Val Morgan and POPSUGAR are hosting a panel next week that features four incredible and courageous female leaders in our industry!
They will dive headfirst into the topic of misogyny and the impact it has on the retention and attraction of women to our industry.
No conversation will be off-limits and no subject will be too delicate to tackle. The women will draw on experiences in their own careers to have the conversation you usually reserve for over a few wines with close friends – raw and real!
The panel is a follow up from the misogyny narrative B&T covered last year and is designed to air lived experiences of agency life in order to encourage much-needed change.
You can register here.
Industry powerhouse, Sunita Gloster will moderate the panel with four of our industry’s emerging leaders Phoebe Sloane from Special, Linda Fagerlund from Dentsu, Abigail Dubin Rhodin from Leo Burnett and Zoe Samios, SMH and The Age.
Gloster said: “The frequency of workplace sexual harassment, discrimination and bullying is a worrying narrative for young women and our industry is not immune.
“I commend Val Morgan and POPSUGAR for championing a change agenda as these conversations are usually had on eggshells. Moreso, I am in awe of the young women on this panel who will share stories of what they and their friends experience to create awareness and change for the good of our industry.”
Crystal Andrews will be a keynote speaker at the Unstoppable emerging leaders’ panel hosted by Val Morgan and POPSUGAR. Andrews, along with her fellow courageous contemporaries. she will share her own story.
Andrews is the founder of the news website Zee Feed and B2B subscription service POV Insights. Andrews is building a career by speaking to the upcoming generation, empowering them and translating how to connect with them to the mainstream media.
Andrews has a unique ability to hone in on what is inspiring, concerning and demotivating the new generation coming into offices and workplaces and wanting more.
Her insights are a testament to Andrews’ smarts, empathy and critical thinking. She’s working as a translator to teach media businesses how to connect with a whole new generation of brains, and it’s in their best interests to listen. After all, they are fast becoming the new key demos.
Naturally, Andrews plans to speak on what’s impacting Gen Z. After all, it’s her area of expertise, and it fits as the aim of the panel is to look at how we can accelerate the safety, equity and participation of young women in the media and marketing industry.
It’s something Andrew spends a lot of time thinking about. How we can make the industry more welcoming for Gen Z? How can we empower people without talking down to them? How can we be more accessible without it coming across as tokenism?
For Andrews, these are questions she’s been grappling with her whole career. Born and raised as a first-generation Australian, she didn’t exactly feel like the media industry was easily accessible to her or even within her grasp.
Andrews told B&T, “Perth and my upbringing was all very external to the media industry not only geography-wise, but I think this industry, in particular, is all about connections.” And while she had an uncle that lived in Sydney, so, she could complete an internship without factoring in accommodation costs. she had no casual entry into the media world.
This made her start in the industry overwhelming. How do you find your voice in a room of people when you feel like an outsider?
Still, Andrews can acknowledge things are improving, “I think it’s getting better, in the way that I think generally everything gets better over time. I think things change as we have more access to education and a wider variety of experiences. I think things are getting a little bit better,” Andrews explained,
But Andrews is also hyper-aware of the industry’s failings. Andrews said: “One thing I think that is still an issue is the media industry has the tendency to default into thinking about people through only one plain of their identity. It’s something I call binary thinking. For instance, I think the media industry has gotten better at elevating women through senior ranks and women with great ideas on the editorial and commercial teams and even all aspects of the business. But not so much along other intersections and not so much in a diversity of age that can move up with the ranks or race, ethnicity, class, visible and invisible disability.
“I don’t think we are as good at recognising those experiences and valuing them within media businesses and realising the value that diversity can bring.”
For instance, while Andrews has been managed before by women in various roles, she’s never been managed by a woman of colour. It all circles back to this idea that the media doesn’t dig deep enough into supporting and empowering people.
Andrews explained: “The media and advertising industries have a reputation for doing lip service only. And frankly, it’s deserved. Even with the way we frame International Women’s Day – it’s all about the celebration of women and the exceptional talent of women in the industry… which is nice but not nearly as helpful as tackling the misogyny that’s rampant in our workplaces.
“The way women are still restricted in what topics we’re consulted on, the ways in which we look and sound is still heavily policed, the way female journalists – and especially Black, brown and Asian women journalists – are targeted by audiences, by their peers and managers.
“I’m still scared to put my face on social channels and do events because the non-constructive, aggressive ‘feedback’ I receive is almost always from men. I do it anyway, but I always feel anxious about it.”
Andrews always looks at things through all the layers and while she acknowledges the complexities of the issues she advocates for, she’s also aware so many of them arise because she is not working in an industry where diversity is present.
Of course, Andrews wants to clarify that she’s not trying to be critical of people who did grow up with certain privileges and easily shimmied their way into the industry. However, she also believes we need to question it.
Andrews said: “It’s not to discredit people’s talent and abilities, but the opportunities are limited, and why are they only afforded to a certain group? Why are we seeing the same types of surnames and the people that went to the same schools?
“In an industry that has a reputation for having a social element to it, it is quite isolating if you don’t come from those inner circles. Who do you talk to at those events? That was something I struggled with in my own career.
Quite, simply as Andrews put it, “We could be doing better as an industry if there were some other ideas kicking around.”
Andrews is also interested in the differences between millennials and Gen Z, “Gen Z and millennials have a shared experience of an oppositional relationship with baby boomers. But millennials grew up with some internet, but Gen Z has had it from the get-go. So, I think that’s where that shared cultural experience is common. However, Gen Z has grown up fully immersed in hearing everyone’s opinions all of the time before you have the life experience to process it properly.”
So what is she working towards? Andrews said, “The biggest thing for me is pushing a broader understanding of intersectional identity to my audience at Zee Feed but also to the wider media industry.
“For instance, how different elements of my identity have impacted my experience in the media industry and how certain elements have been beneficial. But I have also been significantly held back in a way my colleagues and bosses haven’t been able to recognise, and then how they can address them?
“Diversity is not a one-dimensional thing, and it’s something Gen Z will experience more intensely because they are even more diverse.”
So practically, what can the media do better? Andrews said: “Something I haven’t seen done much is inviting diverse and varied teams to collaborate and work on different projects, editorial advertising or anything! For instance, not asking people to come and sit in with particular expertise that you perceive to them.
“For instance, in journalism, there’s a tendency to try and commission people to talk about their particular identity. Asking young indigenous freelancers to write on indigenous issues because they have that experience but then only asking them to do that. But I think it would be better for everybody and more interesting and deepen all of our experiences and understanding if they were writing about sports or music or sports!”
Truthfully Andrews isn’t asking for much. She wants the media industry to reflect the diversity of Australia and listen to the new generation.
Click here to register for the unmissable panel starring the industry’s most unstoppable women.
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