompson SA

Unati Moalusi
Chief People Officer Wunderman Thompson South Africa
 

Wunderman Thompson
Digital
Johannesburg, South Africa
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How would you describe the overall culture at your agency?

I think our agency has demonstrated living by our Wunderman Thompson behaviors. In it Together, Positivity, Listening, and Creative Bravery. More and more, we are seeing our talent show up in a way that is aligned with who we are. 

 

  • Listening: To discover and listen.

That means we listen more than we speak. We see conversation as a chance to discover and understand, not get the point across.

 

  • In It Together: We are best when we’re in it together.

We’re at our best when we work together: with our clients, colleagues, and partners.

 

  • Creative Bravery: To challenge convention.

We challenge convention in every aspect of our work. Creative describes how we act, not the department we sit in.

 

  • Positivity: Bringing passion and solutions.

We seek solutions to problems and always find a way forward. We bring passion and positivity to every situation we encounter.

 

In your opinion, what do you see as the biggest change in the advertising industry since women have begun to break the glass ceiling?

I think we see a lot more character in the output of work since women have begun to break the glass ceiling. The environment has also become more authentic and less challenging. The integration and inclusion of women in the industry have also increased marketing opportunities, as women are generally the biggest buying market across the globe, so there’s a better representation in the work we see not only locally but also globally, the lens within which ideas are produced is much more inclusive.

 

Do you think that women still face challenges in our industry, and if so, what are they?

Absolutely. Not forgetting that this industry has been, for many decades, a male-dominated environment, and in particular, white male-dominant. Women have had to play ‘catch up’ to get a seat at the table and receive full recognition. There remains a larger male counterpart ratio of men than women in the industry, especially the creative department. That in itself is a challenge. Having said that, though, the women who occupy a seat at these tables are formidable, intelligent and highly skilled and unapologetic. 

 

How should we tackle an issue such as equal opportunity? 

Part of this involves us being aware of unconscious biases and being deliberate about giving equal opportunity. At the time, our intentions can be conceptual, and when the rubber hits the road, we can sometimes go back to our old way of thinking because we have been conditioned that way. Equal opportunity requires clear intentions coupled with radical action that supports it. 

 

How did you find your way into the marketing communications industry and what professional achievement are you most proud of?

I am a left-brained child, and I think I had natural gravitation to this industry as a result of that. My people-centric approach has drawn me to want to work with individuals who work from the heart. We inspire growth for ambitious brands – how we do that is through our employees' hearts and minds. It’s that same craft that has brought me here. I am most proud of the work I have done in bringing our people together through diversity and inclusion in a real and authentic way. 

 

Who inspires you the most, either inside the industry or outside? Why?

To be quite honest, I am blown away by the young women who form part of our creative team – the level of excellence we witness is breathtaking. They own the space, and they deliver sterling results. It is a testament to the notion of giving people a fair chance and allowing their magic to percolate!