Carat’s Top Five Women Reveal What They’d Tell Their 18-Year-Old Selves

Carat’s Top Five Women Reveal What They’d Tell Their 18-Year-Old Selves
SHARE
THIS



Carat’s national executive leadership team is 50 per cent female, so B&T sat down with five of these talented women to pick their brains about why Carat’s so invested in gender equality, and what advice they’d give their 18-year-old selves. Here’s part three of our conversation with Catherine Krantz, general manager of Carat Melbourne; Gabrielle Merrick, managing director of Carat Brisbane; Sarah James, chief digital officer; Georgie Nichols, general manager of Carat Sydney and Adriana Colaneri, chief marketing officer of Carat Australia. Part one of our chat can be found here; part two here.

If you could give your 18-year-old self some advice entering the industry, what would you say?

Colaneri: I always say ‘the squeaky wheel gets the oil’, because being really persistent is important. Also in our industry I think it’s important to be incredibly resilient and adaptive to change, because there is so many things that have changed over the past 20 years that I’ve been in the industry. I often think that it is survival of the fittest.

Krantz: I would say ‘trust your instinct’. I think that instincts are a really underestimated business criteria and something that can glean a lot of success in that it’s your guiding principal built over time. Often it’s your first thought that’s the best thought, but sometimes people second guess and double judge. I think more often than not if you listen to that, it’s the right way to go.

This was key in some of the decisions I made about returning to work after having children; decisions I made about my role progression, things I thought I was capable of whilst maintaining my work/life balance, moderating what I thought I could take on successfully and not taking on too much so as not to upset that balance. I think that’s a really important part of knowing who you are and what you’re capable of.

From left to right: Adriana Colaneri, Sarah James, Catherine Krantz, Georgie Nichols and Gab Merrick

From left to right: Adriana Colaneri, Sarah James, Catherine Krantz, Georgie Nichols and Gab Merrick

Merrick: If I had the chance to talk to my 18-year-old self, I would continue with the theme of, ‘It’s about not trying to be somebody that you’re not. It’s about being authentic and trusting your gut’, because at a point as a female in this industry you try and be all aspects and think, ‘Can I be more like a bloke? Can I do this?’

Then you have to say, ‘No, no, no, just be yourself, trust your instinct and go with yourself and things will work out’. You’ve got to carve your own path, you mustn’t try and be somebody else. Take elements from people that you admire, but don’t try and be like anyone else.

James: I would say follow your passion. Coming from a digital specialism for me by following that passion has really lead to my success because there’s always been a fire and I’ve been driven by that. That fire is something that I’ve continued to follow now, and I’m really passionate about it. That’s key for me.

Colaneri: I agree; I don’t think there’s ever been a day that I’ve woken up in the morning where I’ve not wanted to go to work. I’m really proud of that. That’s how you know you’re in the right place.

You can see it in the people you manage, the ebb and flow – some people will exit the business or the industry completely. It’s almost hard to empathise with how that feels because quite honestly this is what I was supposed to do.

Merrick: I lucked out landing in an agency almost 25 years ago as a media assistant and realising that this side of the business actually exists. Then probably within about a day and half thinking, ‘How lucky am I that I happened upon this! This is the best thing since sliced bread’ and it just grows on you.

For me it’s the perfect balance of being analytical, logical and creative all in the same vein. It’s wonderful.

James: I was going to build on that and say, how many people do you [B&T] interview that say the just fell into media? So many people fall into media.

Merrick: Especially 20-something years ago it wasn’t a part of the industry that was at the forefront, it was the creative or full service, then all of a sudden it’s the media thing.

Krantz: I think it’s exactly that, it’s the balance between art and science. You get to do a little bit of everything, it’s a combination of all of those things. You’re not necessarily going down a singular path.

Plus, the people – that’s what it is when you get down to it – working with clients, working with teams. Once you graduate out of the technical side of what you’re doing, essentially what you’re doing is working with people. That’s something I’m particularly really passionate about.

Colaneri: We’ve all worked at a number of different agencies over the years. I’ve been at Carat over the past 11 years. I’ve worked with a number of managers and CEOs and it’s been incredibly supportive of my career path and helping me find the role that maybe I was born to.

I think that’s been the case for many of us; understanding our strengths and weaknesses, working with that, and finding the roles that work to those strengths. It’s really paid off; we’ve had our most successful year this year so we’re really pleased but it wasn’t an overnight success.

Merrick: It was the guys too.

