So, Where Are All The Women On Adland Panels?

So, Where Are All The Women On Adland Panels?
SHARE
THIS



In this guest post, Sarah Wyse (pictured below) – chief revenue officer at Allure Media and founder of Wyse Women – explains why now is the time to hit the issue of gender diversity on the head.

Sarah Wyse

Much has been spoken about the issue of gender diversity in our industry over the past week and the lack of women appearing on panels. We have talked about it, written about it, voiced our disdain and hashtagged about it. However, now is the time to leverage this momentum and take action.

Before I kick off, it is worth just reminding ourselves why this needs to be addressed: panels made up of only men suggest that women’s views are not valued. Importantly, this isn’t a message we want to send to our peers or younger generations, and it has been proven time and time again that the inclusion of women on panels, events and in leadership positions can positively impact a company’s bottom line.

When we first started thinking about this, there were an overwhelming number of questions we wanted answered: why don’t we have equal representation of men and women on panels? Why don’t we have enough senior women in our industry? Why are we still talking about these issues year after year after year? Wyse Women has spent the past nine months with hundreds of women in the media, marketing and communications industry understanding how they feel about the opportunities available to them, their priorities and career aspirations including their attitudes towards pubic speaking. Some of the research we have attained is quite eye-opening, and whilst we firmly believe this is the output of a series of deeper rooted challenges within the industry, it’s important that we understand where these thoughts come from if we are going to make a positive change.

Why are we not seeing more women on panels?

There are so many reasons cited for why we rarely see equal representation on a panel and it can be tough to distinguish the excuses from the reality (Google Dr James Fox’s ‘conference bingo’ when you have a spare minute – it makes for an amusing read). Whilst there is certainly truth in the fact that there are less women in senior positions, hence making for a smaller pool of senior candidates, an interesting panel discussion doesn’t need to include only the most senior or most experienced – it is the different perspectives from a diverse group of people that encourages lively conversation.

So, what about the idea that women don’t volunteer themselves as freely as men? Wyse Women surveyed close to 400 professional women aged between 30 and 50 in October 2016 with the aim of understanding their desire to undertake flexible work and their career priorities and aspirations.

We have also spoken to our female friends and colleagues in the industry with mixed backgrounds and different levels of seniority and the feedback was similar and quite confronting – it largely came down to confidence. Some were nervous by the thought of public speaking, others lacked confidence in their opinions, some feared being ridiculed and others questioned their ability to tackle challenges. We can criticise these views, but the unfortunate truth is that for many women this is their reality.

There are many factors that have contributed to this lack of confidence, and a large part of it comes from years of being knocked back, the feeling of having to prove themselves over and over, having to watch their male counterparts earn more money than them, fighting for their positions after going on maternity leave and feeling isolated and unsupported when returning to work after an extended period of leave. Whilst many of us may not have firsthand experience of this treatment, we must all recognise that these practices exist and that these experiences gradually chip away at self-confidence until suddenly we are left with a large portion of the female workforce questioning their value and contribution.

The other popular explanation is that businesses are putting forward more male than female candidates. Is this because women aren’t putting their hands up? Is this because they lack confidence? Perhaps they aren’t moving into senior positions because they lack the sort of exposure they would achieve by talking on a panel? Perhaps lack of self-confidence prevents them from applying for the top jobs? It feels like we are starting to go around in circles. Then, not to be ignored, is the power of needing to ‘see it to be it’, and with less women in senior positions, we have less female role models for the younger generations. This is a critical piece that we will come back to another time, but one that is so very important. Actress Geena Davis has even started an initiative called See Jane, which talks specifically about the impact that poor representation of women in the film and media industry has on our children. Her tagline “If she can see it, she can be it” perfectly sums up why we need to make a conscious effort to include women publicly at events and speaking panels.

What can we do about it?

Well, the good news is that we have a few suggestions, and they are things that can be done today – and need to be done today. There are no excuses now – our businesses need to support us, our industry needs to come together and advocate change and we, as women, also need to take action ourselves.

