A Sit Down with Our Global Head of Impact
"A central vision which fundamentally unites us" - Q&A with Gaby Sethi
Assembly recently announced an important new hire, Global Head of Impact, Gaby Sethi. We sat down with Gaby to discuss her plans for building a refreshed vision for Impact at Assembly, as well as what drew her to the agency as she was considering her next role.
Read the full interview here:
Q: Why did you choose Assembly as your next role?
A: I chose Assembly for three main reasons. Firstly, it was important to me to find a company where I could be sure I'd have an impact and make a difference. And just five weeks in, that's certainly the case! I'm very lucky to be supported by our leadership team in shaping a brand new sustainability strategy that will have a material impact on the environment and society.
I also loved that delivering impact and supporting communities was already a core part of Assembly's DNA. I think that's very unusual within agencies, and it automatically demonstrated that Assembly was genuinely committed to being a purposeful business.
Finally, the recruitment process was brilliant. It was incredibly inclusive and flexible which was especially important to me as a woman with a toddler! Each stage was designed to bring the best out of me rather than trip me up and I had interesting, inspiring, and insightful conversations with everyone I met along the way. All of this gave me a great indication of how Assembly manages its people, which was also very important to me when deciding my next move.
Q: We imagine you’ve been busy diving into Assembly’s legacy of impact work thus far, but we couldn’t be more excited about our next evolution. If you could tell us in a statement, what’s your vision for Impact at Assembly?
A: My vision is to create a global sustainability strategy that resonates with our teams and clients around the world and, most importantly, has a meaningful and measurable impact on the environment and society more broadly.
Q: As a global agency, we focus a lot on connecting our talents around the world through common vision, values, and ways of working. From your perspective, how can we further create a connected community globally through our Purpose-led work?
A: To me, it's about building a global strategy with some key thematic pillars that can be interpreted differently across the regions. I believe we need to have a central vision that fundamentally unites us but can be implemented differently across our markets in a way that's more meaningful to the individual. We already know that what works in one location will likely not be as relevant across the world, and so it's about creating unique opportunities for people that ladder up to a broader vision.
In practice, this means bringing people together with a shared purpose and finding new and innovative ways for Assembly to create impact such as through strategic partnerships, whilst not overlooking the importance of creating opportunities for people to give back in their local community depending on the specific needs. I also believe that creating more tangible goals and targets will help bring people together; it's my aim to create everyday opportunities that enable our people to have a positive impact on society and the environment.
Q: In addition to a huge focus on our people, you’ll also be looking at ways we can align with client priorities. Can you talk about your plans here, as well as why agencies like ourselves play a unique and important role in this space, alongside clients?
A: I'm really excited to learn more about the sustainability agendas of our existing clients as well as those in our growth sectors. The scale of the environmental and social challenges ahead of us all are huge and so I think there's real benefit and value in creating strategic partnerships to build momentum whilst also tracking our impact in away that's universally understood.
Assembly are total experts in growing the world's largest brands. I think there's a real opportunity to work with clients who are purpose-led and/or are helping create solutions to the world's biggest problems. If we can apply our expertise to help drive X's sales in X, then imagine the exponential impact of working with clients who are helping deliver on the energy transition, for example.
Q: We know you’ve got quite a lot ahead of you as you settle into this role and define the plans for the remainder of this year and 2023. What are some of your immediate and long-term goals?
A: Right now, I'm totally focused on moving the agency towards B Corp certification. There are a few different components to this, which include creating a global sustainability and social impact strategy and improving the way we monitor and report impact. Beyond that, I'm keen to explore how Assembly could become a net zero agency. The world urgently needs companies focused on reducing their carbon emissions and whilst we've seen good progress across some industries, there's an enormous opportunity for Assembly to help lead the way in the advertising space.