Inspirational women are all around us, leading the way for others. And B&T doesn’t think it’s right that some of these women aren’t recognised for their efforts every day. So, to celebrate the launch of our annual Women in Media Awards, we’ve created a women in media series!
Earlier this week, we profiled Jill Johnston from Southern Cross Austereo, who’s Best Employer Award and gave some pretty good advice to young women. And now it’s time for you to meet the inspiring Zeina Khodr!
Zeina is the general manager at Colloquial Australia and, like B&T, believes women can’t be what they can’t see.
What turns you on? What do you love?
The hustle and thrill of the chase.
Working with an inspiring team who just get shit done.
The roar of a V8 engine and my new motorcycle.
But what I love most is my two girls – the future is theirs.
What was the best advice you were ever given?
Success should be shared with others so share abundantly and be generous and kind. Be resilient in the face of challenge and never say die.
What’s your proudest professional moment?
Launching Colloquial Australia for J.Walter Thompson in mid 2015 with no agency background. It was just me, a business name and a grand idea to launch a content agency.
Figuring it all out and finding client who would trust me and what I could do for them was daunting, scary but had the adrenalin pumping. We’re now a team of 15, with an ever-expanding client base.
Having faith in myself, tenacity, resilience and surrounding myself with a team I believe in has been instrumental to my and Colloquial’s success.
What women do you find inspiring?
The women I work alongside on a daily basis. For the first year, my team was predominantly women, and working with them to develop innovative, creative solutions, watching them thrive in the challenging start-up environment all whilst juggling families and trying to figure out how we do things reminds me how strong and capable women are.
This inspires me to work harder and continue to build opportunities for all of us to succeed.
Also, my mum, who is my hero, came to Australia as a migrant, learnt to speak English as a third language and attended University in the evening while working full time. She has double degrees and still works as a counter-terrorism expert well past her retirement because she loves what she does (and finds time to be an awesome grandmother).
What do you think is the most exciting thing about women working in the media right now?
The lady-force is strong, becoming more prevalent, and is intent on fostering and making change happen. Our collective voice is becoming louder, and you can sense a determination and drive amongst women to seize the day and shake things up and do it their way.
I’m lucky enough to be surrounded by predominantly female leaders running digital, PR and creative agencies within our Pyrmont campus.
What advice would you give to young aspiring women?
Don’t be afraid to speak up, to be strong, be curious and to make yourself heard.
Now is not the time to demur or shrink yourself; now is the time to push forward and carve out your path. And don’t apologize for being you.
Why are women vital to your industry?
Because we need to be able to speak for ourselves, and to other women and their experiences, honestly and fearlessly.
You can’t be what you can’t see.