Get To Know Your WIM Judge, QMS Media’s Sara Lappage: “To Fear less, Means To Learn More”

Photography by andre&dominqiue
B&T Magazine
Edited by B&T Magazine
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Fearlessness is about recognising and unlocking the barriers that hold you back from expanding and deepening your quality of life, according to QMS Media’s chief marketing officer, Sara Lappage.

During this year’s B&T Women in Media Awards, presented by Bauer Media, we’ll be recognising exceptional people who have achieved success in their professional arenas, celebrating their invaluable contribution to their industry through leadership, innovation and courage.

A judge at this year’s Women in Media Awards, Sara Lappage (pictured above, right) is the chief marketing officer of QMS Media, the company behind the remarkable Power Chicks program and a sponsor for the 2020 event.

In a recent interview with B&T in the lead-up to October’s WIM, Lappage revealed why she believes, from a media owner perspective, our industry is lagging on bringing women to the table.

In her own words: “For longer than I care to admit, I have been one of the only, if not the only, senior female executives at the table for the various media businesses I have worked for.

“It’s important we start to even up the scales, to ensure that these businesses are being run with a diversified and equally balanced approach, for the benefit of all,” she says.

Sara, what does the theme of this year’s Women in Media Awards, ‘fearlessness’, mean to you?

To me, fearlessness is about recognising and unlocking the barriers that hold you back from expanding and deepening your quality of life—either personally or professionally—and having the confidence and belief in yourself to do so.

To fear less, means to learn more.

What does fearlessness in our industry look like?

Those individuals, companies and brands who demonstrate a bias for action and the ability to shift and respond quickly and, most importantly, learn along the way, are the ones who are fearless.

This fearlessness can manifest in a number of ways, from shifting investment from the traditional to the new and sometimes unproven, to the introduction of new solutions, new markets and new customers.

Whilst our industry, on the whole, provides a pivotal platform for companies and brands to broadcast their fearlessness through the power of communication and action, at the end of the day I believe it’s about being true to yourself as a business and an individual, having a strong and consistent voice, and seeing adversity as an opportunity rather than a problem.

Who do you know who has shown these qualities since the COVID-19 pandemic struck?

Business Chicks, led from the front by Emma Isaacs and Olivia Ruello, has done an incredible job in transforming from a predominantly face-to-face event based model to a first-class virtual content led platform in the blink of an eye.

I am sure it doesn’t feel like that to them, but to those who are lucky enough to be members of their fabulous network of women, they have been able to quickly transition their business to provide even more opportunities for learning, inspiration and motivation than they would normally from their live events that move from state to state.

At a time when people are working from home and dealing with many business pressures—not to mention personal stresses—having the ability to source various leaders in their respective fields, to share insights into their successes, along with plenty of personal growth and wellbeing tips, Business Chicks tapped into just the right area of positivity and support that so many women have needed more than ever during COVID.

To me they have embodied the very notion of staying true to yourself, having a strong and consistent voice, and seeing adversity as an opportunity rather than a problem.

Is there an issue in the industry that keeps you up at night?

For longer than I care to admit, I have been one of the only, if not the only, senior female executives at the table for the various media businesses I have worked for. And whilst this was never a deliberate company directive by any means, it is simply a statement of fact.

We have seen significant progress made in recent times throughout many media agencies, with a number of outstanding and inspirational women leading the charge, and if not leading at least having a valued seat at the table. However, I feel from a media owner perspective, whilst things are certainly improving, we do tend to lag a bit behind.

It’s important we start to even up the scales to ensure that these businesses are being run with a diversified and equally balanced approach, for the benefit of all.

How can professionals in our industry be fearless in times of change?

By not being afraid to fail in the face of adversity or change.

I think the fear of failure for most people is usually far greater than the failure itself.  It’s an emotion and mindset that we have all experienced at some point in our life, and for some can be the reason why they may not succeed in achieving their goal.

I would encourage people to embrace change as an opportunity and know that if you do fail, it is actually OK. See that failure as an opportunity to learn and grow and apply those learnings on your continued pathway to success.

Why is it important for QMS to be involved as a sponsor for the Women in Media Awards?

QMS has always had a strategic focus on supporting and nurturing women within our business. It has been a passion of mine since the launch of the business in 2014, and as we have grown, as has our ability to broaden this support to the incredible women in the broader media industry, with the establishment of our Power Chicks program.

Our partnership with the B&T Women in Media Awards is one of the many components of this program and we are proud to be entering our third year with B&T, in recognising and celebrating the talented women across our industry. Not only are we able to celebrate with them on the night, we are also able to extend this recognition of the winners and their achievements across our premium digital billboard network to the broader community.

Capturing their moment in the spotlight has certainly been a highlight for many past winners!

Our Power Chicks program is multi-layered to provide education, inspiration, motivation, and support for women in media and is expanding and growing each and every year. Whilst there is so much more we want to do in this area, B&T’s Women in Media Awards will always remain a valued cornerstone of our program.

Don’t be shy, be proud of your achievements and enter B&T’s Women In Media! Submit your entry here.

You can also buy tickets to the event here, which will be held on Wednesday 28 October 2020, at Doltone House (Jones Bay Wharf).

And, if you’d like more information, head to this website.

On-time deadline: Friday 21 August 2020 (5pm AEST)

Late entries deadline: Friday 28 August 2020 (5pm AEST)

Shortlist announced: Wednesday 23 September 2020.

Thank you to all of our incredible sponsors for making the event possible! 

Featured image credit: andre&dominqiue

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Sara Lappage women in media awards

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