The Women of Toward - an International Women’s Day shoutout

By Liz,

March 2022

Women now make up almost 50% of the Toward team! It’s kind of a big deal. Particularly in the Digital industry. We’re so happy to be a part of the changing times - and to celebrate International Women’s Day - we're taking the opportunity to introduce you to the female contingent of Toward.

Women in the digital Industry

We’re a bit of an anomaly considering that - in the UK - female employees make up under 19% of the tech industry. Women make up only 6% of leadership positions in the technology sector.

There are a number of likely reasons for this. A recent study found only 27% of female A level and university students were considering a career in digital compared with 61% of male students.

On a more positive note, back in 2019 this article via The Drum celebrated women who have shaped the digital industry, on the 25th anniversary of the first ever banner ad and the birth of digital marketing "as we know it today". It's worth a read!

Why is International Women’s Day worth shouting about for us?

Because half of the team are female! Our roles span all of the disciplines within the agency. We’re in HR, Finance, Account Management, Web Dev & Marketing.

We think that’s worth celebrating!

Human Resources

Our one (wo)man band in HR is Nouran Al-Jandali!

I run a HR consultancy called Huum - People Consultancy, which specialises in providing People and Culture support for Creative, Tech & Founder-led companies. I enjoy working with Toward for lots of reasons, their talent, innovation and commitment to their people, clients and culture being just 3!

I love the variety my job gives me, it sounds like a total cliche, but no 2 days are the same. My favourite things are working on company culture, employee engagement, wellbeing and career development, and getting to know and work with a wide range of people at all levels in the business.

The pace of change means I'm always learning and never bored! I'm hugely motivated by seeing the value we can add by making small changes and putting People strategies in place that centre on culture and employee experience.

I don’t think many people decide at a young age that they'd like to work in HR when they grow up, and I know I certainly didn’t! While I wasn't sure what I wanted to do career-wise, I have always been curious about people and development, so I did a Psychology degree and found that I enjoyed the Occupational Psychology modules, which can be a great foundation for HR. My advice would be to seek out companies that excite you, align with your values, and put their people at the heart of what they do.

Account Management

In accounts we have Kelly Underhill and Megan Knowles.

I wear lots of different hats, some hats are nicer than others. I work strategically with clients to help shape projects and find opportunities, managing projects and client experiences from initial ideas to final outcomes. I communicate with both clients and team members to make sure projects are progressing smoothly on time/budget and resolve any changes or blockers as soon as possible. I enjoy learning about business from a variety of sectors. Understanding their problems, presenting solutions that change behaviours and seeing that through to launch.

I've always wanted to work for an agency, with the opportunity to work with multiple businesses at a time - whether that be on campaigns, brands or websites. Account management is a role I sort of grew into after various experiences as a marketing assistant, it felt like the right progression based on my skills.

I love working on campaigns that make a difference, working with creative and media buyers to come up with clever and effective messaging which exceeds expectations. This is my ideal type of project.
Megan Knowles - Account Manager

I'm responsible for planning, coordinating and communicating throughout the project lifecycle. Day to day I communicate with both clients and team members to make sure projects are progressing smoothly on time/budget and resolve any changes or blockers as soon as possible.

Everyday is different. I work closely with the client and team to solve problems. Projects vary but the client being happy with the outcome is always a priority.

Before this role I studied Advertising Design in University of South Wales. I've worked as a part-time retail sales assistant then Support Consultant for a Business Development and Consultancy operation and then Project Co-ordinator in branding agency prior to role at Toward.

As an account manager I’m responsible for planning, coordinating and communicating throughout the project lifecycle. I make sure projects are progressing smoothly, on time and on budget. I love that everyday is different.
Kelly Underhill - Account Manager

Web Dev

Our web developer Charlie Dowley.

As a developer I'm one of the people who build and maintain websites for Toward. This can consist of new builds, where I am teamed up with a designer to build a site from scratch, or updates to a site that a client has asked for.

I love the on-going learning. Web Development changes constantly and you have to try and keep up while learning new and exciting things. I'm also learning more backend functionality which is upping my skill-set and making me more confident. It’s a great team to be a part of.

I went to Uni and studied Media Arts, however that was more on the design side. When I left I had a job who sent me on a development course to learn basic HTML and I loved it much more than design. So I quit that role and self taught myself to where I am today!


Meet Gemma Pearson, our finance manager.

I am the Finance Manager, which means that I am responsible for the financial health of the business.

Understanding and communicating profitability is a key part of my role, but like all businesses, the monitoring of cash flow is just as important.... As the saying goes, "cash is king". Actually "if cash is king, then cashflow is queen"!

I like the variety of work and the challenges that come with working for a small business, which means that I am the only "finance person" in the team, but most of all I love working with such a great bunch of people. I work part time and this allows me to fit the job around my (still almost full time) role as a mother of 4 :)

I read Psychology at Uni and was actually working as a Business Development Manager when I decided to study for the CIMA qualification. I moved into the Finance department and went to night classes. That was many years ago and I am still Part Qualified, but am hoping to finish my studies at some point in the future. Life is too busy at the moment!


The Marketing Department consists of Liz Estall & Amy Bean.

I'm the Marketing Manager. I largely do a lot of coordination to make sure that the brilliant work that the team does gets to see the light of day on our channels! We get amazing testimonials and our work has a monumental effect on our clients. Everything I do is with a view of showing off what we can do, attracting new business and giving audiences a feel for our working culture.

My role is holistic enough that I get to check in with everyone. It's rare to work in a team of professionals and perfectionists and spend most of the day laughing.

More specific to my role though, I love everything about businesses and how they work. I like to see progress in numbers & stats (obvious things like sales and conversions) but also in positive feedback. And I like to see everyone moving toward the same goal!
Liz Estall - Marketing Manager
I really enjoy curating and organising content for social media as a Marketing Coordinator. With a background in photography, I enjoy the visual aspect of my role and getting to understand a client's brand identity, working towards a brief which meets those values and goals.
Our clients at Toward are so varied too, which is really exciting as someone new to the industry! With such a talented team, it’s great seeing the process of campaigns, designs and websites etc come together.
Amy Bean - Marketing Coordinator

So that’s us!

We’d like to take this opportunity to acknowledge our female clients and partners too - their strengths and successes.

Happy International Women’s Day!