Technology, UK

Sophia P

I started in the research industry about 12 years ago dotting around a couple of small-mid-sized agencies. In 2013 I joined Kantar, at what was then TNS, as a Senior Research Executive. I spent a few very happy years there and progressed to Research Manager before moving over to the Media division to learn about a different side of the business. During that time I realised I wasn’t enjoying what I did as much and realised that I was not in the right career for me. I took some time to figure out what I wanted to do and realised it was something in the Technology field. Trawling LinkedIn job descriptions helped me realise it was something along the lines of Business Analysis or Product Management. At roughly the same time, an opportunity came up within Kantar and, following a couple of conversations, I applied, had one of the most fun interviews I’ll ever have, and got the job.

At about the same time Kantar was getting serious about our Inclusion and Diversity. I joined the UK and Ireland steering committee and was inspired to set up Pride@Kantar. It started as this little idea in my head and seeing it grow has been immensely rewarding. When we started, I would have been happy to have 100 members by the end of that year. We had that within a month. And it’s grown a lot since then. We now have over 750 members, we have a global group coordinating our efforts, an amazing executive sponsor in (Profiles Division CEO) Caroline Frankum as well as a mission I am proud to work towards. We’ve been nominated for awards, supported thought leadership for the business, and worked hard to create a welcoming network for the LGBTQI+ community and our allies. We’ve also worked hard to be allies and supportive of some of the other employee resource groups both internally and externally. We’ve had a fantastic year this year, I’m so proud of what we have built together and the positive impact we are having in Kantar.

In my day job, I help to build Kantar Automation Platform – the engine behind the Marketplace expert solutions. My job is to talk to the business about what they would like us to do, and translate that for our developers to build. I’m also responsible for our roadmap and capturing our strategy and priorities, which can be challenging with the growth of Marketplace! But it’s definitely a part of my role that I really enjoy. I work with a bunch of really supportive, very knowledgeable, and simply incredible people – I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed my work as much as I do right now!

I have so many career highlights. The DIVA insights research we did earlier in 2020 was incredible. I was incredibly proud of that work and the impact it has had. It’s definitely the research project I’m the most proud of ever working on… even though it was after I stopped being a researcher!

I’ve been really proud of the products I’ve helped to launch on KAP too… they all have their own complexities and to see them being used around the business is fantastic. Our team has grown a lot over the last year and working some of the new people has taught me a lot, but mainly seeing them flourish too has been incredible.

Kantar is a relatively large company and you could feel a bit lost. But the people here make it special. There is something for everyone. I’ve worked in a couple of different areas of the business and I can safely say there is something here for everyone, and that’s quite special. I’m really glad that my career change could happen in this environment – I don’t think that would have happened in many other research companies.

For me, though, our commitment to inclusion and diversity really does set us apart. It’s made me realise that I would not work somewhere without a similar commitment. We don’t always get it right, and we have a long way to go, but inclusion and diversity is such a big part of all conversations here; I take a lot of heart from that. It aligns a lot with my personal ethos, and that matters to me.