In a collection of interviews to mark International Women’s Day 2022, we shine a light on some of the brilliant women at the heart of The Independent.
The Independent’s Senior VP, US, Blair Tapper explains all about success, ethical choices and the art of the ‘juggle’.
Describe your job
I am the SVP of the Commercial team in the US. My focus is on making sure we grow our digital ad revenue, branded content and partnerships – and ensuring that The Indy is top of mind for our US clients. The US is a critical growth market for our growing brand and breaking through to build renewable partnerships is at the core of what my team and I are focused on.
How did you get into your profession?
I’ve been in media for nearly 20 years. I started working in magazines, and moved over to digital. I have had the chance to work at amazing brands and build partnerships with clients and advertisers. I always loved the idea of connecting brands with consumers, and the creativity that goes into growing a partnership.
Who and what has helped you break the bias?
I’ve been around strong women my whole life and was always empowered to reach for the stars. My parents exposed me to culture, art and sport growing up – and success in those areas could mean so many different things for different people. I was taught that success can look differently for everyone. There is no one path and it’s not a straight line to success.
Which women do you admire?
There are so many women in my family that embody the art of the juggle – working passionately in their careers, raising a family, giving back to their communities and making time for self fulfilment and growth. My grandmother has been deaf since her early 30s and never once did that stop her from running her own business – all while prioritising family and our community. She took what could be seen as a disadvantage and worked to overcome it – today, she is technologically savvy (texting me on her iphone at 90) because she worked to communicate in different ways.
What are your hopes for the future in terms of breaking the bias?
As the mother of a 9-year-old, I want her to follow her passions and not be defined by gender norms. I don’t want her and her peers to think of the professions, roles and skills as male or female. I want her to find her passion and chase it.
What one bit of career advice would you give to others?
Always be able to put your head on the pillow at night knowing you did your best and made ethical choices. We can’t always solve the problems or have a perfect solution, but try to end each day with the feeling that you did your best and made choices rooted in decisions you can be proud of.