Colaneri: There are some amazing men who are incredibly supportive of us, a lot of them are dads as well and they get the same flexibility that we do as women. It works, it just works.

Nichols: I think I would tell my younger self to take time out to keep learning. I think that’s a massive part now because you get so caught up in the day-to-day and I think, particularly now with the rate of change in digital and technology, you need to making sure you’re continually educating yourself.

We all get caught up in our day jobs and for me it’s about making sure you set yourself two or three hours a week to take time out to keep up to date with what’s happening in data and technology and digital to see where the industry is going and not get caught in your day-to-day clients and the work you’re doing, and make sure you’re continually pushing yourself and driving yourself forward.

Why is Carat is so invested in female leadership in the industry?

Colaneri: We’re supporting the Women In Media awards this year because it’s a fact that women in this industry aren’t given the same voice as men. We don’t get as much coverage in the trade press, we don’t get as many speaking opportunities and panel inclusions. So I think it’s really important that we have things like Women In Media that celebrate all the incredible women in the market and give them a voice.

For us we really believe that a big secret to our success has been in the diversity of our team, things like flexible working hours probably wouldn’t have come from a man.

I think we as women do think differently and bring different thoughts to the table and that’s been a part of Carat’s success. But the fact that we are a 50 per cent female leadership team was purely based on what our track records and what we have delivered to the business, many of us for a long period of time.

It certainly wasn’t due to a gender quota or anything like that, we all earnt our positions and have added a huge amount of value back to the business.

What do you think of quotas?

Merrick: I think it’s a balance of that because I think merit is one thing but then there’s a proven bias that people will choose to work with people who are exactly like them. So if you then don’t give them a reason to think about somebody else then they just won’t do it, because as a human being that’s just the easier thing to do.

Would I as a woman like to know that I got promoted because of a quota because I’m a woman? I probably wouldn’t feel great about that; I want to feel like I’ve earnt my position because I have a proven track record of delivering on the KPIs of the business over the past four or five years.

But I think there’s got to be a balance of that, people have got to be prepared to say, ‘Okay there’s got to be a couple of different people around an executive table, it can’t just be everybody like us’. Whether you formalise that or not, it’s a hard one.

But I think business is one thing, but you’ve got areas like public life and politics where that’s slightly different. Here it has to be based on merit.

Colaneri: We’ve been lucky because there has been a lot of females in leadership roles, but I think in some industries they need those quotas because whatever they’re doing now it’s not working.

James: For us, we’ve been quite lucky in that coming up the ranks in Carat having senior female leaders to look up to. I think it’s self-fulfilling because now there’s so much more of us in senior leadership roles. So the women coming up through have many of us to look up to. So it’s promoting from within as well.

Colaneri: When I joined Carat there were only 12 people in the Sydney office and Catherine was one of them. So we had each other to look up to.

In my career I’ve worked with a lot of very strong female role models like Anne Parsons who ran MediaCom for many years, she’s brilliant. So I think I did have some really strong females, the difference is that they weren’t juggling family as well as career.

James: It’s also about Adriana’s point – about finding a voice, and how these awards really help to do that. I think that’s part of it for me, it’s that constant reminder that I have a strong voice and it’s quite a noise marketplace so being able to come to market with the right voice and confidence.

It comes back to having the confidence to have a seat at the table, that reminder that why shouldn’t we have that seat at the table? We have every right to and we get the opportunity to. That’s something that I constantly think- hang on, push yourself forward, keep pushing yourself forward because it’s so easy for us to take a step back. There’s no reason, we’ve been blessed with wonderful management and opportunities to push ourselves forward.

Merrick: That’s the point about diversity to. You feel confident that you fill your own shoes, you don’t have to fill somebody else’s shoes or a man’s shoes, and you don’t have to act like a certain other person. The point of diversity is that you fill your own shoes because you offer up your own voice and opinions. There’s a strength in that. I suppose support of other people around you who also have different points of view, no one is wrong around a table.

Colaneri: Even though we’re all women, we’re all very different and complementary of each other. It’s about giving us that voice, early this year we partnered with another event and Cindy Gallop was the keynote speaker. I think she’s done wonders for the industry and pushing women forward and putting pressure on the industry to say it’s not good enough to have all male panels at conferences.

Even in my role as CMO in Carat, when I’m working with people like B&T and your competitors, it’s really important for me that if we’re going to be associated with something there needs to be a 50/50 gender split otherwise we don’t want to be involved.

