OPEN Spotlight Series – Fiona Ravlic

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The whole team are enjoying finally being back together in the office, but because of restrictions we’re still a few months from filming our next set of meet the team videos!


So instead we present to you the the fourth instalment of our spotlight series, to help you get to know our new team members better. Next up is our National Sales Director, Fiona Ravlic.

What advice would you give to young women looking to move up in the media industry?


  1. Don’t be afraid to bang your own drum. I spent years working hard and not communicating the great work I was doing, which was a big mistake as I expected my bosses to know what I was doing. You have to tell people your successes, and for some reason women don’t seem to find it that easy to do, but it’s important or you will get left behind.
  2. Make yourself uncomfortable at work, put your hand up for projects/pitches that come your way. It really does pay off in terms of raising your profile, but also it makes you realise that you can do it and this in turn will increase your confidence. 
  3. Do not give up. If you work for a company that doesn’t value you, move on and don’t waste your time working somewhere that doesn’t deserve you.
  4. Find yourself a supporter/cheerleader in your business. It doesn’t have to be your line manager, it could be someone in the leadership team, but it really helps to have someone in the business at senior level that can support you and push you forward.
  5. My first mentor who was a very senior figure in our industry gave me a great piece of advice – “if you don’t ask you don’t get” and this is so true. Don’t be afraid to ask for a pay rise, promotion or anything else you want at work.


Can you talk a bit about the value of mentoring?


I am a big believer in mentoring and being mentored, which has proved invaluable to me over recent years. You can apply to Bloom and NABS for a mentor, but don’t be afraid to ask someone to mentor you – what is the worst that can happen? They could say no, in which case you look around the industry and see who you think you can learn from and approach them instead. Most of the time when you approach someone and ask them to mentor you they are really flattered, and if they have the time they will agree.

I really wish I had a mentor early in my career, and looking back now it’s one of the things I wish I had explored more as I have seen such value since I started being mentored. I also mentor a number of young women in the industry, and I love being able to support them. It is something I really enjoy doing and there are some mentees I will always be in touch with. At OPEN we make it compulsory for all of our team to have a mentor, and I think this is a great initiative which I know the team have really benefitted from.


What was your inspiration behind launching the OPEN Chat events?


In my previous role I started running a monthly breakfast event just for women, hosted by a female role model from the media industry. I thought it was really important for womenof all levels to spend time with senior women that have made it to the top and understand how they got there, but it also was a great opportunity for networking (another thing I am very passionate about).

The events became part of my brand rather than the company I was representing at the time, so when I joined OPEN it felt completely natural to continue this work, as our business embraces diversity and champions women. We launched OPEN Chat at the beginning of 2020 but due to the pandemic the OPEN Chat become a monthly digital piece, but it is something OPEN are very keen to do once we can get everyone together again in person.


Why do you think there aren’t as many women at the top in the OOH industry?


When I started my career in media my first role was in newspapers, and all my bosses over those 7 years were women. When I left press to join the OOH industry there were very few senior women, particularly on the the media owner side, and that hasn’t really changed and since I joined OOH back in 2003.

There is no doubt we have no issue getting women to join the industry, but a lot seem to leave once they hit middle management. It could be that they don’t think there is opportunity for progression in OOH as they just don’t see it, or some of them go on maternity leave and they don’t return as they don’t feel the industry is flexible enough – although I do think companies are much more flexible now. If we look at the media agencies a lot of the best agencies are led by women but we don’t see that when we look within our own industry which is a real shame. It’s one of the key objectives of the OOH Balance committee ( to try and address this issue. We have all of the specialists and some of the media owners on the committee and we are doing lots of work around trying to improve things.


Can you tell us about the growth of the London sales team and what this means for OPEN Media?


I joined OPEN Media in October 2019 and I was the first employee based in London as our head office is in Liverpool. The team in Liverpool made me feel so welcome, and despite the distance I felt very supported.

It was a strange feeling to begin with as I have always had a big team around me, and it was always my plan to build a team in London as I know how important it is for a business to have a presence in the London market. When the pandemic hit I was only 6 months in the role, but despite all of the challenges we faced we managed to grow the team with Meg joining in May 2020 and Sophie joined in Feb 2021. I am incredibly lucky to have Meg and Sophie in my team and they have dealt with all the challenges a pandemic throws at you brilliantly.