Here are just a few of the things we can all do right now:

Businesses: talk to your female workforce and understand the blocks they are facing. If it’s fear of public speaking, offer them support and training. If you have a limited senior female workforce, then put steps in place today to tackle this (see our suggestions below), but also help to upskill and empower the women you do have. There will be a lot of women in your workforce more than capable of talking on a panel – you just need to identify and help them overcome the barriers preventing them from doing so.

Event organisers: you need to set an example and commit to more balanced panels. Rather than focusing on seniority as the main criteria, instead look for diversity. Work with female speakers to ensure they feel comfortable with the format, host practice sessions, provide help and guidance, and provide accurate post-reporting to remove the concern of being misquoted.

Senior women: offer your time as a mentor to younger colleagues. If you are happy to speak on a panel but haven’t been approached, actively approach event companies to offer your services and add yourself to directories of women happy to speak publicly (such as Peggy’s List).

ALL women: speak to your employers and actively seek support in overcoming barriers that are preventing you from speaking in public. Engage senior members of the industry and seek a mentor who can help you develop. Encourage, praise and support your female co-workers who put themselves forward for panels.

Men: support your female colleagues and recommend them for speaking opportunities that are in their areas of expertise. You can also ask the event organisers who is on the panel when you are invited so you can see that you’ll be speaking on a panel that has gender diversity.

There is no doubt that there are deeper issues at play which won’t be solved overnight, but I hope through open minds and conversations that we can start to make positive change, attracting a more diverse and well-represented workforce (and I don’t just mean gender diversity, as we also have a long way to go in other areas such as culture and ethnicity).

3% Conference banner

 

Latest News

Digital Breadcrumbs: Picking Up The pieces your competitors leave online
  • Opinion

Digital Breadcrumbs: Picking Up The pieces your competitors leave online

In this guest column, Meltwater’s area director, David Hickey (pictured below), says a quick glance at the mountains of data your competitors are producing can fast prove a boon for your business too… It’s time for businesses to start paying attention and embrace the new digital reality we’re living in. We are currently in the […]

Opinion

by David Hickey

David Hickey
“The Rock” Leads a Flotilla Of Athletes In Huge Under Armour Campaign
  • Campaigns

“The Rock” Leads a Flotilla Of Athletes In Huge Under Armour Campaign

US sportswear giant Under Armour has enlisted Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson to front a series of inspirational new ads featuring a host of sport stars and fitness icons. Created by Droga 5 the campaign is called “Will finds a way” and includes eight ads in all. Johnson aside, the spots include actress and martial arts star, Zoe Zhang. Fellow […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg arrives to testify during a Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee and Senate Judiciary Committee joint hearing about Facebook on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, April 10, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB        (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Media

Free TV Calls For ACCC Oversight Of Facebook & Google

In a submission lodged with the ACCC inquiry into digital platforms, industry body Free TV today called for greater regulatory oversight of Facebook and Google. The FreeTV submission identifies a number of key areas of concern: Heavy regulation on traditional media providers and almost none on Facebook and Google Questionable claims about the reach, viewability, […]

APN Outdoor Confirms Retention Of Three Key Contracts
  • Media

APN Outdoor Confirms Retention Of Three Key Contracts

APN Outdoor has used its annual general meeting to announce three key contract renewals: Transport for Brisbane, Transdev Melbourne and Adelaide & Parafield Airports, for multiple years. Company CEO and managing director, James Warburton, said: “These contracts represent an important part of our advertising offering. The far-reaching impact they provide delivers a compelling proposition and cements our commitment […]

Women In Media Profile: Olivia Warren
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Olivia Warren

It's the latest in our Women In Media profiles, and this one is so good you'll possibly get a nervous twitch somewhere.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
LIDA Delivers Series Of Animated Info Bites For Busy Marketers
  • Marketing
  • Media

LIDA Delivers Series Of Animated Info Bites For Busy Marketers

M&C Saatchi Group’s customer engagement specialist agency, LIDA, has crafted an initial eight-episode series of bite-sized animated videos designed to help busy marketers stay ahead of the game. ‘60 Second Gets’ draws on LIDA’s wealth of experience to unpack the latest industry tools, tech and thinking. Launching today, the first video, ‘Success in 6 Seconds’, […]

