I Lost A $15 Million Pitch Because I Was Female: HM’s Virginia Hyland

I Lost A $15 Million Pitch Because I Was Female: HM’s Virginia Hyland
SHARE
THIS



It’s been just 24  hours since B&T and Seventh Street Media (SSM) launched its podcast mini-series on media agency CEOs, and now Virginia Hyland is stepping up to the plate.

Hyland Media, of which Hyland is the founder and principal, was a finalist in the Media Agency of the Year category at last year’s B&T Awards. The agency’s clients include Uber, Steggles, OPI, Rimmel, Olympus, and Marc Jacobs.

Speaking candidly to Fear At the Top host and SSM shief executive Luke Girgis, Hyland shares her journey from the small country town of Gilgai to the big smoke where she is now the leader of a successful media, creative and social agency group.

Hyland also shares her agency’s strategy for winning and retaining business, and her biggest mistake as an employee and as a CEO.

But perhaps the most alarming part of her conversation with Girgis is how she describes her position in what is a male-dominated industry as a “double-edged sword”.

“The first example is when I was invited [four years ago] to pitch on a $15 million client, and the reason [why] we weren’t successful in winning that pitch was that the head of the marketing department didn’t believe a female could negotiate as well as a bloke,” she says.

“We spent weeks of our life putting together the pitch, the ideas, the effort and the energy – all dismissed because of gender. That was a pretty hard pill to swallow, and I question why I was even invited into the pitch in the first place.

“The opposite side to that is when you look at the audience and the spending power of females, and when you’re pitching on cosmetics, fashion, pharmaceuticals, FMCG brands that are targeting a female audience, we have an edge in that area because we innately know how to use make-up, we understand the audience, we understand mums.”

Even though gender shouldn’t matter, Hyland says it can still be a decision-making factor with business today.

“How do I deal with it? I just get on with it. I don’t let it worry me. It’s water off a duck’s back,” she tells Girgis.

“We’re growing, were building irrespective of all our challenges, so we’re onto a good thing and you just can’t worry about that sort of stuff.”

For those who want to hear everything Hyland had to say via iTunes, you can do so here, and if you missed the first episode of the podcast series with OMD boss Aimee Buchanan, you can check it out here.

Stay tuned for the next episode, which will feature CHE Proximity chief Chris Howatson.

Latest News

THIS
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media

Meet Your Judges For The 2018 B&T Awards!

B&T is calling this year's awards judges probably the finest ever assembled. As a chamber choir, arguably less so.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
CBS Snares Format Rights For Quiz Show ‘Have You Been Paying Attention?’
  • Media

CBS Snares Format Rights For Quiz Show ‘Have You Been Paying Attention?’

CBS Studios International has announced an agreement with Working Dog Productions for the exclusive, worldwide format rights to comedy quiz show Have You Been Paying Attention? Now in its sixth season, HYBPA? is broadcast on the CBS-owned Network Ten in Australia, and is the number one quiz show and the third-highest-rated overall show on the […]

Delacon Appoints Kenshoo Sales Chief As Director Of Operations
  • Marketing
  • Technology

Delacon Appoints Kenshoo Sales Chief As Director Of Operations

Call analytics provider Delacon has appointed Ezri Lerba to the newly created position of director of operations to manage partnerships and business development. Lerba joins Delacon after more than eight years with marketing technology company Kenshoo where he most recently held the role of director of sales across Australia and New Zealand. As first boots […]

Abstract spherical technology network background.
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media
  • Opinion
  • Technology

Why Tech Is The Best Thing That Happened To Agencies

In this opinion piece, Schedugram CEO Hugh Stephens (pictured) tackles the complexity of agency business models. Agency models are high touch, human resource heavy and require the constant balancing and correcting of clients to account managers. With too many clients, staff will struggle under the workload (a big part of high agency attrition rates) or […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Weet-Bix Celebrates 90 Years Of Aussie Kids Being Weet-Bix Kids
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns
  • Media

Weet-Bix Celebrates 90 Years Of Aussie Kids Being Weet-Bix Kids

This year Sanitarium Weet-Bix via The Mix Agency, Shopitize and The Kanga Group, is celebrating 90 years of Australian breakfasts. Sanitarium is celebrating by inviting Aussie kids (young and young-at-heart) to help them celebrate with the release of limited edition birthday packs and personalised Weet-Bix bowls. From Kalgoorlie to Kiama, Bowen to Broome and Darwin […]

Admation Agency Management Software Integrates With Mediaocean Finance Software
  • Media
  • Technology

Admation Agency Management Software Integrates With Mediaocean Finance Software

Automaton integrates finance software with admation – its agency management and workflow solution to enhance productivity for ad agencies. Automaton is always evolving admation, its agency project management and approval workflow software, to enable ad agencies to better manage their creative projects and resources. The business recently completed phase one of its integration with Mediaocean’s […]

Indie Agency KWP! Snares Tourism NT’s Creative Account
  • Advertising

Indie Agency KWP! Snares Tourism NT’s Creative Account

Tourism NT has appointed KWP! as its lead strategic and creative agency. The independent agency, with offices in Darwin and Adelaide, has won the two-year contract following a competitive pitch in September this year. As the lead agency, KWP! is required to formulate sound strategic insights based on ongoing analysis of market research, consumer insights and […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
McCann’s Action-Packed Army Ad Plays Out Like A War Flick Or Video Game
  • Campaigns

McCann’s Action-Packed Army Ad Plays Out Like A War Flick Or Video Game

Most army recruitment ads tend to steer clear of the blindingly obvious of military life – you get a gun to shoot the enemy or you get shot yourself. More so, agencies aren’t overly keen on promoting recruitment ads that are heavy on the guns or violence, preferring lifestyle or technical aspects of military life. Not so McCann’s new action-packed spot for the US […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Are You Dragging The Wrong People Into Pointless Meetings?
  • Opinion

Are You Dragging The Wrong People Into Pointless Meetings?

Donna McGeorge (pictured below) is a speaker and  mentor who helps people make their work work. McGeorge is also author of The 25-Minute Meeting: Half the Time, Double the Impact. In her latest guest post for B&T, McGeorge offers her tips on avoiding every workers’ hell- the pointless meeting… We all complain about having to attend too […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Francis Leach Joins The New Daily As Sports Editor
  • Media

Francis Leach Joins The New Daily As Sports Editor

Famed sports reporter Francis Leach has joined online publisher The New Daily as sports editor. A prolific broadcaster, journalist and program host, Leach brings his encyclopedic knowledge of sport and no-holds-barred critical analysis to the role. “Let’s face it, sport these days is big business. I’m interested in connecting and contextualising sport with the big […]

AIME Appoints Eleven To Champion 2019 Vision
  • Advertising
  • Media

AIME Appoints Eleven To Champion 2019 Vision

Eleven has been appointed to manage all PR for the Asia Pacific Incentives Meetings & Event (AIME) 2019, the leading show for the business events industry. Selected by Talk2 Media & Events, Eleven will drive a global PR campaign, working with sister agency FleishmanHillard, to leverage international media networks across Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East […]