WIM_COMBINED_edm (1)

Latest News

Women In Media Profile: Kirsty Bloore
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Kirsty Bloore

Bereft of any Monday motivation? Let today's Women in Media profile be like low-current electric waves to the brain.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
A golden opportunity! Lucky Numbers For Sale!
  • Marketing
  • Partner Content

A golden opportunity! Lucky Numbers For Sale!

In case you missed it last week, an ultra lucky phone number – 1800 80 80 80 – is up for sale. And it could be all yours!

Partner Content

by Customer Connect

The AppNexus Marketplace Launches Guaranteed Views
  • Technology

The AppNexus Marketplace Launches Guaranteed Views

AppNexus, the world’s leading independent advertising technology company, today announced the launch of Guaranteed Views, a marketplace product that changes the way advertising is bought and sold on the open internet. Guaranteed Views enables marketers and agencies to pay only for ads that are measured as viewable and is the first programmatic product that enables 100% viewable buying at scale outside of Facebook and Google.

Dentsu Aegis Network Predicts Australian Ad Spend Growth Of 2.8%
  • Marketing

Dentsu Aegis Network Predicts Australian Ad Spend Growth Of 2.8%

• Ad spend in Australia forecast to grow by 2.8% in 2018 , with main drivers of growth in Government, Retail, Finance and Gambling sectors. • Global advertising spend to grow by 3.9%, revised up from 3.6% in January 2018. • Digital to overtake TV for the first time, to reach 38.4% of global share (TV 35.5%). In 21 out of the 59 markets tracked, digital will be the leading advertising channel in 2018. • One quarter (25.2%) of global ad spend will be delivered through mobile devices for the first time.

Pac Mags Appoints New Client Strategy Director For Victoria
  • Media

Pac Mags Appoints New Client Strategy Director For Victoria

Seven West Media’s Pacific Magazines has announced the appointment of Emma Baston as client strategy director for Victoria. Baston has worked in senior digital media buying and planning roles at various agencies including UM Australia, Cummins&Partners and MindShare, with exposure across the strategy, communications and creative process. She has also worked at Facebook in a […]

Seamless pattern of a crowd of many different people profile heads. Vector background.
  • Media

SBS Launches Diverse Communities Content Initiative

SBS has launched the Short-Form Content Initiative, a commitment to providing increased opportunities for Australian creatives from diverse communities through the commissioning and production of content for SBS On Demand. SBS has partnered with five of Australia’s screen agencies, including Film Victoria, Create NSW, Screen Queensland, Screenwest and South Australian Film Corporation. The initiative aims […]

BIG W Unveils Toy Mania Via M&C Saatchi
  • Campaigns

BIG W Unveils Toy Mania Via M&C Saatchi

BIG W, the home for families, fun and entertainment, has today launched its annual toy sale campaign – Toy Mania. Running until 11 July, the campaign showcases the frenzy and hysteria that comes with the BIG W toy sale. It also highlights that buying toys can be just as fun as playing with them and […]

Datorama Launches AI-Supported Data Visualisation Tool ‘Data Canvas’
  • Technology

Datorama Launches AI-Supported Data Visualisation Tool ‘Data Canvas’

Datorama, a global technology company, today announced the launch of Data Canvas, a suite of new data visualisation capabilities within its Marketing Intelligence platform. Datorama Data Canvas leverages the power of artificial intelligence (AI) in a brand new way — to help marketers create expert-designed dashboards to tell compelling, data-driven stories. Datorama’s previous AI releases have […]

Who’s Looking The Goods At Cannes Lions 2018
  • Opinion

Who’s Looking The Goods At Cannes Lions 2018

In this opinion, Fjord lead Bronwyn van der Merwe (pictured below) discusses the work to look out for at Cannes Lions 2018. I fully expect there will be some staggering examples of creative brilliance at Cannes Lions this year, and I’d recommend anyone going resists having their attention pulled by projects that are largely based on […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
We Are Social Acquires Socialize
  • Media

We Are Social Acquires Socialize

We Are Social has acquired Socialize; however, it will not be renamed We Are Socialize or even Margaret for that matter.

