October 1, 2019
Epic Social is a company on the move.
Nowhere is this more emphasised by its modern new environment.
Having recently relocated to Gateshead’s Northern Design Centre, the social media advertising agency is using its spacious surroundings to grow its presence as a trusted partner for national and international clients.
But its advances go beyond geographical bounds and are, says founder Ben Maughan, predicated upon the firm’s workforce.
For many companies in many sectors, gender imbalance remains an historical barrier to their evolution.
Indeed, figures from the Confederation of British Industry show firms with the highest levels of gender and ethnic diversity are up to 35 per cent more likely to outperform rivals.
At Epic Social, however, the environment is altogether more progressive.
“It is the best person for the job,” says Ben.
“This is a strong topic for me because it’s almost not a strong topic; gender doesn’t matter in my eyes.
“North East industry, with its roots in coal mining and manufacturing, has historically been male dominated, but for me it should be normal that women are in senior positions in companies across every sector.
“I can’t sit here and say it’s not an issue in other sectors but from my experience, growing up in my generation, I don’t think gender is an issue in the digital tech space.
“I think things have changed with the digital revolution and the tech boom and continue to change. If you look around our building, the split is probably 50/50.”
Intrinsic to Epic Social’s work are 24-yearold social media manager Robyn Challans and 18-year-old apprentice influencer relations executive Amelia Sands.
“Gender has never been a conversation here,” says Robyn, who is originally from Darlington and studied at Leeds Arts University and Northumbria University.
“My undergraduate degree was in creative advertising, so I have experience of traditional advertising agencies and how, in their creative departments, the environment was male dominated.
“But the difference here at Epic is crazy and I have a job that encourages my growth and development, rather than thinking of me as a number to fill a quota,” adds Robyn.
“When I saw the job advertised, I wanted it straightaway,” says Amelia, “and to be working on the projects I am is fantastic.”
“Amelia and Robyn are young people who are really responsible and very influential in some of the biggest campaigns,” adds Ben, who previously ran Epic Social from an office in Chester-le-Street.
“Robyn is responsible for all content plans, communication, account management, distribution and client liaison.
“She pulls together campaigns for clients and has such an influential role here. It wouldn’t be possible to do what we do without Robyn.
“Amelia is working with clients such as (bingo and partying operator) Bongo’s Bingo, specifically around Australia and France, using influencers to promote the business and their events.
“She is responsible for a huge thing; Amelia is making an impact on the other side of the world from Gateshead.”