Women in leadership have a powerful ability to change the way businesses, or countries, function by doing things their own way, according to King Street’s executive producer, Katie Trew.
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.
The winner of last year’s Women in Media Awards award for creative producer of the year, Katie Trew took the time to chat with B&T from her home-base in Perth, where she revealed why she is excited for the future of women in ad-land, and in leadership.
However, she also explained why she believes ad-land has an “over inflated sense” of its “own importance”. (Bring the popcorn, as you won’t want to miss this.)
Katie, what is the difference between being ‘brave’ and being ‘courageous’?
I think the difference between being brave and being courageous is reflective of how high the stakes are. There is a sense of safety still with being courageous. If you attempt a courageous act and fail, the outcomes are not necessarily dire.
However, to be brave is to take a risk with the very real possibility of spectacular failure with significant consequences.
When in your career have you been bravest or most courageous?
I have always found fear to be a great motivator in my career. I have always been driven to do things that scared me, both in my work and personal lives.
In my 20s and 30s, it came very naturally to me to lean into risk, but on reflection these were probably acts of courage more than real bravery. In the early years of your career you really have nothing to lose with everything in the world to gain.
As I have gotten older, the consequences to take genuine risks can sometimes feel insurmountable.
What is the scariest thing you’ve ever overcome?
I made a big life change a few years ago by packing up my life in Sydney and moving back to my childhood home of Perth. At the time it felt absolutely terrifying.
There were no doubts that it was the right move for my family and personal life, but I was genuinely worried that it would be a significant backwards slide in my career.
The move warranted a shift from a senior role with a large media broadcaster into an unestablished role in a creative agency.
This tested me in ways I felt quite unprepared for and at times I felt the real potential of failure.
The great gift that comes from being tested and in turn succeeding, is a rare opportunity to temporarily shake off the imposter syndrome that most of us are burdened with.
Why should women in Australia’s media, marketing and advertising industries be courageous?
Small acts of courage can go a long way and we absolutely need to continue to make them every day.
Apply for the job that is beyond your current skill set. Call out the inappropriate behaviour. Drive the conversation about flexible working arrangements. Insist on an opportunity to negotiate your pay.
Just look at some of the inspirational female world leaders of today. Some would argue they are showing us that there is a better way to get the job done.
Women in leadership now have an incredibly powerful ability to change the way businesses, or countries for that matter, function by doing things their own way.
Leading with compassion and understanding is proving to be as successful as leading by aggression, force, and ego.
I am sure that every successful woman in a position of power today had a strong female mentor to guide and inspire them.
I am truly excited by what the next generation of women will bring to the table.
Have the women and men of ad-land been courageous enough in our fight for gender equality?
If you look around the executive boardrooms of Australia’s media, marketing and advertising businesses it’s still top heavy with Caucasian men.
I don’t say this to lay blame on those men. Many of them have been great mentors, inspiring colleagues and close friends of mine throughout my career.
But there is no doubt for a woman, like any minority, to have a seat at that same table they have had to be exceptional, whereas some (not all) men have been able to succeed with a certain level of mediocracy.
The gender imbalance in the creative industries is very real and until it evens up, we must continue to nurture young female talent and to encourage strong female leadership.
And finally, who is the bravest or most courageous person you know and why?
It took me a while to answer this question as I spent days mentally searching through my past mentors and inspirational leaders for incredible acts of bravery.
But the hard truth is that I cannot honestly justify an answer to this question with a person from the media and creative industries.
The healthcare workers on the front line of COVID-19? That’s real courage. To wilfully enter a towering inferno of flames to fight a bushfire—that’s true bravery.
It’s important that we retain a sense of humility in our industry and put what we do into perspective every now and then.
We can have an over inflated sense of our own importance sometimes and I think we would all create better work if we kept this in check.
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!
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