NewsLifeMedia boss, Nicole Sheffield, is our starter today for B&T’s on-going Women In Media series. Here she talks what drives her passions, why kids and career do mix, and her dream of becoming a Hollywood scriptwriter…
I wouldn’t do a job I didn’t love because when I love something, I’m obsessed by it… My career goal is to continue to grow this business substantially or to be operating a business bigger than this. Getting news.com.au to number one was amazing and I’m immensely proud of NewsLifeMedia and the big changes we’ve made, the courage it’s taken and the commitment of the investment from News Corp. Next up, since acquiring delicious. one-hundred per cent from the ABC, is my ambition to make it into a massive multi-channel brand that truly revolutionises food lifestyle in this country and beyond. That doesn’t just stop in magazine and digital. It goes onto newspapers, television… I feel we’ve come so far. There’s always something that I need to steeplechase or launch.
Simplicity and user experience is always first and foremost in my mind… The customer is the most important thing. It doesn’t matter how great your technology is or how great your product is, if the customer can’t use it or understand it, especially when you’re innovating, it’s no good. I’ve carried that mantra with me all my life and it’s particularly relevant now because so much of our business is about innovation.
A personal crusade of mine is women in the workplace and the role we have in the media to create change… Australia has the highest number of women in any Western country in the world that drop out of the workforce between the ages of 30 and 40. That’s a direct correlation to our childbearing years so this country is actually in a very bad way.
At NewsLifeMedia I try to talk to everyone that is having a baby and say, ‘it’s the best thing you do but don’t give up your career’… I’ve had four kids but think it’s really important to stay in touch with the workplace. It doesn’t mean you can’t have your time off, but keep reading, keep in touch, even if you’re just having coffee and bringing the babies in. I was very fortunate in my career that I was able to return to work four days a week. On the whole, we try and be flexible and put people in roles where they still feel they’re gaining a lot yet are keeping their career alive. That central mission is something very close to my heart.
I think if I had my time again, I’d pretty much do what I did… But if I could dream… I’d do something crazy like move to the US and be a scriptwriter. I’ve always loved to write and I’m quite creative so I probably would have tried to get into a studio. That was always a dream, but very impractical and my parents used to always say, ‘that’s ridiculous. No one ever makes that’. I’ve put my writing to good use in other ways. I do a lot of reading and have a hobby of reviewing books. I love content, creating and imagining.
And make sure you enter our Women in Media Awards, or nominate a colleague, here!
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