My style - Karen Blackett, CEO Mediacom

The CEO of Mediacom UK loves funky shoes and spending time in Barbados - and does her bit to help the homeless.

by Elizabeth Anderson
Last Updated: 17 Nov 2014

Image credit: Peter Spinney


WORK

I tend to wake around 6am and I'll do half an hour on the treadmill or cross trainer in the garage of my home in Chiswick.

My boy, who's four, wakes at seven and I spend an hour with him before getting the train to Waterloo and walking over the bridge to get to our office in Holborn by nine. I look at the Guardian and the Telegraph app on my iPad.

If I've got meetings with media owners, I'll perhaps go for a business breakfast or lunch at The Delaunay, which has a lovely menu and a great atmosphere.

My office is open plan and I'm quite collaborative, so my style is professional but informal. I tend to choose clothes that suit me, rather than picking stuff from particular designers. Michael Kors or Diane von Furstenberg are the only brands I'd seek out.

TRAVEL

Before taking over as CEO, I was COO of Mediacom EMEA, which meant I travelled a lot around Europe, the Middle East and Africa. In fact, I moved to Chiswick to be near Heathrow. Now I travel more within the UK.

When I'm away I tend to stay in boutique hotels, and I became a VIP customer of an online company called Splendia, which recommends smaller places. I always travel with my aromatherapy essential oils, as a deep relaxer oil will help me get to sleep. I also travel with rose facial oil as well - I recommend Neal's Yard, because lots of travelling dries your skin.

I always have my iPad with me - I watched the whole series of The Wire when I was travelling. My favourite airport is Barbados, because that's when I go home to see my family. I have a home in Payne's Bay on the west coast and I try to go at least once a year.

PERSONAL

My downtime is all about my son, Isaac. I bought a house in the Cotswolds 10 years ago and we often go down there on weekends to enjoy the fresh air and go riding. I drive a charcoal blue Audi Cabriolet, but I don't really own any luxury items (apart from my houses).

I do my own hair using heated rollers, even if they are a thing of the 1970s - between running this place and being a single mother, I've learned to get ready on the go. When I do get my hair done, I'll go to Helena's in West Hampstead which specialises in Afro-Caribbean hair.

I use Kiehl's skincare products, but I don't have any facials or anything. I wear heels because I work around lots of tall men - Pedro Garcia does some amazing, funky shoes.

INSPIRATIONS

I'm a member of WACL (Women in Advertising and Communications, London), which has been a great way to meet other women in the industry. It holds a lot of dinners and speaker events - my favourite is Gather, which focuses on middle-management women or people at the start of their careers.

I've got a girl crush on Kim Winser (former Aquascutum and Pringle CEO), whom I saw speak at the MT Inspiring Women conference. I also have a performance/life coach called Adrian Green, who runs a company called Pressure Point, and coaching's something we offer to everyone at Mediacom. I get advice on everything from stress management to healthy eating and leadership coaching.

I am a trustee of a charity called Adopt A Better Way, which is trying to change UK adoption laws. Recently, I slept rough for the night with other Mediacom workers to raise money for Centrepoint, which supports young homeless people.

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime

Subscribe

Get your essential reading delivered. Subscribe to Management Today