Gina Martin is an out-and-out #MissBoss. Just 27, she’s managed to rack up a CV that’s totally inspiring us, just in time for Women’s History Month.
So Gina, tell us about your career journey so far – we’re dying to know about how you got started on the road to making history.
I studied Advertising in University and then moved to London, working unpaid for nine months, living in the storeroom of a pub for free until I landed my first big ad campaign. I worked in that crazy industry for six years and then in July 2017, when I was at a festival, some guys who were hitting on me took photos up my skirt to teach me a lesson for rejecting them. I handed the phone, pictures and one of the guys into the police but was told they couldn’t help me, so I set about putting my knowledge of social media to work and started an online campaign which led to me getting a lawyer and lobbying the government!
Were there any moments where you thought ‘this might not happen’? What did you do to encourage yourself?
Yes. A lot. The only thing that really kept me going was deciding that the process doesn’t get to decide when I stop. I decide when it stops because I created it. I used to say to myself “whatever happens, whatever goes wrong, I will do it simply because I just won’t stop.”
How do you feel about social media and it’s impact (positive or negative) at the moment?
I feel like there is a huge amount social platforms need to be doing to make their spaces safer and better regulated. I feel like there is a HUGE opportunity for good with social media and all of us need to be better bystanders online.
What does Women’s History Month mean to you?
An opportunity to reflect on what we’ve achieved in the last year, ask ourselves some uncomfortable questions and reset our goals for the next year.
Inspiration wise, what helps when you’re feeling stuck?
It’s easier for me now as I’m surrounded by, and work, with inspiring people every day. But when I was doing this work with no recognition I used to listen to a lot of podcasts and read to keep my brain switched on to the problems. I also met up with close friends who cared about the same issues as I did to keep the conversation and challenges fresh in my head.
Do you have any advice for other women who want to make changes in everyday life but perhaps don’t know where to start?
Think about what you’re good at, then think about what you care about most (the kind of issue you can’t stop talking about after a couple of drinks!). Put those two things together. That’s where the magic happens.
What’s next for your career?
I’m writing a book called BE THE CHANGE: A Toolkit For Activism which is chock full of all the things I learnt through this work that I never could have Googled. It’s full of practical advice on how to push for change at any level. Generally, I want to show people that us “regular people” can change things in a big way.
That’s amazing news! Your (perfectly designed) Insta caption definitely inspired us to be ‘activitists-in-training‘. What would you say is the best career decision you’ve ever made?
Deciding to leave a job when I still loved it. Staying until you aren’t getting anything more from it is a waste of time. Get what you need from that job, when you feel yourself starting to coast, get out and get challenged again.
Such good advice, especially when most of our parents come from the generation of staying in a job for 10 years+. Okay, last question – who’s a #MissBoss in your life?
My sister, Stevie. She works so insanely hard as a comedian, writer, podcaster, activist and journalist. I’ve never met someone so resilient in my life.