Employee experience has been steadily moving up the agenda for the C-Suite. Gartner cited it as a top priority for HR leaders in 2023, and with phenomena such as ‘The Great Resignation’, ‘quiet quitting’, 'bare minimum Monday' and 'resenteeism' on the rise, it stands to reason that this should be a core strategic focus for leaders as they battle to overcome these challenges.

There are so many reports highlighting the enormous negative impact the pandemic had on the global job market, resulting in instability for organisations. However, it also created an opportunity for people to reflect on their careers and consider their options – hello, ‘Great Resignation’. Data released by the UK’s Labour Force Survey in November 2021 showed that, of the 1.02 million people who moved jobs between July and September 2021, 391,000 of them had resigned – the highest spike ever recorded. While in the USA, according to the federal JOLTS report, about 50.5 million people quit their jobs in 2022, surpassing the previous record-breaking figure of 47.8 million in 2021.

In a similar vein, while some were considering resignation, there are those that started to fall into the ‘quiet quitting’ bucket – referring to employees who put no more effort into their jobs than absolutely necessary. This push-back against hustle culture has also seen the rise of ‘bare minimum Monday’. Taking this one step further, many employees started to fall into the ‘resenteeism’ pot, meaning they are not concealing their dissatisfaction with their role or their place of work. Reports suggest these behavioural trends have emerged in the wake of the pandemic, driven largely by social media, perhaps with most targeting efforts towards Gen Z in a new era of hybrid work.

When considering the ways in which leaders can attract and retain talent, focusing on employee experience has to be a top strategic priority. But what does it really mean? Wind back only a few years and a positive employee experience might have meant a pool table in the corner of the office, some colourful bean bags to relax on and a few beers with the team on dress-down Friday. We’ve come a long way.

Employee experience now has to be embedded within a much more sophisticated diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) strategy, with initiatives encompassing race, gender identity, neurodiversity, age and disability to name just a few.

The role businesses can play in progressing DEI was a key topic on this year’s Davos agenda. The Global Parity Alliance (GPA) – a cross-industry group committed to advancing DEI around the world – released a new report to help companies identify initiatives that have resulted in significant, quantifiable, scalable and sustainable impact. The aim was to support leaders with these insights and contribute to faster DEI impact across the global business community.

Many organisations are recognising that focusing on DEI is the right thing to do, and prioritising it is good for business. A recent McKinsey article pointed to DEI being a strategic imperative to win the battle for talent amid the ‘Great Resignation’, better serve clients and stay ahead of the competition. To do this, leaders need to mobilise their people to roll out and externalise their DEI initiatives.

And marketing and communications professionals have a key role to play in externalising their initiatives through inclusive campaigns that empower diverse groups. There are global brands doing wonderfully creative things; in 2019, Gillette took a stance on transgender inclusion with a campaign that showed the experience of shaving for the first time from the perspective of a trans male teen and his father. This highlighted a part of its audience that many other brands might not have considered and showed solidarity with the trans community. In another example, Microsoft’s “WeAllWin” campaign showcased its Xbox Adaptive Controller for children with physical disabilities, highlighting the company’s dedication to equal opportunities.

As the Global Parity Alliance report reveals, despite increased commitment towards – and investment in – advancing DEI globally, progress is slow. But progress is key, and by having a strategic focus on the right DEI initiatives for their business, leaders will be enhancing the employee experience, increasing engagement, better serving customers and staying on track for success in 2023 and beyond.

Brands need to stand out in a crowded market. Customers, employees and suppliers want to see both vision and action from leaders when it comes to DEI progress. At Man Bites Dog, we’re working with some amazing organisations to help amplify their initiatives. Drop us a line at [email protected] if you’d like to know more.

Claire Mason, Founder and CEO of Man Bites Dog has been recognised as an EY Winning Women Entrepreneur.

Claire is one of just five entrepreneurs to be selected to join the prestigious EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women™ EMEIA Class of 2022.

Claire Mason said: “It’s such an honour to be selected as one of the 5 entrepreneurs representing the UK in this year’s 52-strong global cohort. I’m really looking forward to learning from all these inspiring women and going on this journey together! 

