Last Year’s Winners Tell Us Why Women In Media Is So Important

Last Year’s Winners Tell Us Why Women In Media Is So Important

The date’s been set, the entries are open – that’s right, it’s time for Women in Media. And while August 19 seems like a long way off, now is the time to get cracking on those entries, to snatch up your tickets, and of course to get keen for our inaugural daytime forum.

Hannah Edensor
Posted by Hannah Edensor

For now though, we thought it important to remind the industry why such events are integral to our recognition and celebration of all women in the media landscape. And who better to do this than the 2015 winners of Women in Media.

“I think being a professional woman in any industry is the most wonderful challenge but it is also full of aspects that are unique to being a woman; no matter what stage of life you are at,” Rules of Social Engagement author and People’s Choice winner Philippa Spork said.

“Awards like this that celebrate being a woman in our industry are more than just important; they are mandatory in my opinion. Women are tenacious, creative, and fabulous multi-taskers, and this often means they ended up biting off more than they can chew, and often end up feeling guilty at some point about not being able to achieve it all.

“If you started a career in the 90’s, 2000’s or beyond was the era of ‘you can have it all’ as a woman; but the reality is a challenge for so many. So, being in a room full of other wonderful women celebrating what the have achieved – be it the same as you have, or more, is both inspiring and reminds you what you are part of.”

“There is obviously gender inequality across the board within the advertising and media industries,” Taste Creative co-founder & owner, and winner of the Creative category, Genevieve Clay-Smith, said.

“Awards like this highlight the great work of women working in media and I think it’s really important to promote their achievements and talents, because whether we like it or not unconscious bias is a real thing, it does exist and women do face it within this industry. Awards like this begin to combat unconscious bias.”

ntegrity founder and director, and winner of the Strategy category, Richenda Vermeulen, reckons it’s about time Australia set a good example for women in our industry.

I spent eight years in Seattle and one of things I loved about working in America was that people were proud to speak about their achievements (tall poppy who?!),” she said.

“When I returned to Australia, it was a dramatic shift to see most people unlikely or embarrassed to talk about their achievements. That needs to change.

“For most women in our industry, it’s unlikely that the owner of their agency is a woman, and it’s uncommon the board of directors has a woman – they may have leaders in their agencies that are women however, the numbers still heavily skew male.

“Women are not equally represented in leadership and ownership. The awards recognise this reality and provide a platform to make female leaders in our industry visible, to inspire the next generation of young women.”

“Recognition of great work, strong leadership and people who are driving change is important for all industries,” Nine Entertainment director of innovation, partnerships & experience and winner of the Sales category, Lizzie Young, said.

“It’s probably slightly idealistic but I’d like to see a Diversity in Media awards in our future. Meantime, while the statistics still need to improve, it’s important to spotlight women and businesses that are leading the way so others can be assured that the future is bright.”

And Vogue editor-in-chief and winner of the Power List, Edwina McCann, agrees.

“I hope one day we won’t have to recognise women in a separate category, but until we have gender and pay equality in the industry the awards are important to highlight female achievement and promote and publicise talent,” she added.

Red Agency principal and winner of the Public Relations category, Jackie Crossman, added it’s important to recognise women’s various challenges they grapple with.

“While some would say that public relations is dominated by women, this is not necessarily true at the top, and even where it is, women have their own set of challenges for example effectively juggling family responsibilities with their careers. We need to be role models for the next generation of leaders and inspire them to succeed,” she said.

This year, the Awards will be held on Friday 19 August 2016 at Royal Randwick Racecourse in Sydney. Be sure to enter Women in Media with your submissions here, and to buy tickets to this glorious gala, click here. All other info can be found on the website. But you best be quick – entries close Friday 24th June.

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