The Female Focus: Daisy Stapley-Bunten


We’re in awe of what young people are doing these days.

You can be 23, see a gap in the market for a magazine to serve the startup community, gather the support of stakeholders and then get your act together to create it. This is exactly what Daisy did in founding Startups Magazine. We caught up with her on how it all began and the constant inspiration she gets from startup founders.

Did you have a female role model or someone you admired as a kid?

Yes. My mum for sure. She was a single, working mum and taught me about tenacity and hard work. And she was the one to introduce me to strong female music artists, such as Dolly Parton and Whitney Houston. The lyrics of those power ballads spoke to me and preached independence.

How do you think your early years have influenced what you do today?

I’d say a lot. Like anyone, your childhood is a huge part of your identity. My mum instilled a sense of independence in me. I am one of four siblings and I remember always wanting to keep up with my older brother (and sisters).

At CLO PR we’re big fans of the Magazine. How did it all begin?

I work a publishing company called Electronic Specifier. I started out as the editorial assistant, then editor, then assistant managing editor. It was when I went to an IoT showcase where I met all these founders of businesses and learnt how they’d risked everything to get their product to market. This inspired me. I discovered this incredible startup community and realized that there was a lot of information missing in the market that these businesses and founders could benefit from. I pitched the Startups Magazine - my own prototype - to the directors. They, too, have a massive respect for founders starting something from scratch and were intrapreneurial in letting me get the Magazine off the ground. What started as a quarterly publication is now a bi-monthly magazine and it’s exciting to see it grow.

We’ve seen the decline of traditional media and the rise of journalism in new channels. Are you excited about the industry and what could come next?

Definitely. You really have to start looking at the audience and understand them deeply. You also need to understand the user experience – you can’t just put out information and see what sticks. Media are almost switching to a retro format, turning back into print. For us, we’re creating a tactile reading experience but expanding into podcasts and digital because we want to offer more than just long form content.

You’re clearly really passionate about supporting the rise of women in the tech industry. What do you think is stopping women from excelling?

The statistics say that investment in female businesses is desultorily low even though they are extremely profitable, which is depressing. There’s a huge issue of girls not going into and pursuing STEM subjects. You can probably name at least 20 female musical icons, but it’s harder to name female tech icons that can serve as role models. This is bound to change, with newcomers on the scene, but it will take time.

What do you think is missing from businesses in building true diversity?

There is a big debate on whether quotas can work but they can invite resentment. Change has got to be in the recruitment phase: if a white male is doing the hiring, you get more of the same. Proven statistics indicate that diverse boards are more profitable because you get more points of view. Historically, male traits such as assertiveness, have always been the most valued. But more and more, female-led traits like empathy are needed. I think many startups are trying to change this by trying to change this by not hiring based on stereotypically and traditionally ‘male’ traits, and be more open-minded to attract more diverse candidates.

Daisy in action

Daisy in action

You are positive impact personified! What have been some of the most positive results you’ve seen from the work you do?

I get to see the impact in every issue of the magazine. My favourite event so far was our Women in Tech event September 2018, which left me feeling emotional and inspired. I saw all these women and me come together to highlight that there is more than one slice of cake and it’s about working together to even out the slices so everyone gets a piece. The event was filled with discussion and debate. Knowing we facilitated that was special.

How do you keep learning more whilst on the job?

I am learning all the time - no one knows everything. I learn about the industry every day when I talk to and interview businesses and I often put myself on courses.

What have been the essential factors that have enabled you to get to where you are today that you think you'd struggle without?

I think it’s a mixture of positive and negative personality traits. I’m stubborn, so if I have an idea I will throw myself into it. This can sometimes have a detrimental effect on my mental health. I’m also passionate. When you realise how much time you spend at work, you’ve got to be doing something you love. I made this role for me. I also learnt early on that if you’re not confident, fake it and others will believe you. I’m starting to believe in myself too.

Where do you get your inspiration?

The startups I interview. Interviews used to be with a friend of a friend and as the magazine grows, startups have started to come to us. We think hard about the issues in the tech industry we want to champion, like wellness and celebrating women in tech (which we do every year). It is always pinned to what can we do to help entrepreneurs and have a positive impact. We want to push them into the public eye, showing them that there is hope with people working in these areas.

Who's a woman to watch or someone you admire in 2019, who’s been featured in Startups Magazine?

It’s all the women we’ve interviewed! But one sticks in my mind – Lina Chan, the founder of Adia Health. She is ending the taboo around female health, encouraging us to talk about fertility issues. Adia Health supplies finger pricks to test fertility. It has opened up the discussion that this is a huge issue many people are going through.

What exciting plans do you have for the Magazine this year?

The Magazine is branching out a bit more with new issues as well as an awards ceremony. We are also hosting other mini popup events, podcasts, exhibiting at Unbound and Women of Silicon Roundabout. It’s a busy year already!

Catch up on what Daisy is up to on Twitter and LinkedIn and of course Startups Magazine itself on Twitter and Instagram.


