It’s 10 Questions With B&T’s Women In Media Power List #1, GroupM Supremo Aimee Buchanan

It’s 10 Questions With B&T’s Women In Media Power List #1, GroupM Supremo Aimee Buchanan

Fresh from polishing her newly-minted Women In Media Power list number one trophy, B&T caught up with GroupM Ceo, adland sage and generally lovely person, Aimee Buchanan…

1) Congrats on topping B&T’s Women In Media Powerlist (again). On the night you seemed totally surprised, you didn’t have any expectations? 

I was totally shocked.  It had been an enormous week and I was in a huge rush to get the kids sorted, had family visiting from interstate and was so glad to get there in time.  It was a mad rush and I hadn’t had a second to even think about it.  Funnily enough, when we got to number two on the list, I said to Tina (my incredible EA and partner in crime) who was next to me, “Oh well I guess I didn’t make the list this year.” So yes – I was a bit speechless.

2) What does being number one mean to you?

For me, power is about the influence to change things positively so for me it is recognition that I’ve been able to make a positive impact on our people, our business and the industry.  Being recognised on this list alongside these incredible women is incredibly humbling and motivating.  It is not always easy to agitate for change and there have been times over the last few years where I have questioned speaking up and out about things that are important culturally, socially and commercially. Nights like this reinforce that it is our responsibility to use our influence in the right way.

3) Do you try to use your power for good? 

I do my best to drive progress in both capability and culture.  I am super passionate about the programs we run that focus on making advertising work better for our people, our partners and the planet.  Over the last 12-18 months we have launched Alpha – our approach to making advertising work better for the planet, our menopause policy, our DAP (disability action plan), our new parental leave policy, gender affirmation policies and many more.  We have also worked hard to build new capability for our clients to make advertising work better for them, launching Acceleration – our data and tech consultancy and Nexus – our digital performance capability that brings together all of our digital performance activation and media solutions.  I am super excited about what is to come and what we are building across Wavemaker, Mindshare and EssenceMediacom.

4) What has been the reaction in the industry? 

Lovely.  Very supportive and so many kind messages from friends old and new.

5) More importantly, are the kids and your husband listening to you more? 

Ha! No. I wish. My husband rolled his eyes and told me his job is to keep me grounded.  The kids were very excited by the Employer trophy, which featured in my daughter’s room for a day and my son put in his make believe shop and I had to buy it back.  They are just starting to understand what I do for work (not just talking on the phone and tapping on my laptop) and I am receiving lots of questions when the ads come on!

6) You personally have been a long-term supporter of B&T Women In Media, why?

I love that this awards program shines a light on such a broad range of our industry’s best.  I love the support and warmth in the room.  It doesn’t hold the same competitive tension of some awards shows and feels like it showcases a deeper and broader range of our talent.  To me, it also symbolises some of the progress that we have made, that we take to the time to recognise the incredible women across the industry.  I love the realness of the night, hearing these women talk about their challenges and achievements is a great reinforcement of what amazing talent we have.

7) On reflection is there anyone you forget to thank? Make-good time?

I think I was in such shock I may have missed a few.  A big shout out to the incredible GroupM exco and the broader team for their support and for coming on this journey with me.  I feel lucky to have such a remarkable group of people leading the agencies and broader business. Nothing can be achieved without a supportive and committed team all pulling together in the same direction. Importantly, a big thank you to my hubby and my two munchkins for their constant support and making it possible to do what I do.

8) Do clients care about these industry awards? 

It’s an interesting question. Our clients were very excited about GroupM winning the Employer category.  We are a people business and knowing that we are focused on building an inclusive and supportive workplace at the group and each of the agencies is important for our clients. It shows that we can attract and retain the best people and that we value their experience as part of our business. That makes a difference when they are thinking about the kinds of partners they want.

9) Vital last question, where’s your trophy now? 

The GroupM Employer trophy is on the bookshelf at the entrance of our Sydney office and it catches my eye every time I walk past it.

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Aimee Buchanan Women in Media

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