Author, CEO, agency boss, Gruen regular, mother and Labor party campaigner, is there anything the delightful and versatile Dee Madigan cannot do? B&T probes that very question in today’s Women In Media profile…
What are your passions?
Politics and campaigning. There is nothing like the buzz of working on an election campaign. Outside of work my passion is still politics and luckily I have managed to include it in my work as well! My other passions are my three kids and reading, when I get the time.
What is your proudest career achievement to date?
The 2015 Queensland election (see, there’s a pattern here).
What’s your ultimate career goal?
To have a successful agency that doesn’t just make great ads, but an agency that makes great ads that makes lives better.
Proudest personal achievement?
My three kids. They are smart, decent and funny. I love them to bits but more than that, I really, really like them.
How do you define leadership
Leadership is being confident enough in your own abilities to let the people you hire get on with their job.
What’s the worst thing about working the industry?
Clients with champagne tastes and beer budgets.
If you weren’t in this role, what would you be doing?
Maybe a psychologist, and writing in my spare time.
Have you ever felt like giving up?
I have a mortgage and three kids so giving up has never been an option, although I did feel like it about 10 years ago. I felt that my whole career was essentially making people buy shit they often couldn’t afford, didn’t need and, often, we were making them feel insecure about themselves in order to sell them the product. I made a conscious effort to choose clients who sit within my moral framework. I thought this would send me broke. It didn’t and I’m a lot happier as a result.
What qualities do you seek in other you want to work with?
Pragmatism, intelligence and a good sense of humour.
What five words would your staff use to describe you?
Loud, smart, caffeine-addicted, passionate, sweary.
What advice would you give to your 20-year-old self?
Ask for more pay rises.
What advice would you give a female graduate or a newbie contemplating in the media/advertising/marketing industry?
Negotiate your first salary. Women don’t tend to; men do, so it means we are behind the eight-ball from the very beginning.
What’s the one thing you wish you’d studied harder at uni/college?
I managed to put myself through uni on the Austudy Orphan’s allowance, supplemented by two part-time jobs. The fact that I graduated at all still surprises me.
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