For Cummins & Partners founder Kirsty Muddle, being brave is inherently linked to the way she makes decisions. She says if she’s not doing something that encourages or creates slight uncertainty, it’s too safe.
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.
Women in Media Awards 2018 Women of the Year Kirsty took the time to chat with B&T about her proudest professional moment, and her thoughts on what it means to be brave and courageous.
What is your proudest professional moment?
Probably about four years ago, we won the Nike account and it was like we’d won the Grand Final. The jubilation in the agency and that community feeling was incredible. That’s what we’d been working for and the payoff was a win for everybody. We won it after a fast and furious pitch. And we didn’t play by the rules in that pitch because usually there’s a four-week window for pitching and we just turned something around in 48 hours. When we found out that we won, the whole agency did this stand-up roar. It was spine-tingling.
What drives you? What keeps you going when things get tough?
Commitment – especially during this last period where you are staring into oblivion really because clients can’t tell you what their businesses are doing in the long term, because that’s all changed since COVID. So, what drives me really is making sure that we keep people in jobs – getting up out of bed every day and making sure that we’re winning, putting in every effort to make sure that we still keep people in jobs. It’s definitely a moment in time thing but what drives me right now is that we all stay together.
When in your career have you been bravest and most courageous?
When I was trying to make the decision of whether or not I leave the security of a holding company in a global brand and go and start my own independent agency. You have no idea if it’s going to sink or swim. For me though, unless something encourages or creates slight uncertainty, it’s too safe, which means I’m not doing something new. Being brave is inherently linked to the way I make decisions. So starting the agency was a brave moment for me. There’s zero sense of security in income and you don’t know if you’re going to survive. I think sometimes it’s brave to say no favour of waiting for the next opportunity.
What’s adland getting right in its approach to fighting gender inequality?
It’s definitely getting something right to begin with because there’s a lot of CEOs that are women and if you look back 10 years ago, they were all male CEOs at agencies. And if you lift the cover a little bit, most of those women have children too. I think inequality mostly comes into play when you have children, because the systems and processes in businesses don’t allow for people to continue to have a work life balance when you have children. So I think as an industry we’re supporting families and removing the gender bias. But where I think we could improve is the idea you can’t break down bias until you make men and women’s right equal.
What advice would you give to women who are entering the media industry or who are maybe struggling to have their voice heard?
Call me. I think it’s important to have another female on your side. One of the things we say when we talk about equality is it’s not good enough to hero women, but it’s also about giving people a voice and that’s more important. It’s way more important women have a voice because that’s ultimately what we want: to hear the difference and to create original thinking. So I’d say get a mentor in the industry. Or just call me.
Don’t be shy, be proud of your achievements and enter B&T’s Women In Media! Submit your entry here.
You can also get tickets to the event here, which will be held virtually on Wednesday 28 October 2020.
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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