Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants: B&T’s Women In Media Awards, Presented By Are Media, Are BACK!

Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants: B&T’s Women In Media Awards, Presented By Are Media, Are BACK!

History has been paved by women, suffragettes and pioneers who illuminated the path, making way for the current generation of incredible women in the media industry. Some have been forgotten by time, but some are still working hard to make the media landscape a better and more inclusive place than yesterday. 

The Women in Media Awards, presented by Are Media, are back, recognising exceptional women who have achieved success in their professional arenas and celebrating their invaluable contribution to their industry through their leadership, innovation, and courage.

Enter B&T’s Women in Media Awards Now!

Let’s look back through time at the women who have paved the way for women to stand tall among giants today. 

The Suffragettes

They were the pioneers who paved the way for a future where women held positions of power in the media industry. At a time when women weren’t allowed in newsrooms, Anna Blackwell served as a war correspondent for the Sydney Morning Herald, detailing the advance of Prussian forces to the outskirts of Paris in 1870.

Bernice Fitz-Gibbon charted a remarkable 40-year career in advertising and was one of the first women to found an agency. Even Andrea Diquez and Sarah Thompson led 200 other ad agency execs to fight sexual harassment and other forms of abuse in the industry to Megan Twohey and Jodi Kantor exposing Harvey Weinstein. 

These are the women who forged the path ahead. They fought for their place in a male-dominated industry and the right to stand amongst men as equals. They stood up in the face of injustice and built the much more diverse industry we see today. 

Enter The Women in Media Awards Now!

The Modern Trailblazers

While the fight looks different in some ways today, there is still plenty to be done. Women may no longer need to fight for a seat at the table; instead, they fight for pay equality, better representation in leadership and the ability to balance work, life and family on their terms. The Women in Media Power List highlights the trailblazers, the women who are changing the landscape and paving the path for the next generation of leaders. 

Sunita Gloster AM

“Truly powerful marketing uses empathy and emotion to connect. Making that kind of impact is why I love my profession”.

Gloster, who was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia for her significant service in the media and marketing industry and advocacy for gender equality, is a globally acknowledged leader in her field. 

She has consistently appeared on the B&T Women in Media Power list for nine years. Gloser serves as a Non-Executive Director for Maurice Blackburn Lawyers and the UN Global Compact Network Australia, the principal sustainability initiative for businesses in Australia. Additionally, she is a senior advisor at Accenture and co-chairs the Tech Council of Australia’s media and marketing committee. Gloster is an active member of Chief Executive Women, an Australian Institute of Company Directors graduate, and an alumni of the AICD Chair’s Mentoring Program for women in ASX Board roles. 

Aimee Buchanan

“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”.

During Buchanan’s 10-year tenure at OMD, which included five years as CEO, the agency grew to be one of the largest in the country. Since being poached from OMD to take the top spot at GroupM in October 2021, Buchanan has moved quickly – building an enviable roster of executive female leaders around her. 

She has spoken candidly on several key issues impacting the industry, such as sustainability and the future of TV. Not one to just give things lip service, Buchanan has been the key driver in several industry-first diversity and employee wellbeing initiatives. In July last year, GroupM became the first agency-holding group to offer carbon offsetting and climate-positive activities across display and online video (via a partnership with Good Loop).

Cathy O’Connor

“I want there to be more role models in media, like me, so I’m loud and proud of being a female CEO in media and always will be. If people look up and see it’s possible, then nothing is impossible”.

Since taking the reins of oOh!media in 2021, O’Connor has successfully steered the company out of the troubled COVID waters and put it back on track. Under her leadership, oOh!media won the highly sought-after Sydney Metro competitive tender, securing a ground-breaking long-term contract to revolutionise the commuter experience in Sydney’s bustling CBD.

O’Connor boasts an incredible 36-year-long career in Australia’s cutthroat media business across commercial, content and media.

O’Connor is passionate about overcoming unconscious bias, educating men and women about having diverse thoughts and holding the lens up more on how they think, how they filter, and how they recruit.

Kirsty Muddle

“Advertising professionals are calling for stronger action in this area, and whilst there is a perception that things are improving, the experiences of sexism and gender discrimination unfortunately remain common”.

Muddle has been leading dentsu Creative Australia and New Zealand for more than two years and has led the agency to produce some of the most impactful data-driven creative work in recent years.

A regular on the B&T Women in Media Power List, prior to taking the top job at dentsu Creative, Muddle spent 11 years at Cummins&Partners and nearly a decade at Mindshare, including a stint in London.

Now, she leads a team of passionate people across creative, strategy, production, earned attention, digital experience, entertainment, public relations, content, social media, indigenous affairs, and government relations. She also sits on the board of the Advertising Council and the AANA.

Melissa Fein

“It is unbelievable recognition for all the work that we do every day and we’re so inspired!”

In her six-year stewardship of IPG’s top media agency, Fein has worked tirelessly to re-engineer the agency both commercially and culturally. Her efforts have clearly paid off with Initiative winning Campaign‘s Global Agency of the Year in 2023. Initiative also regularly features in B&T‘s new business rankings, demonstrating the remarkable success that Fein has brought to the agency.

Last year, she told B&T that bravery was key to great advertising and she was committed to “making the impossible, possible.”

In 2021, RECMA named Initiative Australia the fastest-growing media agency in the world. Fein is also an MFA board member, a member of the National LGBTQ Executive Allies Forum and a board member of Swimming Australia, Cancer Chicks and the social enterprise, Little Colossus.

This is step one

Rise to the challenge, stand on the shoulders of giants and chart your own course to greatness. 

These Women in Media Awards champion women from across the media industry, rising stars and experienced execs. This is your moment to stand tall amongst the pioneers who came before you. History starts now.

This year’s awards feature a brand new category, Sustainability Champion, highlighting women in media disciplines working tirelessly to make a difference in the preservation of this planet.

Entries for the Women In Media Awards are open now!

Key Dates

Entries open – Thursday 11 April 2024
Early Bird entries close – Tuesday 4 June 2024 (11.59 PM)
Late entries close – Tuesday 11 June 2024 (11.59 PM)
Power List launch – Tuesday 9 July 2024
Early Bird tickets finish – Friday 12 July 2024 (11.59 PM)
Shortlist announced – Monday 15 July 2024
Awards Night – Friday 16 August 2024

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