Naked And Gidget Foundation Want Australians To Start Talking
  • Campaigns

Naked And Gidget Foundation Want Australians To Start Talking

Today Naked launches its ‘Start Talking’ campaign for Gidget Foundation Australia; a not-for-profit that provides support for families who are affected by perinatal depression and anxiety (PNDA). The centrepiece of the campaign is a powerful TVC that brings to life this common, but often hidden illness, and shows how Gidget Foundation’s ‘Start Talking’ telehealth program […]

MKTG Integrates Telstra Tracker Data With LED Signage At AFL Stadiums
  • Marketing
  • Technology

MKTG Integrates Telstra Tracker Data With LED Signage At AFL Stadiums

For the first time ever, AFL spectators will be able to view real-time Telstra Tracker player data via in-stadium LED signage, thanks to the combined efforts of Telstra, Champion Data and MKTG. By integrating the Telstra Tracker data into the LED signage at the MCG and Etihad Stadium, fans will receive contextually relevant information from […]

Westfield Shows Off New Visual Identity In Line With Fresh Digital Offering
  • Marketing

Westfield Shows Off New Visual Identity In Line With Fresh Digital Offering

Scentre Group has unveiled a new brand look and feel coinciding with the re-launch of the Westfield.com.au and Westfield.co.nz sites. This digital-first visual identity sees a shift towards creating a more contemporary, invigorated and colourful brand, reflective of Westfield’s in-centre experience. The iconic Westfield logo will continue to lead brand communications, supported with a new […]

The Age Of The Ephemeral: Why Experiential Marketing Is Compulsory This Year
  • Marketing
  • Opinion

The Age Of The Ephemeral: Why Experiential Marketing Is Compulsory This Year

In this guest post, Keep Left’s head of consumer engagement, Johanna Murray (pictured below), explains the merits of experiential marketing, as well as sharing some tips on how to do it – and do it well. Humans love to label things – especially intangible things, like time. We like eras and ages and eons because they […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
The Top Social Media Marketing Trends For 2018
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Technology

The Top Social Media Marketing Trends For 2018

This trends report is a must-read for all marketers, although it contains no news on the return of the bubble perm.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
How To Give And Take Feedback At Work
  • Opinion

How To Give And Take Feedback At Work

Georgia Murch (pictured below) is an expert in creating feedback cultures and author of Feedback Flow; The Ultimate Illustrated Guide to Embed Change in 90 Days. In this guest post, Murch offers her tips on giving (and receiving) feedback from colleagues without botching it up… We all know that feedback matters.  Most of us want the good, the bad and the […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Dentsu X Expands Operations To Sydney
  • Advertising
  • Media

Dentsu X Expands Operations To Sydney

Have you completely forgotten what Sydney looks like? Well, thankfully this story comes with a handy pictorial reminder.

SBS Radio Introduces Three 24-Hour Digital Radio Stations On Digital TV
  • Media

SBS Radio Introduces Three 24-Hour Digital Radio Stations On Digital TV

SBS Radio has announced two new digital radio stations – SBS PopAsia, SBS PopDesi and a refresh of SBS Radio 3 – is now available on digital TV. SBS Radio 3 will broadcast world news and current affairs from the BBC World Service (previously airing on SBS Radio 4 on digital radio) and special events […]

Champion Launches Music Platform Championing Emerging Aussie Artists Via Emotive
  • Campaigns
  • Marketing

Champion Launches Music Platform Championing Emerging Aussie Artists Via Emotive

For its first Australian campaign, Champion has partnered with creative and content agency Emotive to launch a music program titled ‘Revealed’. The program champions emerging Australian artists by intimately telling their story through video, and providing funding and creative support to create world class music videos for new release music. The first Revealed artist is […]

Delacon Launches Call Analytics In India
  • Marketing

Delacon Launches Call Analytics In India

Australian-owned call analytics provider Delacon has continued its international expansion, opening an innovation centre in India to service local and global partners, and develop the next generation of call tracking and analytics solutions. The office in Chennai is the eighth for the Sydney-headquartered business, which enables brands and agencies to optimise marketing campaigns by accurately […]

