Lisa Wilkinson: “I Had To Write My Own Rules, And I Certainly Broke A Few”

Lisa Wilkinson: “I Had To Write My Own Rules, And I Certainly Broke A Few”

If there’s any woman in Australian media who truly deserves the title of trailblazer, it’s Lisa Wilkinson.

A true force of nature, Wilkinson will be giving the closing address at B&T‘s Changing the Ratio conference in Sydney on May 28. Secure your tickets here, and do it quickly, time is running out!

For those unaware of the conference, Changing The Ratio is a bold new initiative to continue B&T’s mission of making equality and inclusion the norm in Australia’s communications industry and beyond.

Completely Australian born and bred, this event is about bringing the extraordinary creative problem solving capability of this great nation to bear on a problem we should be looking to fix right now.

Held on May 28th in Sydney at the Belvior Street Theatre, Changing The Ratio will bring together spectacular speakers and industry panel discussions, to allow attendees to walk away with practical tools, case studies and things to do right now that they can take back to their own organisation to drive diversity and inclusion.

To get you excited about her upcoming keynote address, here’s a bit of a refresher on Lisa’s rise to the top of the journalistic tree.

At the tender age of 19, Wilkinson applied to a three-line ad in the Sydney Morning Herald asking for a secretary at Dolly Magazine. “To this day, it’s the only job I have ever applied for,” she said.

A mere three years later, Wilkinson was editor-in-chief of the magazine, the youngest person to hold the position in the magazine’s history.

“Sure I didn’t have a uni degree, but I had something much more powerful. I had my passion.”

Though, the role was not without its hardships.

Wilkinson admitted to the audience she suffered from acute anxiety due to the pressure of the role.

“To say that I was paralysed with fear would be an understatement,” she said.

Wilkinson acknowledged the huge shoes she was expected to fill, and accepted at times her peers would likely have been thinking, “Who does this trumped up little typist think she is.”

“But those non-believers could not have done me a bigger favour.”

“I knew my strengths and weaknesses better than anyone and I wasn’t going to give any of those naysayers the satisfaction of seeing me fail,” she added.

Coincidentally, it was the naysayers who pushed her to become the story of success she is today.

For Wilkinson, every career opportunity lends us the ability to learn, grow and eventually, completely surpass all expectations.

“Competition does not exist in my vernacular.”

“I want to work with people from whom I can learn,” she said.

Speaking on the current issue of gender equality in the workforce, Wilkinson echoed the global chants by both women and men over the past six months, with everything from the #MeToo movement to female empowerment more generally.

“Women have had enough,” she said.

Adding, “There has never been a more exciting time to be a woman”.

Despite all the trials and tribulations faced throughout her career, the main thing Wilkinson has learnt is how to swim against the current and, of course, break the rules.

“Being so young, no one had gotten around to teaching me the rules,” she said.

“So I wrote a few of my own, and I certainly broke a few.”

B&T is taking steps in addressing gender disparity in the workplace with its upcoming event Changing The Ratio conference. To hear more of Lisa’s inspirational story, grab you and your team some tickets here to be part of the movement.




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