“Thanks to EY for this important initiative to promote female entrepreneurship and support women-owned and led businesses to scale.”

EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women™ identifies ambitious women entrepreneurs and provides them with advice, resources and access to unlock their full potential.

Meet the EY Entrepreneurial class here.

Congratulations to Claire Mason, CEO and Founder of Man Bites Dog, for being featured in Women in PR’s inaugural ’45 Over 45’ list!

The list has been launched to recognise outstanding women in the UK comms industry over the age of 45, in response to new data commissioned by Women in PR (WPR).

WPR’s research revealed that more than one in three women working in UK comms has experienced ageism, and that more than half of women under 50 admit they don’t see a future in the part of the industry they’re currently working in. The leading causes are identified as limited career opportunities to progress (42%) and a lack of visibility of women aged over 50 in inspirational senior leadership roles (44%).

Of course, the whole Man Bites Dog pack is delighted that Claire’s tireless work as an advocate and trailblazer in the UK PR industry has been recognised.

Claire founded Man Bites Dog in 2005, with a mission to create pioneering global thought leadership campaigns. Today, the consultancy has won over 80 global PR industry awards, and champions its own flagship movement, The Gender Say Gap, which seeks to increase the representation of female and diverse experts as spokespeople – recently launching a pro bono report, The Gender News Gap, in partnership with Women in Journalism.

In addition to this, Claire supports the female leaders on Man Bites Dog’s leadership team, and advocates for diverse entrepreneurship within the community as a Non-Executive Director for Coast to Capital LEP and Entrepreneur in Residence at the British Library Business and IP Centre.

Over 200 inspiring women were nominated for WPR’s 45 Over 45 list, so we’re exceptionally proud that Claire is being celebrated in its inaugural year.

Claire Mason said: “I am incredibly honoured to be included on this list alongside these fantastic female leaders. As a female-led industry we need to see more women making it to the top as female leaders and PR agency owners and ensure we don’t vanish in our prime! Ageism remains a pervasive prejudice in all walks of life, particularly for women, and it’s great to celebrate this forgotten aspect of diversity and wear our number with pride! Congratulations to everyone on the list and thank you Women in PR for this important initiative.”

You can see the full list here: https://womeninpr.org.uk/45-over-45-women/

The Business & IP Centre (BIPC) Sussex today announced that Brighton business leader, Claire Mason, Founder and CEO of global thought leadership consultancy Man Bites Dog, will take on an additional role as Ambassador for the new BIPC Sussex, with its regional centre located in Brighton’s Jubilee Library. Claire’s role as Ambassador and Entrepreneur in Residence will be to promote the BIPC to help expand its network, for the benefit of SMEs and the local economy.

Set up by the British Library, the National Network of BIPCs are library-based hubs for entrepreneurs and start-ups to learn, share resources, and network so that they can grow their businesses and the local economy. The service includes free access to market intelligence resources, customer data, IP advice, one-to-one support, guidance and training, as well as hosting inspiring entrepreneurs at their network events. The regional centre of the new BIPC Sussex is based in Brighton’s Jubilee Library, and there is a BIPC Local being developed in Crawley Library and other Sussex libraries to follow in the near future.

Claire is well placed to guide the entrepreneurs the BIPC supports. She started Man Bites Dog, a global thought leadership consultancy, from her kitchen table. Today, the company employs thirty people from its central Brighton office, working with global business brands to help them lead change on issues from sustainability to the future of work, winning more than 80 industry awards. As a successful local business founder, Claire hopes to inspire other local entrepreneurs.

Claire Mason said: “The BIPC is an incredible resource for entrepreneurs, start-ups and SMEs from across Sussex which offers information services, business support and opportunities to learn from other entrepreneurs. I am excited and honoured to be supporting the BIPC in its mission to give start-ups the strongest start and help our many local SMEs to innovate and grow. I’m delighted that entrepreneurs in Sussex will now have access to this invaluable resource to supercharge their success.”

“What’s really special about the BIPC is that by delivering support through the library network, we are able to make entrepreneurship more accessible by reaching people who are under-represented in business, helping close the entrepreneurship gap for women and aspiring entrepreneurs from under-represented ethnic backgrounds or with a disability.”

