Words of Wisdom: Traci Dinkins, Essence Global

Apr 4, 2022

Welcome to Pass the Mic’s series: Words of Wisdom, a unique opportunity to hear from the industry’s leading women on their personal inspirations and discover their advice on advancing as a woman in the audio and advertising field.

We are joined by Essence Global's President, Head of Media, North America, Traci Dinkins. Traci is the first to hold this newly created role within Essence's (part of WPP’s) team, with 20+ years of experience as a media executive. Traci also continues her work to connect with women as a member of Chief, she spotlights other women as an avid mentor within Essence Global, and  is a prior 3x Multicultural Alliance Chair at She Runs It.

Read along or listen in for Traci Dinkins' Words of Wisdom:

How would you describe your role in 10 seconds or less? 

Traci Dinkins: Describe what you do in 10 seconds or less

I'm President, Head of Media, here at Essence Global and, in my role I'm tasked with creating value for our clients by better understanding media and the consumer marketplace. So, essentially I'm really trying to uncover unique media opportunities and driving real business outcomes for my clients.

What is one word that explains your career evolution?

Traci Dinkins: What’s one word that explains your career evolution?


What is the best advice you’ve been given: professional or otherwise?

Traci Dinkins: What’s the best advice you were given: professional or otherwise?

I actually received two really great pieces of advice. I heard one of these very early on in my career, and that is: If there is a position where you can do the majority of the things, you can quickly learn all of the things. So, don't ever count yourself out. And the second, really amazing quote, that has actually stuck with me is: Go where you're celebrated, not tolerated. And I heard that one from Thasunda Duckett who's the CEO of TIAA, and she said it on a panel, and it really stuck with me and it spoke to the importance of belonging and inclusion in our work environments and that's incredibly powerful.

What's one song, podcast or audio book, you would recommend to a mentee?

Traci Dinkins: What's one song, podcast or audio book, you would recommend to a mentee?

So, two books I would recommend to a mentee. The first is Becoming by Michelle Obama and I know everyone loves Michelle Obama, but after I finished her book, I actually still thought through the critical lessons that she taught and that's all about really being choiceful about the decisions that you make, whether good or bad, and learning from those lessons. And the second book that I recommend, to anyone in marketing, is Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger. It's all about really actionable techniques that we, as marketers, can take when building our campaigns. 

How do you Pass the Mic?

Traci Dinkins: How do you Pass the Mic?

So I Pass the Mic by mentoring and speaking to younger people who are new or really early on in their careers. That's important to me because it wasn't always easy for me to ask for help early on in my career. So, I make every effort that I can to make myself accessible and approachable to others. I also tried really hard to open doors for more diverse candidates when I'm searching for candidates within my present position. In my view, we can only do our best work when our team creates work that's really built on people from diverse perspectives.

For more content spotlighting female leaders in marketing & advertising space check out our Pass the Mic hub.

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