Let’s Talk About Sex (Or The Pluses & Perils Of Gender Diversity)

Let’s Talk About Sex (Or The Pluses & Perils Of Gender Diversity)
SHARE
THIS



In this guest posting, the Founder of Legends & Leaders, Adrianne Nixon (pictured below), gives a full review of a recent media gender debate, The Status Quota, at Sydney’s Livid…

“Hoping and wishing and praying for the promotion of women, in the natural course, has been shown not to work in Australia … there’s a point at which targets and quotas have their place.”

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAnzAAAAJDNlZTkzYmJhLWMxOTYtNGY0OC1iMGFhLTAxNjE1ZDZhNzRkNw

This is a quote borrowed from Sam Mostyn – a woman who sits on the board of the AFL – which was used effectively by Linda McGregor from All About Eve, last Friday in a debate on gender diversity in the creative industry.

The debate – part of Vivid Ideas and hosted by Legends & Leaders – proved to be a high powered conversation with six high profile industry leaders that saw stats, personal experiences and passion thrown around in equal measure.

Adam Ferrier (Thinkerbell), Jane Burhop (Common Ventures) and Linda (All About Eve) were the team that pushed the “quota” argument.

Adam, a clinical psychologist by background, would be expected to be enlightened on the role of women, yet when he took the inquisitive association test developed by Harvard even he discovered bias he didn’t realise he had.

“Men are still getting an easy ride. Women are working against all these bias’ in order to get ahead in the creative industry. We need to reprogram ourselves and our culture if we want to achieve equality.”

Jane shared her personal experience with the room. “I’ve sat in boardrooms where people don’t look at me because I’m female. We are a generation with adaptability – we can fix things that don’t work. Things are not changing and we need to have the conversations we should be having.”

Carolyn Miller (The Honeycomb Effect), Mike Beckerleg (THiiNK) and Lorraine Jokovic (LOUD) made up the team arguing on the side of “merit”.

“We’re all victims of unconscious bias”, said Mike, but being aware of it is the first step. Quotas signal tokenism. If a woman is promoted at work how does she escape the stigma of how she got the gig?”

Carolyn asked the question – “Why is it that 90-95% of leadership is filled with men – even in areas that are heavily represented by women in the industry – like PR and account management? One of the biggest challenges of creative women is being heard.”

Lorraine added, “If we as an industry are meant to lead from the front and influence culture then imagine what our future is going to look like if we don’t get this right. Gender diversity will only happen when unconscious bias is called out and derided.”

Linda closed the argument for quotas with this point; “Quotas are simply a means to an end, to force greater attention to necessary change. We need to think with our heads, not our hearts, ‘cause the facts prove that the current approach simply isn’t working. Some 99 per cent of ASX 200 companies with gender diversity policies but only five per cent, 10 per cent and six per cent  respectively of them have female CEO’s, COO’s and CFO’s.”

So who wins? Well, if we don’t fix this problem, the answer is nobody.  We will continue to decline as an industry.

On the bright side, the debate showed an interesting shift of the dial in just one hour. From two-thirds of the audience pro-merit pre-debate to a 50:50 voting result post-debate. That’s a lot of open minds … ready to consider and educate themselves.

The problem is complex but the first step is acknowledging we have a problem. It’s only then that we can look to the future and find the solutions together.

At the end of the day diversity – be it gender, race or sexual orientation – is something we should all strive to achieve in order to be better at what we do, how we engage and how we grow as an industry. And it’s up to each of us to make it happen.

So how will you be part of the solution?

Please login with linkedin to comment

Latest News

Comexposium Takes Over NZ Partner MTS To Become Largest Trans-Tasman Events Group
  • Marketing

Comexposium Takes Over NZ Partner MTS To Become Largest Trans-Tasman Events Group

Marketing events group Comexposium has absorbed its New Zealand joint venture partner MTS to deliver an expanded event solutions business across the Trans-Tasman. The deal will see Ryf Quail (pictured above) return to Sydney to lead Comexposium Australian and Kiwi team, while his current MTS team remains in place as Comexposium employees. While the business […]

Eyeota Kick-Starts 2018 With $15.6 Million In Additional Funding
  • Marketing

Eyeota Kick-Starts 2018 With $15.6 Million In Additional Funding

Audience data provider Eyeota has announced a $15.6 million Series B capital raise to spearhead additional growth in 2018. The company was founded simultaneously in Singapore, Australia and Europe in 2010, and has remained independent and enjoyed strong growth locally, as well as launching into the US. Peter Hunter (pictured above), Eyeota’s general manager for […]

Poem Wins Four New Clients
  • Marketing

Poem Wins Four New Clients

Sydney-based PR and social agency Poem has announced it has won four new clients following another strong year of growth. The four clients are Property NSW (The Rocks and Darling Harbour), Fantastic Furniture, Ovolo Hotels and Purpose (a conference on purpose-driven business). Poem co-founder Matt Holmes said: “We’ve hit a nerve with clients who are […]

Facebook Makes Another News Feed Change
  • Media

Facebook Makes Another News Feed Change

Social media behemoth Facebook has announced its second major update for News Feed to make sure the news people see, while less overall, is high quality. This week, Facebook announced that the platform will launch a small test in the US focused on prioritising news from publishers that users find trustworthy. Facebook is also exploring ways […]

Attention! B&T’s Inaugural Bootcamp Launches!
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media
  • Technology

Attention! B&T’s Inaugural Bootcamp Launches!

B&T announces its new industry bootcamp! And, if you're like us & didn't know anything about it, all's revealed here.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Domain Boss Antony Catalano Exits
  • Media

Domain Boss Antony Catalano Exits

Mystery surrounds Domain boss's surprise exit, although the Mystery Machine nor a talking dog not spotted at Fairfax.

PHOTOPLAY Offers A Ghost Train Ride Like No Other At Sydney Festival
  • Media

PHOTOPLAY Offers A Ghost Train Ride Like No Other At Sydney Festival

Jasmin Tarasin, director at boutique production company PHOTOPLAY, is inviting invites audiences to take a trip through the inner-workings of the mind in ‘Ghost Train’, her latest multi-sensory VR project set to feature at this year’s Sydney Festival. Working in collaboration with musician and co-creative director Jonnine Standish, Tarasin’s uniquely immersive ‘Ghost Train’ is a […]

March One To Rebrand Fundraising Institute Australia
  • Marketing

March One To Rebrand Fundraising Institute Australia

Independent advertising and branding agency March One has been appointed to oversee the rebrand and repositioning of Fundraising Institute Australia (FIA). FIA is the national peak body representing professional fundraising in Australia. It was established to advance advocacy and professional standards, and has identified the need to better promote its role as the industry self-regulator, […]

Victorian Government Launches VR Bushfire Experience Via The Fuel Agency
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns
  • Technology

Victorian Government Launches VR Bushfire Experience Via The Fuel Agency

As part of its summer fire campaign, the Victorian government has launched a virtual reality (VR) bushfire experience and content series via The Fuel Agency. The VR experience places the user in the midst of a large bushfire, and is designed to encourage people to leave early on high-risk days before it’s too late. The […]

Local Ad Tech Company VeNA Partners With RugbyPass
  • Advertising
  • Media
  • Technology

Local Ad Tech Company VeNA Partners With RugbyPass

ad tech company VeNA has signed an exclusive reseller partnership covering Australia and New Zealand with digital rugby network RugbyPass. Across Asia and parts of Europe, RugbyPass is the exclusive digital rights holder and over-the-top broadcaster for live rugby, including the Super Rugby, the Rugby Championship and autumn internationals, the Six Nations, the Aviva Premiership, […]