Library Services Manager, Joanne Simmons said “I am delighted that Claire will be the Ambassador and Entrepreneur in Residence of the BIPC Sussex. Since we joined the BIPC National Network as a pilot centre in 2019, the service has already had a positive impact on local start-ups and SMEs, and we are so excited to have Claire as our champion moving forward into 2022. Her wealth of experience and her drive to enable under-represented groups to access business support and resources reflects what we strive to offer at BIPC Sussex.” 

About BIPC Sussex

The Business & IP Centre (BIPC) Sussex supports entrepreneurs, start-ups and small to medium businesses across Sussex from that first spark of inspiration to successfully launching and developing a business. Offering insights and access to over £5m worth of free business resources, training and events - both online and in-person to anyone just setting out, needing advice on protecting their intellectual property or simply having a brilliant idea they want to discuss.

About Claire Mason

Claire Mason is Founder and CEO of global thought leadership consultancy, Man Bites Dog. With a passion for entrepreneurship and sustainable development, Claire holds Board Directorships at organisations including Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership, Greater Brighton Economic Board and the Managing Partners’ Forum, which champions the knowledge economy. Claire is proud to be Ambassador and Entrepreneur in residence at Business & IP Centre Sussex, supporting its mission to democratise entrepreneurship.

Man Bites Dog welcomes Mary Maher back to the pack as Managing Director. Mary was previously Director of Finance and Operations between 2016 and 2018 and returns to Man Bites Dog after two years as Commercial Director at Havas Just, a leading global healthcare communications agency.

Mary brings 25 years’ leadership experience covering finance, commercials, operations, HR, legal and L&D. She has previously held senior roles at consultancies in the healthcare, L&D and recruitment sectors, as well as in the professional services sector at MacIntyre Hudson Advisory Services and BDO UK LLP.

Mary Maher said “I am delighted to be returning as Managing Director to the Man Bites Dog pack. I am looking forward to working again with this smart, talented and supportive team. The work we do is truly inspirational and the positive commitment throughout the team shines through.”

Man Bites Dog Founder and CEO Claire Mason said: “We are thrilled to welcome Mary Maher back to Man Bites Dog as Managing Director. Mary’s appointment strengthens Man Bites Dog’s offer as we embark on our next phase of growth.”

Man Bites Dog is delighted to announce the appointment of Founder and CEO, Claire Mason, to the Coast to Capital Board.

In her Non Executive role as a Business Director of the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Claire will strengthen the expertise of the Board, and additionally act as SME Champion and represent Coast to Capital on the Greater Brighton Economic Board.

Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership provides leadership, investment and business support to increase productivity and generate sustainable and inclusive growth.

Claire joins the Board with four new Business Directors, a new Further Education Director and two new District Council Directors as Coast to Capital strengthens its Board and prepares to create its Local Industrial Strategy.

Claire Mason is an entrepreneur with more than 20 years’ strategy and marketing experience who has developed global research and economic forecasts on subjects from the future of work and global trade to the levers of growth for small business.

Tim Wates, Coast to Capital Chairman said:

"Our Board boasts influential representatives from the public, private and education sector that have both specialist knowledge and passion for the Coast to Capital area. Claire brings energy, ambition and vision for the future and I look forward to working with her to drive the growth of our area."

Claire Mason, Coast to Capital Board Director said:

“Business has a critical role to play in delivering inclusive and sustainable growth for our community. I’m looking forward to working with the Board and our wider stakeholders to help shape an ambitious strategy for our future economy that will realise our potential to be the best place in the UK to live, grow and succeed.

“Man Bites Dog is a global business that was born in Brighton and it’s an honour to join the Board and support the team in creating an environment to foster growth, productivity and innovation from coast to capital.”

About Coast to Capital

Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) provides leadership, investment and business support to increase productivity and generate sustainable and inclusive growth. The LEP covers a diverse and vibrant area which includes East Surrey, West Sussex and Greater Brighton. Find out more at www.coast2capital.org.uk


The Gender Say Gap

For some years now, we have been campaigning to close The Gender Say Gap, a term we coined to highlight the invisibility of women and diverse leaders as expert authorities in business and public life.

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    The Green Resignation

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