Meaghan Onofrey is managing partner of TBWA\Health Collective.
What would you do if you didn’t work in healthcare?
I would be an executive coach. My favorite part of the job is mentoring others and watching them achieve things they never thought possible. This is especially true with the next generation of female leaders at TBWA.
Talk about the last time you experienced a fist-pumping victory moment.
We recently created a new consumer healthcare offering at TBWA. We believe healthcare brands should be iconic brands of the same caliber as Apple, Nissan and Gatorade — brands that occupy a special place in our hearts and minds. Brands that love us, so that we love them back. As we refined the vision for this offering, I raised my hand to launch and lead the TBWA\Health Collective. Through the support of many, my dream is now a reality. Anything is possible at TBWA for female leaders with ambition and vision. What an inspiring place to work, and a true victory for me.
When was the last time you endured an “agony of defeat” moment? What did you learn from it?
After a series of very successful US office launches, we recently launched an office that did not thrive initially. I learned many lessons about how to make our geographically boundless philosophy come true. What I will take away, most of all, is that office leadership and culture-building are the keys to success. Our next office launch will be all the better for these learnings!
How long ago was the last time you took the time to recharge your batteries? What did you do?
Just this past March, I took a trip to Southeast Asia with my husband and two children (Catherine, 8, and Ben, 5). We were off the grid for two weeks, visiting our dear friends and enjoying Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. It was amazing. I felt grounded by taking time to be with my family, and to remove myself for everything familiar to see the world through new eyes. I am grateful to my colleagues for supporting me and look forward to returning the favor for each of them.
What do you find frustrating about working in healthcare marketing?
As The Disruption Company, we are constantly on the lookout for breakthrough ideas. Our clients often want to know something has worked before they take the plunge. It would be great to find a way to embrace risk more willingly, such as doing more learn and learn pilot programs, so that we could try things that haven’t been done before.
To ensure pay parity and career advancement for women, I will…
Encourage all women on my team to dream big and ask for what they want. And I will partner with them to make it possible.
What are your words to live by?
Treat others with kindness and respect.
What is one thing you would tell young women starting their careers in healthcare marketing?
Healthcare is an industry on the verge of massive disruption, and the women’s health arena needs your talent and passion. Dive in and let’s go.
Really great Champagne.
What three people, alive or dead, would you like to host at a dinner party and why?
Nelson Mandela, John Hunt and Reg Lascaris. Hunt and Lascaris are the founders of TBWA\Hunt\Lascaris, South Africa’s leading agency, and they were intimately involved in Mandela’s first ANC election campaign in 1993. Although rather harrowing at the time, this unique moment in history ushered a battered South Africa into the warm light of democracy. I’d love to hear about this from their perspective. I’m so in awe of the power of an agency to create social change in our world.