Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Six weeks to find my voice

By Lydia Oakes, Managing Director of Bluestripe Communications

It’s fair to say that most of us won’t be looking back at 2020 missing much of what has happened. However, for me, there’s been one event that has been truly inspirational and that I wouldn’t have missed for the world.

Over the last six weeks, I’ve been privileged to be a part of the first Practice Makes Unperfect course, a collaboration between Amy Kean and my colleagues at New Digital Age. The aims of the course were to help women find their voice and to accept that we don’t need to let perfect get in the way of good. For too long, women have held themselves to a ridiculous standard and been afraid of speaking out on topics that frankly they have every right to speak on.

And so for the last six weeks, we’ve been finding our voice in a way that suits us and practising the skills we’ve learned in real-world scenarios. This was no training room exercise and that was what made this course unique. The women on the course have all written a thought leadership piece for New Digital Age, all appeared on a podcast and all spoken at a virtual event. 

Along the way, we’ve all learned a lot about ourselves, we’ve added a huge amount to our professional skill sets and been trained by some of the best in the business including barristers, event organisers and journalists from across the industry.

I was amazed at the breadth of experience that my fellow course members had. We’ve had senior commercial professionals, HR Managers, Senior AD Ops executives and some who are just embarking on their careers in our industry. It just goes to show that you are never too experienced to benefit from a course like this. That being said, I really wish that this kind of course had been available to me at the start of my career. When I think of the opportunities I’ve turned down just because I wasn’t sure I’d be good enough it makes me sad.

But no more. Thanks to Amy’s inspirational style and her irrepressible energy, I’ll be making sure I grasp those opportunities with both hands. The industry needs more vocal women and the first twenty of those have just been unleashed. 

It’s been heartening to see some great companies get behind the initiative and be prepared to equip the women in their organisations with the skills and mentality that the course offers. So Adform, A Million Ads, Adyoulike The Atlantic, Azerion, Blis, The FT, JC Decaux and Permutive should be commended for backing their women. 


Places for the second cohort of Practice Makes Unperfect are now available but we limit the course size for the optimal delegate experience. To enquire about pricing and availability please fill out the form or contact


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