Wunderman Thompson UK has designed and created an app to connect women mentors and mentees, launching at an International Women’s Day event hosted by RISE, the agency’s network for women.
Called Magpie, the app’s purpose is to empower and connect women across the business using a matchmaking style app based on each individual mentor’s expertise and knowledge. Complimenting longer-term mentoring schemes available in the industry, Magpie connects women on an ad hoc basis based on specific needs, featuring 15 themes ranging from maternity and motherhood, leadership, building your personal brand and managing stress.
Originating from a conversation over a beer between RISE’s two co-founders, Rebecca Pinn, Senior Planner, and Helen Lee, Head of New Business and Marketing, Magpie was born from the desire to create a self-serve platform to form connections and support Wunderman Thompson’s female talent, which accounts for 50% of the agency.
Helen Lee, Head of New Business and Marketing at Wunderman Thompson and RISE Lead, said: “Magpie allows our women to connect with the right person for the right advice at the right time. Magpie gives our women not just one mentor but numerous, ensuring greater relevancy and fostering more relationships. In fact, we don’t even like to think of it as ‘mentoring’ at all… that’s far too formal!”
The Magpie branding was devised by Senior Creatives Charli Plant and Laura Saraiva. Explaining the idea behind the name the team said: “The Magpie platform lets our talent steal pieces of shiny advice from lots of different people, with different experiences across the agency. And for the superstitious amongst us, it just so happens that two magpies together bring good luck and joy!”
The app integrates into the agency’s existing workflow platform Microsoft Teams and features a directory of mentors which can be searched by role, name or one of 15 topics. The mentor profile is inspired by the Top Trumps game, allowing users to explore their options and message the most relevant person to start a conversation.
The app will initially be available to women at Wunderman Thompson, with research by the Academy of Management Journal finding that only 69% of women have female mentors, compared with 82% of men having male mentors. However, there are plans to scale it across the whole company.
“We know women thrive by having allies, other women who raise them up. After our period of physical isolation and with some wonderful new faces at the agency, there’s a real appetite for us to help facilitate relationships, and we think Magpie is going to be a real asset,” said Rebecca Pinn, Senior Planner and RISE Lead at Wunderman Thompson UK. “There is nothing quite like this in the industry, ditching the application forms and not forcing people to commit to a long-term process if that’s not right for their situation. It’s the epitome of peer-to-peer mentoring.”
Senior Planner & RISE Lead – Rebecca Pinn
Head of New Business & Marketing & RISE Lead – Helen Lee
Creative Lead – Charli Plant
Creative Lead – Laura SaraivaHead of Design – Lisa Campana
Experience Designer – Hannah Stephens
UX Designers – Myriam Roderick & Katrina Scott
Creative Tech Lead – Jonothan Hunt
Data Protection Lead – Alicia Friend
Head of Learning & Development – Olivia Read
Delivery Lead – Mariana Revesz
Project Manager – John Gardner
Design Lead – Eliza Miklasevica
Designer – Lisha Gorasiya
Event & Content Lead – Evie Nagy
Event & Content Manager – Sabreena Dean
They assembled a team to turn this idea into something real. It comprised creatives, creative technologists, experience designers, strategists, designers and account managers, and was 90% majority female.