Women tell Women

How to keep integrity at work?

— Holly Hay

I went into my role at Wallpaper* very differently to previous jobs. I was going in at a senior level for the first time. I wanted to make a mark – change things visually and culturally. It had been different at AnOther Magazine. I went into junior position to be a sponge and learn my trade. I wanted to make myself indispensable and I wanted to be liked. I didn’t feel so attached to those things going into Wallpaper*. I was confident I was the right person to do the job and I didn’t feel like I needed to make friends necessarily.

I feel okay having difficult conversations here. In fact, I see hurdles as an opportunity for career development. I might have to be the bearer of bad news sometimes, but the aim is to come out of the conversation with all parties feeling positive and everyone’s integrity intact. These kinds of conversations help to build stronger relationships with people. We get to know each other, and I certainly learn a bit more every time and get better at my job in the process.

I have learnt to avoid trying to wriggle out of a situation. We have all done that right? I am honest and I try hard not to be defensive. It’s difficult to take responsibility for something that’s not gone perfectly but we are humans, and some things are out of our control. Other people appreciate honesty and someone putting themselves out for them. 

Integrity also comes into the choices I make photographer-wise. Giving the right people the right opportunities has become an incredibly important part of the everyday at Wallpaper*. I fight very hard for the best for my team and collaborators. Sometimes it means friction with a colleague or an agent. I work for the magazine, but I also work for the creators and their best interests. If those are met it results in better work. That’s my priority.

Holly Hay –
Photographic Director

Holly Hay is the Photography Director at Wallpaper* Magazine having previously held titles at AnOther and GARAGE magazines. Holly is a regular lecturer at Central Saint Martins and London College of Fashion. She also works on image direction for a number of luxury brands.