Women in Media’s Danni Wright: “I Look Around Me And I See A 99 Per Cent White Workforce”

Women in Media’s Danni Wright: “I Look Around Me And I See A 99 Per Cent White Workforce”
B&T Magazine
Edited by B&T Magazine

Carat Australia’s head of strategy, Danni Wright, believes we’re on the right path to greater equality—but she’s also firmly aware that assumption and bias are alive and well in ad-land.

During this year’s B&T Women in Media Awards, presented by Are Media, we’ll be recognising exceptional people who have achieved success in their professional arenas, celebrating their invaluable contribution to their industry through leadership, innovation and courage.

Recently, B&T spoke with tactician Danni Wright, the 2019 Women in Media Awards winner for ‘Strategy’, who hit us with a no bull sh*t, absolute fire quote (that we’re stealing) and revealed how a health misdiagnosis gave her an incredible amount of perspective.

B&T: Danni, what is the difference between being ‘brave’ and being ‘courageous’?

For me, being brave is about adopting a resilient mindset in response to a situation, whilst being courageous takes you beyond the reactive and into the proactive—deliberately walking into the unknown in the service of ambitions, values or beliefs.

When in your career have you been bravest and most courageous?

They are huge traits and I’m not sure the things that come to mind are worthy of those badges. I would, however, count myself a member of the camp of optimists. Optimism is more than having blind faith in a positive outcome, it’s about being an active part of securing that outcome.

What I love about our industry is that there is always a platform for those who want to find different and better ways to operate—demanding and rewarding optimism in equal measure.

The last couple of years have really cemented that value for me. If you think something can be done better, throw yourself at being part of the solution, but importantly: “if you are not in the arena also getting your ass kicked, I’m not interested in your feedback”, as Brene Brown aptly puts it!

What is the scariest thing you’ve ever overcome?

About seven years ago I was diagnosed with a muscular wasting disease, the prognosis for which was the gradual diminishment of the muscular function of one side of my body with no cure or treatment beyond the management of pain.

Six months into the diagnosis I undertook a muscle biopsy procedure to understand if I was a genetic carrier of the disease.  Long story short, this led to a retraction of the initial diagnosis into one in which the neurologists were 90 per cent certain I didn’t have the disease.

Nothing like a debilitating disease to give you some perspective!

Why should women in Australia’s media, marketing and advertising industries be courageous?

Everyone in our industry should be courageous.

Advertising plays a powerful force in shaping and perpetuating culture and it’s incumbent on all of us to ensure that the work that we are doing is representative of our society and a positive force within it.

Have the women and men of ad-land been courageous enough in our fight for gender equality?

I certainly believe that gender equality has made it into the collective consciousness of our industry. For example, gone are the days of presenting an all-male front in a client meeting (even if thrown together by happy accident!), and no RFP is complete without citing the gender profile of leadership.

And yet as a 34-year-old female (who looks about 25!), I also know firsthand what it’s like to walk into a meeting and not command the immediate authority that a six-foot bearded male with a voice that carries across the room would.

I also know how I feel when I have let a client or colleague know that the ‘he’ with which they have gendered my partner is actually a ‘she’. And I don’t know how it feels, but I look around me and I see a 99 per cent white workforce. So, I know we have work to do.

For the men and women who feel that ‘gender inequality isn’t a thing anymore’ the hope is that this position of privilege comes with an awareness of the inequality that has come before and an alertness to the myriad of other ways that inequality in opportunity is unmistakably present in our industry, and society at large.

Whilst none of us are responsible for being in positions of privilege, which is a relative classification, we are all responsible for the awareness with which we carry it and what we choose to do with it.

And finally, who is the bravest or most courageous person you know and why?

The person that jumps to my mind is Chiquita King, the founder and managing director of the independent creative shop Coffee Cocoa Gunpowder.  The courage to start one of the two solo female founded creative agency’s that I know of is one thing, but the grace and radiance with which she carries herself is another entirely.

CK’s leadership style is beautifully feminine, which is both an antidote to the mould as well as a proof point behind the many shapes that leadership can and should take.

Gender equality shouldn’t be a proxy for sameness—but instead about ensuring equality in opportunity so that everyone has the freedom to embrace their own unique identity, be this within or beyond the expectations associated with their gender, race and sexuality.

Don’t be shy, be proud of your achievements and enter B&T’s Women In Media! Submit your entry here.

You can also buy tickets to the event here, which will be held on Wednesday 28 October 2020, at Doltone House (Jones Bay Wharf).

And, if you’d like more information, head to this website.

Other key information 

On-time deadline: Friday 21 August 2020 (5pm AEST)

Late entries deadline: Friday 28 August 2020 (5pm AEST)

Shortlist announced: Wednesday 23 September 2020.

Thank you to all of our incredible sponsors for making the event possible! 

Please login with linkedin to comment

B&T women in media awards carat australia Danni Wright women in media awards

Latest News

Leadership, Humanity, Technology – The Sweet Spot
  • Media
  • Technology

Leadership, Humanity, Technology – The Sweet Spot

The SingularityU Australia Executive Program will take place this may, celebrating leadership at the intersection of the values of humanity and the value of technology. The Elon Musks, Apples and Xeros of the world are taking risks for humanity and creating new  technologies that streamline and beautify business operations. They simplify life by providing basic […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
OMD Alumnus Launches Specialist Media Agency For The Franchise Sector; TFM Digital
  • Marketing

OMD Alumnus Launches Specialist Media Agency For The Franchise Sector; TFM Digital

Brisbane media professional and former OMD Australia Account Director Taylor Fielding (pictured) has officially launched TFM Digital. TFM Digital is a specialist media agency based in Newstead which primarily provides media buying services, and strategy development, to businesses chiefly, but not exclusively, within the franchise sector. Prior to the launch of TFM Digital, Fielding spent […]

Urth Teams Up With Croud To Drive International Growth
  • Marketing

Urth Teams Up With Croud To Drive International Growth

The Australian camera accessory brand, Urth, famed for their focus on sustainability, has appointed Croud as their new digital marketing partner, in order to power global and local growth.

FutureFeed Appoints Five By Five For Global Launch
  • Media

FutureFeed Appoints Five By Five For Global Launch

Launch marketing specialists Five by Five Global have been appointed by FutureFeed to develop their brand, international certification trademark and go to market strategy. The innovative livestock feed ingredient developed by CSIRO, Meat and Livestock Australian and James Cook University uses a specific genus of seaweed, Asparagopsis, which significantly reduces methane emissions in ruminant livestock. […]

SKMG’s Andrew Knowles Snares B&T’s 30 Under 30 For PR
  • Marketing

SKMG’s Andrew Knowles Snares B&T’s 30 Under 30 For PR

Andrew Knowles, partner and co-founder of the corporate communications consultancy Shoebridge Knowles Media Group (SKMG), has won the PR category in the 2021 B&T 30 Under 30 Awards. Knowles received the award at a ceremony in Sydney last night, claiming victory in a highly competitive field that included leading executives from some of Australia’s biggest […]

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 14: Jack Viney of the Demons and Mitch Wallis of the Bulldogs pose for a photo during the Theragun & AFL Partnership announcement at AFL House on April 14, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos)
  • Marketing

AFL Names Therabody As Its Official Recovery Partner

The AFL is delighted to welcome Therabody as its Official Recovery Partner of the 2021 Toyota AFL Premiership Season. Therabody’s industry-leading devices and research will be integrated into pre-match training and post-match recovery routines to help prevent injuries and help improve overall athletic performance. Therabody will also become the naming partner for the end-of-season AFL […]