Meet the NSW Mentors
Clare Pickens

Clare Pickens

Clare Pickens

Chief Executive Officer at Leo Burnett Australia

Born in PNG, raised in Aceh and Liverpool, studied in London and lived as an adult in Melbourne, London and Amsterdam, I am a recent arrival in Sydney. I am from a large blended family, which is a skill of human navigation in and of itself! I studied and love to learn about history, imagining what we have or have not learned from the past and how human experience has evolved. I am an avid scuba diver, netball player and world traveler, looking forward to exploring more of this part of the world.

Career & Background

What inspired you to do what you are doing now?

I love purposeful and effective creativity. I thoroughly enjoy getting ‘under-the-hood’ of a new industry and understanding the business challenges which arise for brand partners in this space. Our opportunity to touch many industries and thus the responsibility we have to give challenging and meaningful advice to brand partners, who in turn directly impact consumers, is a great privilege to be taken seriously. However, creativity is fun, playful, silly, vulnerable and often non-linear, what better profession could one ask for which combines imagination and problem solving in such a way? In addition, building teams and team identity for the greater good of the work, while allowing individuals to thrive and grow has always been a passion of mine and one which makes my mentoring responsibilities important in my journey.

Could you tell us a bit about your professional background?

I began my career in journalism and TV production before moving into advertising. Since then I have had the pleasure of learning under some inspiring creative and strategic leaders at agencies such as Wieden+Kennedy, Red&Co. and HERC. During a short career break, the moment I believe many of us in this industry have experienced, I took time out to travel, volunteered for three months offshore for Sea Shepherd and completed a masters in International Relations. I’m a new arrival here in Australia and I’m excited to join the team at Leo Burnett doing truly purposeful and human-centric, breakthrough creative.

Your favourite food for thought

Podcasts / Thought Leaders

  • Yuval Noah Harari
  • Foreign Affairs podcast
  • The Next Big Idea podcast

What drives and inspires you

What are your core values?

  • Justice
  • Reliability
  • Teamwork
  • Empathy
  • Curiosity

Who is your biggest inspiration and why?

Over the course of my life, I have been inspired by many people in both my personal and professional life. Those people have often been teachers, coaches, leaders, managers or team captains in my life. It is for the reason that I have a strongly held view in the power and responsibility of a good mentor to affect meaningful growth, foster opportunity and give constructive counsel wherever it is sought.

You as a Mentor

Why have you decided to become a mentor?

I have been both an official and unofficial mentor to a number of people throughout my career. I believe in the responsibility we have to pay it forward and share knowledge. It is through this that we in turn can learn and help create new pathways and opportunities for people which have not previously existed. Communities are stronger together and the importance of a supportive mentor, manager, community simply can not be underestimated. We all need help sometimes, with mentorship programs such as this, you know where to seek that guidance. Seeing mentees thrive and succeed is a true joy, who would not to want to give time for that!

What are the top skills or qualities you bring to mentoring?

  • Confident
  • Intuitive
  • Knowledgeable
  • Looking for potential
  • Respectful

Ready to apply?

The best time is right now. Take a chance – you never know where an Assisterhood mentor can take you.