Staff Reporters
Sep 2, 2021

Women to Watch 2021: Jen Sharpe, Think HQ

Sharpe’s keen understanding of purpose-driven PR has made her a champion of diverse talent and a strong driver of social change.

Women to Watch 2021: Jen Sharpe, Think HQ
SEE ALL OF THE 2021 WOMEN TO WATCH
Celebrating the torchbearers in the APAC marcomms industry

Jen Sharpe

Managing director
Think HQ
Australia

Founding a purpose-led PR agency back in 2010, one that would only take on projects that had a positive social impact, Jen Sharpe was told that it would never work.

Ten years later, Sharpe has materialised her vision into a full-service inclusive agency including design, digital development, strategy, creative and production. It’s safe to say that not only did it work, it exceeded expectations.

Since launching Think HQ in 2010, Sharpe has not stopped innovating. In the past year alone, she built a new business—the first full-service translation offering in an Australian advertising and communications agency. It was an important step. The translation arm was built to enable the government to get vital information about Covid to the one-in-five Australians who don’t speak English at home. It was an outstanding success. Sharpe’s total business revenue increased 107% between June 2020 to June 2021. Not bad for someone who was told it’ll never work.

Sharpe leads by example and is a true driver of social change. Her employment is deliberately diverse. Her team comprises 55 staff from 14 countries who speak 20 languages. Two in three are women. Diversity is the norm, not the exception. She is a firm believer that different viewpoints, backgrounds and experiences make for better ideas.

In 2020, Sharpe expanded her agency’s inclusive capabilities, bringing specialist multicultural communications and engagement agency CultureVerse in-house and building the first full-service translation offering in an Australian agency. She also appointed a head of First Nations/indigenous engagement and communication to ensure that her agency includes and engages the community in their campaigns. In addition, Sharpe commissioned the Australian advertising and communications industry’s first Inclusion and Diversity survey, of which the results will be shared with other agencies.

Sharpe also supports other purpose-driven organisations by providing access to Lumin, a communications skills training platform that she developed for grassroots communications and social change organisations in 2018. In 2020, Sharpe made it free so that organisations that couldn’t afford an agency can learn to take marketing and communications into their own hands. Last year, those changemakers and charities completed 800 of her courses.

Sharpe’s commitment to working towards social good has been unwavering. With amazing commercial success, demonstrated by the recent growth and expansion of her agency, she has proven that doing business for good is ultimately good for business.
 

SEE ALL OF THE 2021 WOMEN TO WATCH
Celebrating the torchbearers in the APAC marcomms industry

 

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