Global Marketing Player adm Appoints Country Manager For Australia & NZ
  • Marketing

Global Marketing Player adm Appoints Country Manager For Australia & NZ

International marketing services business adm Group Ltd has appointed Matt Cave as its country lead for Australia and New Zealand. Cave (pictured above) has more than 25 years of industry experience in the Asia-Pacific region, and will be instrumental in driving adm’s expansion throughout Australia and New Zealand. With 26 offices in 19 countries around […]

Weploy CMO Ben Eatwell: “We Want To Help Businesses Challenge The Status Quo”
  • Media
  • Technology

Weploy CMO Ben Eatwell: “We Want To Help Businesses Challenge The Status Quo”

Weploy began with a shared realisation between two friends that recruiting quality staff had become too complicated and it was high-time so declutter the process. Based in Melbourne, the start-up combines Tinder-style online skills-matching with Australian job market, and in doing so, rids eager employers of the strenuous – and at times incredibly uncomfortable – […]

Nielsen Acquires Sydney-Based Media Analysis Business Landsberry & James
  • Marketing

Nielsen Acquires Sydney-Based Media Analysis Business Landsberry & James

Nielsen has announced it has acquired Landsberry & James (L&J), a leading media analysis and software company based in Sydney, Australia. L&J designs, develops and markets software across the entire media analytics, planning, buying and post analysis process for television, digital, radio, advertising expenditure and advertising creatives. Nielsen’s investment in L&J enables an unparalleled and powerful […]

Pac Mags’ Home Beautiful Partners With Harvey Norman To Launch ‘Cooks Co-Op’
  • Marketing
  • Media

Pac Mags’ Home Beautiful Partners With Harvey Norman To Launch ‘Cooks Co-Op’

Home Beautiful and Harvey Norman have partnered on a new content series which will transform a quintessential Aussie shed into a field-to-fork restaurant whilst showcasing culinary local heroes. In 2012, Martin Boetz (pictured above, right) – the chef behind the cult following of Longrain during his 13-year stint – escaped the bustle of the big smoke […]

Music Feeds & Purple Sneakers Join Forces
  • Media

Music Feeds & Purple Sneakers Join Forces

Music Feeds and Purple Sneakers have unveiled a new strategic partnership that will allow music industry and direct advertisers to extend campaign bookings across all Purple Sneakers digital platforms when booking with Music Feeds. Founded in 2005 by Martin Novosel as a club brand and events company, Purple Sneakers is a key player in the Australian […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Headway & App Annie Get Ready For FIFA 2018
  • Media
  • Technology

Headway & App Annie Get Ready For FIFA 2018

Headway, the leading data-driven media buying company, has teamed up with market data and insights company AppAnnie. Together, the companies have unveiled The App Marketer’s Guide to the World Cup – a whitepaper designed to help app marketers succeed. Every year, flagship sporting events are breaking the internet with increasing viewership and the 2018 FIFA World Cup […]

Twitter Makes In-Stream Video Ads Available To All
  • Advertising
  • Media

Twitter Makes In-Stream Video Ads Available To All

Social media giant Twitter has announced it’s making in-stream video ads available to all advertisers – including self-serve – across 12 markets, including Australia. The popular video format attaches pre-roll content in front of premium publisher videos and highlights. The 12 international markets where Twitter’s in-stream ads will be available are Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, […]

Australian Alliance For Data Leadership Appoints New CEO
  • Advertising
  • Marketing

Australian Alliance For Data Leadership Appoints New CEO

The Australian Alliance for Data Leadership (AADL) has announced the appointment of credentialled senior executive Stephen Porges as its new CEO. Porges currently sits on a number of company boards, has considerable public and private sector listed company management expertise, and has been instrumental in successful data-driven businesses. He also brings CEO skills gained at […]

Business , Nicola Lewis poses for a portrait in Surry Hills. Lewis is being appointed to run WPP's GroupM in Australia and New Zealand.  
Pic Jenny Evans
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Nicola Lewis

GroupM investment chief Nicola Lewis is grilled in latest Women in Media profile. It's more a gentle simmer, really.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Ego Pharmaceuticals Appoints Valtech Australia As Digital Transformation Partner
  • Marketing
  • Technology

Ego Pharmaceuticals Appoints Valtech Australia As Digital Transformation Partner

Australian dermatological skincare products manufacturer Ego Pharmaceuticals has appointed digital agency Valtech Australia as its technology and transformation partner following a competitive pitch. Valtech will design and build Adobe platforms, marketing tools and components that will become a central point for Ego Pharmaceuticals’ global digital marketing activities. The Valtech project will enable Ego to deliver […]

Long Live Our Weird Ideas
  • Advertising
  • Opinion

Long Live Our Weird Ideas

There was a time when weird ideas meant a trip to the priest's confessional and 10 Hail Marys. Thankfully, no longer.

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine