Lend Us Your Ears! It’s The 3% Conference Keynote Susan David

Lend Us Your Ears! It’s The 3% Conference Keynote Susan David
SHARE
THIS



With The 3% Conference Australasia a little over a month away, B&T decided it was high time we spoke with our wonderful keynote speakers to provide a glimpse of what you’ll experience at the event.

Our first cab off the rank is Susan David Ph.D. An award-winning psychologist on the faculty of Harvard Medical School, David is also co-founder and co-director of the Institute of Coaching at McLean Hospital; and CEO of Evidence Based Psychology, a boutique business consultancy.

In recent years she has achieved a new level of fame after publishing an article called Emotional Agility: What Does It Take To Thrive. It went viral, with the Harvard Business Review naming it Management Idea of the Year.

Last year, David published a book titled Emotional Agility, which promptly became a Wall Street Journal #1 Best Seller. The book will launch in paperback form in Australia next month.

David has vast experience dealing with issues of gender and diversity, and here we bring you part one of our exclusive interview with her.

Firstly, can you give us a potted summary of your career to date?

My career path has been anything but conventional. I grew up in apartheid-era South Africa, which was essentially an environment of legislated hate.

My father passed away when I was 16, which would have a profound effect on my young life. After finishing school, I dropped out of university in South Africa, then decided I was interested in a career in psychology. I had become very interested in the idea of what makes an effective career.

I then moved to New Zealand and then Australia, where I completed a Ph.D. at Melbourne University. My next step was a Post Doctorate at Yale.

Since 2009 I’ve been a psychologist at Harvard at Medical School.

The 3% Conference at which you’ll be speaking came about because, as recently as 2012 in the US, just 3 percent of creative directors were female. Why do you think this scenario came about?

A lot of the reasons [for gender imbalance in working environments] are historical, from way before our time. In the past, the more academically rigorous fields such as maths and the sciences were open to men, but women had other roles. There was systematic generational discrimination around working roles.

Another factor is when gender and power come into play. If there’s a power hierarchy, people will hire in their own likeness. Everyone is drawn in some way to unconscious biases. This goes for everything in life from parenting to recruiting and more.

We also have completely different language when talking to young boys and girls. As a society, we have systematic biases that become pervasive. So there is an entire culture that needs to change, not just within businesses. Essentially, you will never have true equality in an organisational context unless the broader system changes.

I hasten to add that people aren’t necessarily intending to discriminate in business – and it doesn’t reflect a bad person or employee. The important thing when dealing with inequality is to recognise patterns.

The 3% Conference has shone a light on the low level of female participation at the c-suite level of business, and not just in media. What are the first steps to changing the ratio in a broader sense?

Awareness is one thing, but it’s simply awareness. And awareness alone doesn’t lead to behavioural change.

When organisations are only checking boxes to get the right ratio, it doesn’t necessarily support females being in positions of authority.

Additionally, much of the workday is not geared around family and children. We can establish organisations that silence voices, and changing this is an important step to progress.

Organisations often need to take a real look at their values. Boards and executive teams need to move away from the space of box checking. They need to ask questions around the why. Why is this [gender equality] truly important to us? This is the first question that needs to be answered.

Diversity is often spoken about in businesses as a have to goal, but why isn’t it a want to goal? That’s a critical question that can help shift the status quo.

Also important is the idea of speaking up more [about inequality in business]. Systems, processes and policies really do impact on the ability of people to bring themselves to the workplace. If these issues aren’t addressed, the rest will be mere window dressing.

Look out for part two of our interview with Susan David tomorrow.

David will deliver her keynote address at The 3% Conference on Thursday 31 August. To hear her and other media luminaries like Cindy Gallop and Lisen Stromberg, grab your tickets here.

Susan’s website also provides a free EQ quote for interested parties. To get yours, simply click here.

Photo courtesy of Dana Patrick Photography.

3% Conference banner

The 3% Conference Australasia sponsor block

 

Latest News

Pooled Energy Appoints Magnum & Co And The Wired Agency
  • Advertising
  • Marketing

Pooled Energy Appoints Magnum & Co And The Wired Agency

Swimming pool electricity retailer Pooled Energy has appointed Magnum & Co and sister agency The Wired Agency to its roster, following a competitive pitch. Magnum & Co will handle Pooled Energy’s social media and PR, while The Wired Agency has been appointed to manage the company’s search and display advertising. Both agencies will collaborate with […]

Masculinity Roasted In Clever New Ad
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns

Masculinity Roasted In Clever New Ad

Think masculinity means drinking a case without chundering? Well, rediscover it (& possibly yourself) with this top ad.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
WPP AUNZ Partners With Career Trackers Indigenous Internship Program
  • Advertising

WPP AUNZ Partners With Career Trackers Indigenous Internship Program

Advertising and marketing network WPP AUNZ has joined the Career Trackers Indigenous Internship Program as part of its commitment to a diverse workforce, and the creation of opportunities that inspire excellence. As part of the program, WPP AUNZ has welcomed its first three interns: Abi-Leigh Dillon (WPP AUNZ), Amy Mccutcheon (MediaCom) and Jacinta Evans (Ogilvy), […]

Taboo Goes On A Hiring Spree
  • Advertising

Taboo Goes On A Hiring Spree

Taboo has gone a hiring spree. And when it comes to sprees, that's far better than a shooting one or a farting one.

M&C Saatchi Group’s 1440 Shuts Up Shop
  • Marketing

M&C Saatchi Group’s 1440 Shuts Up Shop

Sadly, M&C Saatchi's 1440 is no more. And chances of it being reborn as 1550 not looking much chop either.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Luke Kelly Becomes A Partner At HBT
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Technology

Luke Kelly Becomes A Partner At HBT

B&T's not sure what's with that twirly thing in the press photo, suffice to say a vortex to an alternate dimension?

Women In Media Profile: Alison Michalk
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Alison Michalk

If B&T's Women in Media profiles were an animal they would be a gazelle or lioness, or even a lioness eating a gazelle.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Grant Broadcasters Makes Several Changes To Senior Executive Team
  • Media

Grant Broadcasters Makes Several Changes To Senior Executive Team

Independent media company Grant Broadcasters has announced a number of changes to its executive ranks. Grant Cameron will move up to become non-executive chairman for the company, and Alison Cameron (pictured above) – currently the chief operating officer – will assume the CEO role. Dugald Cameron remains responsible for the family’s investment portfolio and is […]

Shopper Media Group Partners With Mist To Offer New Tech & AI-Driven Capabilities
  • Advertising
  • Media

Shopper Media Group Partners With Mist To Offer New Tech & AI-Driven Capabilities

Australian retail out-of-home (OOH) business Shopper Media Group (SMG) has announced a partnership with AI-powered wireless networks provider Mist. The partnership will see SMG offer new WiFi, analytics and location-based services across the company’s portfolio of Australian shopping centres. Mist currently provides WiFi and location services using virtual Bluetooth LE technology to businesses across all […]

Indy Agency This Is Flow Wins Cruiseco’s $5 Million Media Account
  • Advertising
  • Media

Indy Agency This Is Flow Wins Cruiseco’s $5 Million Media Account

Travel organisation Cruiseco has announced the appointment of Sydney independent agency This is Flow (TIF) to handle its $5 million media account. This is the first time Cruiseco has appointed an agency, having managed its communications internally. Cruiseco is the largest and broadest distributor of cruise products in the Southern Hemisphere. With a membership base […]

Women In Media Profile: Naomi Shepherd
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Naomi Shepherd

Need a Monday morning pick-me-up? You could stand naked next to the office fridge or read these inspiring words.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
APN Outdoor Takes Off With Queenstown Airport Contract
  • Advertising
  • Media

APN Outdoor Takes Off With Queenstown Airport Contract

Out-of-home media business APN Outdoor has won the tender for New Zealand’s Queenstown Airport. As part of the new agreement, APN Outdoor has flagged extensive development plans for Queenstown Airport’s advertising assets. The new contract adds Queenstown Airport to APN Outdoor’s existing portfolio of Auckland and Christchurch Airports. The media company will hire a South […]