Earlier this year, Anneli Ritari-Stewart celebrated a new personal best – powerlifting more than 300 kilograms via a combination of squat, bench and deadlift. She took up the hobby after being a highly dedicated runner, having steadily increased her distances to complete a 55-mile ultramarathon from Glasgow to Edinburgh along the canal.

Seeking out a new challenge, she was inspired by seeing female powerlifters in action, and her ambition to win best female lifter in her category at the Scottish Masters Championships was proudly realised in December after four years of training. But the activity’s benefits extend far beyond the podium.

Progress requires relentless dedication, organisation, and taking a long-term view. “You become a lot better by just putting in the hard work and I think incremental gains over time is in some way the ethos that I take into work as well,” adding that her main focus of performance also translates from metal bar to boardroom.

Swedish-born Ritari-Stewart has since late 2016 held the role of Edinburgh managing director of digital performance marketing agency iProspect. Its clients include Diageo, John Lewis, Hilton and Santander, while it spans more than 50 countries and 4,000 staff globally, forming part of the Dentsu Aegis Network group of agencies that in turn covers 145 countries and 40,000 employees.

Ritari-Stewart says that after she was approached by iProspect and undergoing the recruitment process they showed her a film of staff wakeboarding and mountain-climbing, under its tagline of “performance: it’s not what we do, it’s who we are”. Such a message “completely resonated”, she says, also attracted by the firm’s global reach, for example being Google’s largest client globally. Read more from scotsman.com…

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