Women To Watch: Bauer Media’s Fiona Baker

Women To Watch: Bauer Media’s Fiona Baker
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At B&T, We are staunch believers that every woman and her achievements should be celebrated, every day and always.

However, unfortunately, the achievements of women often go unnoticed. That’s why we launched our annual B&T Women in Media Awards – to recognise the amazing accomplishments of women across the marketing, communications and advertising industry.

In honour of our WIM Awards, we’re chatting to industry powerhouses; women we should all be keeping an eye on — women to watch.

Today we’re hearing from Fiona Baker, digital director of Now to Love + Bounty, Bauer Media Australia.

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In an ideal world, we wouldn’t need gender-specific awards. While it’s getting better – slowly – the numbers show it’s still a world where men hold the power, and in some areas of the media this is still very apparent. B&T’s Women in Media Awards recognise and acknowledge women, who may not always hold the power, be as visible or get the attention, but are brilliant and clever at what they do.

Some brilliant and clever women close to me are my 98-year-old grandmother who has just started writing another book, my gentle activist mum who never stops evolving, learning and believing, my glass-half-full sister raising three wild boys and my two fierce, strong and compassionate daughters who I’m just a little in awe of.

Reflecting on why we need the WIM Awards and the biggest impediment to equality in the workforce, I feel it’s still largely cultural. And to change that we probably need to enforce workplace rules and policies until we achieve a more equal workforce. Hopefully, we are raising a generation of future workers who will enforce that cultural change until it becomes the norm.

A good start is having more women in leadership positions who become role models – because it can be hard to be what you can’t see. I also think something everyone can do every day to change the cultural narrative is by checking our language and behaviour – not crediting or discrediting around gender stereotypes and not assigning behaviours to genders.

On another topic I think we should be thinking about, Bauer Media recently launched its Financially Fit Females campaign to improve the country’s financial literacy. And, as the daughter and sister of stockbrokers, I should be so much more financially fit. I understand the theory but have not put into practice.

Also, I think telling young women to make sure they’re getting “paid what you’re worth” is a blurry place, but knowing the going salaries for similar positions, regardless of gender, is important. And we only know that by improved transparency around salaries – it’s not the 60s anymore when sex, religion and pay-packets were banned conversation subjects. Of course, we then need to use that information to start a salary discussion – which is never the easiest chat to have. Some general financial advice: you’re NEVER too young to start thinking about your super. I wish I had 15 years ago.

Quickfire questions

If you were PM, what law would you change/introduce right now to improve equality?

That’s so difficult and political – and potentially draconian. But other countries are doing it because getting to a place of equality doesn’t seem to be happening organically. Not surprisingly, the Scandinavian countries have it all worked out – e.g. Norway as equal and mandatory paid parental leave for both parents (regardless of gender) and Iceland (OK, not strictly Scandinavian) has made a gender pay gap illegal, and companies have to prove pay parity or be fined. Could these work in Australia?

What is the best advice anyone has ever given you?

“No matter where you are or what you’re doing, someone will see you.” Ok, that sounds a bit creepy but I think Mum used it to scare us kids off drinking, smoking and lewd behaviour. But it also resonates in the workplace – being a role model, behaving respectfully and knowing your good work can also be seen.

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