It’s Friday – hooray! And to celebrate, we’re bringing you another fabulous Women in Media profile. Today, we are thrilled to present to you Melissa Kuttan, Account Executive at Venus Communication.
How would you describe your role?
As an Account Executive, I handle a variety of tasks including client services, creative, public relations activities, acquisition and handling of new clients and helping build the business through new opportunities, thought leadership and events.
I work across all of our business: Venus Comms, Venus Ed but mainly handle new consultancy Bec Brideson. I work directly under our founder and director Bec.
Describe what your average day.
My average days varies greatly. On an average day I could be working with the team on a giant pitch, working on creative for our current clients, handling media enquiries from interested publications seeking Bec’s thought leadership, writing content and releases to amplify Bec’s insights while still handling all of our social media and communities.
What’s the best thing about your job?
Besides the variety and challenge of my work, the amazing company culture and our team. I couldn’t imagine working with better, more incredible people than with Team Venus and Team Brideson.
They are all incredibly hard-working, talented and hilarious. Also working with Bec who is an inspiration to me and everyone she meets.
What’s the most challenging thing about your job?
Helping clients and the industry understand the vast opportunity and benefits of inclusion and diversity. It seems so obvious to me that it shouldn’t need to be explained and yet it’s a telltale sign that it’s 2016 and we still have opposition to these simple facts.
What drives you?
$$$! Just kidding. Meaning and purpose. I was drawn to this position because our values strongly align.
I believe that women are being ignored, I believe there is immense opportunity with the largely ignored female market and I strongly believe in the need for diversity and inclusion being a racially diverse woman myself who has been excluded most of her life.
Going to work everyday and working towards a similar goal that fuels your personal life as well is incredible and I am very lucky.
What would be your ultimate role?
While I would absolutely love to see myself in a role like Bec’s – head of her own agency, renowned and respected within the industry and the first authority on a subject – I would also love to be a consultant to agencies on future predictors.
Like with our current consultancy, Bec Brideson, we’re helping agencies get ahead of the mounting tide of women rising to prominence and power. I would find it immensely satisfying to do the same with agencies and clients in 10 – 15 years time on what will make the next big waves.
What’s your quirkiest attribute?
I like extremely hot chili on everything.
What are advertising/marketing’s biggest threats and opportunities?
Their biggest threat is diversity and stagnancy – the world is becoming more diverse, less homogenous, more interconnected and angry – our entire industry is slow to respond.
Advertising needs to plan accordingly but from I see – they much prefer to keep the status quo. We need a shake-up, a revolution or people really will just turn off completely to it.
But it isn’t all bad – this is also its biggest opportunity. Women are, for example, growing in voice, wealth and power. Agencies who have more women on, promote more women and recognise their female staff will be the first to change the game and assuredly become part of the new guard.
Change is inevitable no matter how much they strain against it. Look at the last few years regarding womens’ voices – there’s a lot more road to go but we’re already off on a sprint.
What do you think is the most exciting thing about women working in the media right now?
There are more of them despite indefensible outcries to the fact such as Rebecca Maddern’s post on The AFL Show.
That’s exciting but it’s impossible to be excited when diversity is still such a big issue. Australia is an incredibly diverse country now with many immigrants and children of immigrants, such as myself, who have completely integrated into the culture.
Yet I still see a lack of diverse women on TV and in Australian film. I am certainly lacking in excitement over that.
One thing no one knows about you.
Where I’m actually from.
Your house is on fire. What is the one possession you would save?
My phone! I haven’t backed it up on the Cloud yet.
Hardest lesson you’ve had to learn (in and out of the workforce).
The hardest lesson I’ve had to learn has been that my skin color and background is to many a disability, in their minds I’ll never be good enough or a first choice.
This has meant I’ve had to work twice as hard, be twice as good, twice as careful and twice as quiet to get the most minimum of almost anything. It’s a hard lesson and certainly unfair but it’s certainly helped make me the best person I am today.
Tea or Coffee?
Tea, specifically a fantastically brewed Chai.
Cats or Dogs?
Dogs, specifically to the Queen’s taste – I love corgis.
I love watching bad films – unintentionally hilarious films like Miami Connection.
What is your favourite word?
Callipygian. Partially because it is something I aspire to as well.
What is your least favourite word?
Any of the du jour marketing words like ‘agile’ etc.
What turns on you – emotionally, creatively and spiritually?
Intelligence, kindness and a sense of self.
What turns you off?
What sound or noise do you love?
Clinking wine glasses.
What sound or noise do you hate?
Velcro. (I learned to tie my shoes very fast as a kid)
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
I would love to be an astronaut or space traveller – as I get older the world around me and the very very far away fascinates me more and more. I would love to be able to travel to somewhere like Orion’s Nebula.
What profession would not like to do?
I studied law for four years and learned that was definitely not the occupation for me.
If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?
“You’re in!” I’m pretty sure God is super inclusive.
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