Kemp Nicola_006 2.jpg

Nicola Kemp, Trends Editor at Campaign

Nicola has been leaving a trail of positive impact behind her in setting a new agenda for the magazine. She’s punching age old sexism and gender equality right in the face of the marketing industry. We find out what drives her to push diversity beyond the soundbite.

I struggle with some of the stories we haven’t been able to tell

You’ve been covering marketing trends for over a decade. What about the industry keeps your attention?

I’ve always been hugely interested in consumer trends and technology, but for me it would be the people that keep my attention.

As a journalist what do you love and struggle with the most?

I struggle with some of the stories we haven’t been able to tell. And like most parents of young children I struggle with constantly feeling like I am not in the right place at the right time. But I love the opportunity to push for progress when it comes to working cultures in the industry and the opportunity to support and celebrate people doing really brilliant work.

What story are you most proud of?

This piece was important to me in highlighting that motherhood should not create a full stop for women’s careers.

And what is the greatest change in the industry you want to see?

I would like to see more honesty, humility and openness in how the industry addresses its challenges. The culture of NDA’s and workplace bullying must end.

The industry has a big pressure to address equality right now. For example, the IPA just announced it will introduce a code of conduct in the wake of the 'Top Five' email. Do you think the industry is doing enough and what, in your opinion, should help to solve this?

I think the industry could absolutely do more to push the diversity agenda beyond the soundbite and there is certainly an ‘action gap’ amongst certain companies when it comes to driving the diversity and inclusion agenda forward. As a white woman I am also very aware of the importance of intersectionality to true progress.

Sometimes I think there is a desire to ‘draw a line’ under bad behaviour as ‘one bad apple’ without properly addressing the underlying culture which enables this kind of behaviour to thrive. Key to this is creating a culture in which employees feel that they can truly speak up and that they won’t be penalised for it - but we are not there yet.

WPP’s horrendous treatment of Erin Johnson is quite simply shameful. Yet all too often it is the women speaking up, the whistleblowers, that are penalised. As an industry, advertising has a business and moral imperative to change this.

I’m confident that this change is coming, largely through the commitment of brilliant people in the industry pushing for change and the hard word of organisations like NABS and initiatives such as TimeTo. As individuals we also have a responsibility to call out bad behaviour and celebrate those who speak up.

Do you think the media have a responsibility to uncover these stories?

Yes, it is an immense privilege to be a journalist and to have a platform to give others a voice.

Speaking at the Creative Equals conference

Speaking at the Creative Equals conference

You've been demonstrably spearheading the gender equality agenda for Campaign for some time. Have you seen a positive reaction from the male audience as much as the female one?

There was a particularly memorable email in which a (male) reader complained I was trying to turn Campaign into Spare Rib, I keep meaning to frame it and put it in my downstairs loo. But honestly I haven’t seen a big split by gender; there are lots of brilliant men in the industry pushing for change and I don’t think your gender is a barrier to pushing for equality, diversity and inclusivity. Likewise being a woman doesn’t give you a free pass for turning a blind eye to bad behaviour, or worse still appropriating the language of inclusivity and feminism while steadfastly maintaining the status quo.

What do you think has taken so long for us to get to a point where the subject of equality and diversity is gaining a much needed platform?

The fact is that a lot of people in the advertising industry, like many others, have benefited greatly from the status quo, so they have a vested interest in maintaining it. I also see it as part of a broader shift towards transparency in business; we have seen it with the gender pay gap and we are beginning to see the impact of Glassdoor and Fishbowl.

Yet the uncomfortable truth is the marketing director of an agency in which almost every single employee review makes reference to the ‘old boys club for friends’ has no qualms in selling in a story to Campaign about how they are pushing the equality agenda. In this way the idea of change is used as a proxy for tangible change.

There was a particularly memorable email in which a (male) reader complained I was trying to turn Campaign into Spare Rib. I keep meaning to frame it and put it in my downstairs loo.

The rise of #metoo and #timesup has created an important opening in discussion on gender equality but it has also put fear into young women of what they may expect to experience in the working world. What would you say to those wanting to pursue a career in advertising /marketing?

Now is the time to make a difference. There has never been a better time to be a young woman in advertising because it has never been such a business imperative to challenge stereotypes and change business cultures.

What are you reading at the moment?

Silicon States by Lucie Greene and Dogs Don’t Do Ballet by Anna Kemp

Who do you look up to in the industry?

There are too many people to name them all, but Amelia Torode, Helen Calcraft, Ali Hanan, Sulaiman Khan, Robyn Frost, Nat Turton, Dan Shute, Gemma Greaves, Ade Onilude and Jemima Bokaie are always at the top of my list. And of course Cindy Gallop; it is truly incredible what she does behind the scenes; the emails, the support, the encouragement that she gives to women in our industry that have gone through some truly horrific experiences. The industry owes her a huge debt of gratitude.

If you weren't doing this, you'd be....

Pottering around writing books, looking for all the odd socks that have inexplicably gone AWOL in our house and campaigning for flexible working.

Check out what Nicola’s up to at Campaign in pushing the equality agenda forward here and follow here on Twitter @nickykc.