With barely 48 hours until B&T‘s unmissable Women In Media Awards, there’s no time to lose if you’re after a last minute ticket. And if you know any of our finalists, you should most certainly be in attendance to cheer them to victory! So head here to grab those tickets!
And to help you get in the mood, we’ve had a chit chat with Nina Nguyen, head of MediaCom Beyond Advertising (MBA) Sydney, to discuss a few talking points before the big night. Enjoy Nina’s wisdom right here!
What’s the most important lesson you’ve learnt throughout your career?
That you need to have integrity in everything you do. We are in the services industry which is heavily focused on client service, but that doesn’t mean that you need to be a ‘yes’ person all the time. I’ve noticed there seems to be difficulty in presenting unfavorable news to clients or that clients may make requests without historically understanding the impact. It’s our job to deliver expertise and I believe that to perform our best, with integrity and representing our business, we need to be transparent with clients.
Drawing on your own experience, what advice would you give to young women starting out in the industry?
I have a few pieces of advice:
- To be curious and ask lots of questions to satisfy that thirst for knowledge.
- Schedule meetings to meet people and network up – you never know where these people will pop up next and how these connections will help you throughout your career.
- Lastly, set big challenges for yourself. Never be afraid to put yourself out there.
What have been some of the biggest challenges for you throughout your career?
One of the biggest challenges that I’ve had is a personal one as a mum. When I came back from maternity leave, I put tremendous pressure on myself to deliver the same output and hours that I did before, and to also to be there for my young family. This didn’t work, and then the guilt sunk in that I wasn’t there nearly enough for my family at home, nor my work family.
Eventually, I overcame this when I changed roles, and one of the first conversations I had with my manager was how we best work together. This is so important, and we discussed how we liked to be communicated to, how often, and ways of working. Work flexibility was discussed and four years on I can say it works fabulously well.
This year’s B&T Women In Media feature focused on women with culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. What are your thoughts on diversity in the industry? What do you think could be done to make the industry more inclusive?
I come from a Chinese-Vietnamese background and I can say the industry has come a long way since I started my career back in 2004.
At the time, there were only a handful of Asian people in the industry and I think it comes from being a first generation Aussie. At the time, advertising and media was not something that was known as a profession nor was I exposed to it.
You can read memes now about professions in the Asian community that are deemed as prestigious and it’s not far from the truth – I don’t think I even know the word in Chinese for advertising or media. To this day, I’m sure my grandpa thinks I’m an accountant. I guess I am in a way, as I oversee the commercials for the department.
In all seriousness, the industry could get more involved in orientation days to seed the idea of what it is that we do. I think for an industry that sells our clients’ products for a living, we don’t do as great a job selling what it is we do ourselves.
Lastly, what can we do as an industry to encourage more female participation in leadership roles?
Events like The 3% Conference and Women in Media Awards all shine the spotlight on females in leadership roles, so more of these will inspire future leaders to aspire to get to these positions. Having strong female mentors and coaches can also help provide stories for the next wave of leaders.