Protein To Handle Retail Roll-Out Of Recycling Initiative Return-It
  • Marketing

Protein To Handle Retail Roll-Out Of Recycling Initiative Return-It

Sydney brand and digital agency Protein has been appointed to handle the retail and digital roll-out of recycling company Return-It, which has just been announced as the container collection network for the ACT. Return-It awarded the work to the 17-year strong agency, following Protein’s tender support and brand development of the retail concept. The public-facing […]

Why We Need To Talk More About Failure
  • Opinion

Why We Need To Talk More About Failure

This is an excellent article about celebrating failure. Although, admittedly, we failed to get to the very end of it.

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Women In Media Profile: Kimmie Neidhardt
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Kimmie Neidhardt

Kimmie Neidhardt doesn't just have a very cool name, as you'll read here. There's a good head on those shoulders, too.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
SCA Promotes Nathan Soulsby To Head Of TV Sales For Sydney
  • Advertising
  • Media

SCA Promotes Nathan Soulsby To Head Of TV Sales For Sydney

Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) has announced the promotion of Nathan Soulsby to head of TV sales for Sydney. The announcement comes after Kristen Budd’s move to general manager of SCA’s Central Coast office. Caretaking the role during Budd’s maternity leave, Soulsby has been a key contributor to the consistent share and revenue growth that has […]

Columbus, A Merkle Company Announces Client Wins & Senior Appointments
  • Marketing

Columbus, A Merkle Company Announces Client Wins & Senior Appointments

Following the launch of Merkle in the Australian market in March, Columbus, a Merkle Company has secured nine new clients in three months, including Macquarie University, Event Hospitality & Entertainment Limited and Hipages. Columbus has also appointed two group business directors in the Victorian market, with Leonie Dawkins (pictured above, left) and Guy McGechan (pictured […]

Black woman in handcuffs
  • Media

Adland Industry Leaders To Be Locked Up In Prison To Help Aussie Youth

Over sixty senior leaders from the media, marketing, tech and creative industry will spend the night in jail as part of UnLtd’s Adland Bail Out, to raise funds for Whitelion. The ‘inmates’ will be handing over their mobile phones and putting on their prison overalls to brave a night in the chilling cells of Yasmar […]

JCDecaux Partners With Seedooh To Verify OOH Campaigns
  • Advertising
  • Media

JCDecaux Partners With Seedooh To Verify OOH Campaigns

Global out-of-home (OOH) advertising giant JCDecaux has announced a partnership with independent tech platform Seedooh to offer advertisers greater transparency for campaigns. Under the agreement, Seedooh’s reporting and verification platform will be integrated into JCDecaux’s system to create an independent campaign delivery reporting function that works seamlessly within the end-to-end campaign delivery processes. It will […]

Innovation: The Foundation Of Marketing & Sales Collaboration
  • Marketing
  • Opinion

Innovation: The Foundation Of Marketing & Sales Collaboration

In this opinion piece, Seismic’s managing director for Australia and New Zealand, Andy Pattinson (pictured below), explains how marketers can work smarter and why collaboration is vital in delivering return on investment. Demand for marketing roles is growing, as marketers continue to learn more about what customers want. The marketing agenda is increasingly being tied in […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Roll’d Enlists Impress!ve Digital Ahead Of Franchise & Catering Push
  • Marketing

Roll’d Enlists Impress!ve Digital Ahead Of Franchise & Catering Push

Aussie food franchise Roll’d has announced it has signed on Melbourne digital marketing agency Impress!ve Digital to support its digital marketing. The partnership has already begun, with Impress!ve Digital aiming to significantly boost the company’s revenue through digital marketing strategies that are directly linked to return on investment and franchise acquisition. Impress!ve Digital has been […]

Yippee! More Photos from the 30 Under 30 Awards!
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media
  • Technology

Yippee! More Photos from the 30 Under 30 Awards!

If you think B&T simply runs these photo gallery stories so you can gawk at young, attractive people, you'd be right.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine