Women Leaders Active International
Gemma Atkinson, Active International

Gemma Atkinson

People, Process and Promotion

Editors’ Note

Gemma Atkinson is an experienced business leader and Chief Operating Officer at Active International, where she has responsibility for designing and implementing business strategy and people strategy across Active’s international offices. She began her career in TV production before moving to media sales where she later held the position of Sales Director at DCM. She spent time in recruitment before joining Active International as U.K. Head of New Business before progressing to her current position. She is a qualified Executive Coach who takes an action-focused approach to aid personal and professional development. Atkinson is also an NLP Practitioner qualified in psychometrics including MBTI and Hogan. She earned an M.B.A. from Edinburgh Business School.

Company Brief

Active International’s (activeinternational.com) purpose is to transform data into insights, strategy into action, and vision into value. With the entrepreneurial spirit of a startup, and the capabilities of a global corporation, Active continues to redefine what’s possible and turn possibilities into positive business outcomes. Active drives performance through industry expertise, its Corporate Trade Model, and portfolio of companies with a core competency in media, to create and deliver value for leading brands throughout their business life cycles.

Will you provide an overview of your role and key areas of focus?

As COO of the International Division, the remit is broad covering many areas of our business. My key focus can be described as people, process and promotion. People is a focus on how we develop our “Activians” through a culture that is embedded in learning and a growth mindset. Process is everything to do with ensuring we have the infrastructure and foundations for a successful organization, crafting our long-range plan and strategy. Promotion is both external and internal and is about how we engage with our partners through marketing, account management and taking a proactive approach to the next alongside the now. Promotion is also about harnessing our internal values, culture and sense of belonging to the Active ambition. Across the division we celebrate the importance of being active as well as reflective, both at a company and individual level.

Will you highlight Active’s international operations and global footprint?

The International division has a presence in Australia, Canada, Chile, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, South Korea, Mexico, Poland, Spain and the U.K. alongside our U.S. business and China. Each office has expertise in Corporate Trade with an offering that is tailored to the local market while also enabling multi-territory opportunities for brands, agencies and advertisers. Our ambition is to “Achieve More” for all our partners, delivering value and positive business impact.

Where do you see the greatest opportunities for growth for Active’s international business?

The “What’s Next Economy” is a term that is widely debated given the current climate and is something Active has a relentless focus on. We have many opportunities given our unique and impactful business model including, but not limited to, cross-border opportunities for our multinational clients, growth in business from SME’s and disruptor categories and brands such as e-commerce and D2C. I also believe a key opportunity for growth is in developing our individuals through a commitment to learning and curiosity that will enable us to see more and do more.