“Our Whole Industry Could Do Better”: Enero’s Fiona Chilcott

“Our Whole Industry Could Do Better”: Enero’s Fiona Chilcott
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Just a quick reminder: Changing the Ratio is on Monday! This is your chance to make a change in your organisation – and lead the way to a more diverse and inclusive industry. And it’s not too late to get tickets!

So to listen to thought-provoking panel discussions and inspiring world class speakers like Lisa Wilkinson and Deng Thiak Adut, head here to grab super-duper-last-minute tickets. You’ll thank yourself later.

Diversity, inclusion and equality is important in any industry, let alone the world, and someone who knows this very well is Fiona Chilcott, group director of people and culture at Enero.

For the uninitiated, Enero is a marketing and communications network comprised of 11 specialist companies (BMF, Frank PR, Hotwire, Naked, Orchard, Precinct, The Leading Edge, TDE, CPR, Dark Blue Sea and OBMedia). They also have a ton of initiatives surrounding diversity and inclusion – which Chilcott has been leading since she started last year.

“We make better business decisions and produce better creative work when we have a diverse workforce, where different voices contribute to the way we work and the way we service our clients,” she said.

“[At Enero], we’ve focussed on delivering flexible and work-life balance initiatives to support remote working and allow our people to work flexible hours for drop-off, pick-up and life admin.”

These initiatives cover a broad range of issues, from working parents to a more diverse workforce.

“As a rule our whole industry could do better on diversity of all kinds,” Chilcott said.

“For example, it concerns me that there are so few indigenous people in our industry.

“Enero is committed to taking steps to change this and we have signed up for our first indigenous intern via the Career Trackers Program. Our intention is that this will be the first intern of many.”

The company has also updated their parental leave policy and currently have 22 parents working part-time, and are supporting flexible hours and remote working.

“We want to encourage both men and women to be able to provide care for their families and not perpetuate the stereotype that only female employees need this flexibility,” Chilcott said.

She also called for more action to be taken in regards to diversity and inclusion – and that your intentions are key when creating a diverse and inclusive workplace culture.

“Every intentional step we take and initiative we can introduce to support inclusion and diversity will make a difference and create the kind of culture we want. That is how we will make a difference to our agencies,” she said.

“Changing the Ratio is hugely important to our industry because we need to continue to challenge the status quo and these forums provide us with the opportunity to do so.

“We are in an industry where women make up the majority of the workforce, however that representation drops off significantly in senior leadership and senior creative roles,” Chilcott added.

It’s this underrepresentation that makes events like B&T‘s Women in Media Awards all the more important.

Come August, the awards will celebrate women in the media and communications industry, and recognise the inspirational work these women do every day.

Personally, Chilcott admires women like Hillary Clinton and Maya Angelou, as well as women within Enero.

“I really admire Barbara Bates who is the global CEO of our Hotwire business – she is an incredible entrepreneur and brings a positive energy in all her interactions with the team and our clients,” she said.

At Enero, they’ve developed personalised one-on-one coaching for their female talent, and have specific initiatives in place to support women.

“We introduced ‘Enero Women’ to provide development opportunities for our senior female leaders.

“We have an extensive Learning and Development program and in the last 12 months, 66 per cent of training in [the 2018 financial year] was delivered to our female workforce,” Chilcott said.

Throughout the past year, Enero has had 35 female promotions across the group, and provide opportunities for  their aspiring female employees to attend international conferences and judge prestigious awards like B&T’s own Women in Media Awards and 3% Conference, as well as Cannes, SXSW and TEDx, among others.

“The industry needs to actively promote more women into senior creative and senior leadership positions and create flexible working environments to support families,” Chilcott said.

Enero has done just that – they even have a ‘Kid’s Club’ program each school holidays, to provide relief for working parents.

And the company doesn’t plan on slowing down – one of their agencies, Hotwire, just started an initiative called ‘Thoughtful Working’, which Enero is planning on rolling out across the entire group.

Thoughtful Working is based on the concept that “work is a thing you do, not a place you go”. Basically, it means employees can work how, when and where they want, so long as it works for their team and they are delivering the right results for their clients.

“They are given the flexibility to choose their own working environment on a daily basis, and therefore, flex their day to accommodate business and personal needs in tandem, so long as they communicate clearly how they are doing this and report back on the results they’ve achieved,” Chilcott said.

“At Enero, we understand work is one part of our lives, and the better it fits with everything else, the happier and healthier we will all be.

“By empowering and trusting our employees, we believe we will continue to attract and retain the best talent in the industry.”

Changing the Ratio will be held on May 28 at Sydney’s Belvoir St Theatre in Surry Hills. Grab last minute tickets here, and for all other information, head to the website.

And the B&T Women in Media Awards 2018 will be held on Friday 17 August 2018! Grab early bird tickets to the event here.

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