In B&T’s latest instalment celebrating the launch of our Women In Media Awards, today we chat to women’s magazine doyen, Marina Go. But not content being Hearst-Bauer general manager, Go is also chair of the West Tigers Rugby League team where she’s fast go a reputation for ruffling a few feathers…
What’s your long-term career plan?
My medium to long-term career goal is to sit on boards. I love the strategy element. I’ve been in the media my entire career and I’d love to ultimately chair a media company one day. In the executive space, if I wasn’t doing this, I would like to be an executive or CEO of a company in another industry to test my business skills, maybe in something like technology or retail, something that has an appropriate alignment with my experience. I have thought about it over the years. It could mean that I might have to actually go and work in another industry. I might be sitting on other boards that lead me to that place. I don’t know. I’m the process of working through that at the moment.
What drives you?
I love running businesses. I love being an executive director. I’ve chaired with Tigers and that kind of sustenance. It drives me, it pushes me, it extends my thinking. It’s almost a luxury to be able to work on rather than in the business.
What words would your staff use to describe you?
I asked and they said: empowering, nurturing, inspirational, pragmatic. Somebody wrote ‘switched on,’ which I thought was lovely because it means they don’t think I’m an idiot!
What is your proudest career moment?
There are many but when I was about 40 when I thought, ‘before I turn 50 I want to have been the CEO of a company and the chair of a board.’ I achieved both of those things in the last two years.
What is your proudest personal achievement?
My sons. My oldest son will graduate from his university degree later this year. My youngest son will be graduating from high school. I’m immensely proud of the young men that I’ve created, even though I’ve been a working mum. Everything runs pretty smoothly at home, except maybe when the footy is on. My youngest son and my husband support The Tigers, and my older son is a Rooster supporter. When there’s a Roosters/Tigers it’s really uncomfortable.
How do you find juggling a successful career with family life?
I’ve had a fantastic career and a wonderful relationship with my sons but it was very difficult when they were younger. I worked all the way through – I went back after six months with my first one, after four months with my second. But the most important thing is to understand that it does improve. I have a very supportive husband and family.
What advice would you give to women wanting to make it to the top?
Speak up! Network and be visible. There are a lot of really talented women who should have jobs that are way beyond what they have. The difference to me is the lack of visibility of those women, and it’s because as women we tend to believe that if we do a really good job someone will notice; the fact is, they don’t.
What pears of wisdom would you give to you female up-and-comers?
It’s very important from day one to find a way to differentiate yourself from the pack. You need to do it quickly and strategically. People have always said to me, ‘isn’t it lucky that you fell into digital when you did? Isn’t it lucky that you moved from being an editor to a publisher when you did?’ I look at them and go, ‘not at all.’ I went off and did an MBA. It was strategic. That’s why I was approached by Hearst to come and do this role. They said to me, ‘the reason we’ve approached you is because you’re the one person in Australia that has run a digital media business, has extensive print experience as well, understands strategy.’ They went through a list of things, and I thought, ‘wow, I have then achieved if they think that, I’ve actually achieved my goals I’ve set for myself in the market. What I hoped people would think about me.’
And make sure you enter our Women in Media Awards, or nominate a colleague, here!
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