With a lifetime love of music and a natural pull towards advertising, Moira McCarthy has spent her career pursuing her passions. After half a decade consulting on multicultural advertising campaigns, ranging from Coca-Cola to Nike, Moira moved onto Audio Network, Inc., where, during her tenure, she was responsible for fostering the company's presence in the U.S. market through business development, marketing, and creative leadership. At Audio Network she played a key role in placing the music for the Volvo social media campaign, “The Greatest Interception,” which won the 2015 Cannes Direct Lions Grand Prix for Volvo and Grey Worldwide. Her roster of agency clients included Droga5, BBDO, Havas, Leo Burnett, McCann, KBS+P, Y&R, McCann, and many others.
She is now leading business development, marketing, and music for GrupoSpiro, a global production company specializing in entertainment and brand partnerships stretching from music placement to groundbreaking experiential events.
Success is such a personal concept — we all see and define it differently. How did you personally define your success?I define my professional success in having the privilege to be stimulated creatively and work doing something I love every day, with amazing talent surrounding me.
What advice would you give women who want to enter your side of the industry - What are your top three tips?
First, never be above any job in the industry because there is absolutely always something you can learn from it. The second would be the complement to that: Know your worth and do not be afraid to confidently ask for just compensation and treatment.
Third — build true friendships in the industry; the hours can be long and the work grueling at times, and those friendships make each day, even the hard ones, a blast.
How have the personal and professional experiences in your life contributed to your success today?
A career as a college athlete and working through jobs that I despised early in my working years taught me the value of self-discipline and patience. On a personal level, the amazing support of my family to pursue my dreams has been a huge driver of success.
Can you share with us some of the challenges you’ve faced?
Navigating a professional life in my early twenties was exceptionally challenging and I faced a ton of obstacles, but to name a few: insane hours, unwelcome sexual advances, and rampant unprofessionalism. The consequences of being too afraid to stand up for myself then taught me a lot about gracefully but confidently standing up for myself later in my career. Though much has improved in the past decade, we still have a long way to go and I feel strongly that banding together, the women of the music industry can change the narrative long-term.
What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned?
Always, always, ALWAYS take the high road.
What do you think is the most pressing issue women in the music industry face in your region?
Enormous and serious issues still challenge women everywhere in the workplace, especially when it comes to equal pay and women’s rights. But I’m inclined to think the most pressing day-to-day obstacle is the pressure to be one step ahead. There is always another show, another event, another conference, and I think a lot of women still feel the need to work triple overtime in order to achieve their goals in our primarily male-driven industry. The hustle is wildly important, but so is sleep. Work your ass off, but also know that the flu and a temperature of 102 doesn’t belong at Mercury Lounge on a Tuesday night.
Who inspires you, and why?
My mother — the strongest, most resilient, most optimistic woman I have (and am confident will ever) meet. Also, Oprah and Beyonce, for very obvious and wonderful reasons.
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