“Women Want To Change The Ageing Narrative & Celebrate Life”: Bauer’s Karen Holmes

“Women Want To Change The Ageing Narrative & Celebrate Life”: Bauer’s Karen Holmes

B&T’s Women in Media Awards (WIM) is one of the most vital events in the media, marketing and advertising industry.

Indeed, a big call, but we are staunch believers in equality, diversity and inclusion, which WIM Awards unequivocally represent.

The WIM Awards would not be possible without the support of other industry leaders who are also championing equality and inclusion across the sector. One such industry leader is Bauer Media, who are B&T’s WIM Awards presenting partner for the sixth year running.

In honour of our long-standing partnership with Bauer, B&T sat down with sales director Karen Holmes to discuss why the WIM Awards are as important as ever, and how Bauer continues to champion women in the industry year on year.

On why the WIM Awards are important, Holmes said the Awards recognise the “hugely talented women in [the] industry”, celebrating their “achievements and invaluable contributions to Australian media.”

She said: “What I really love is that it’s open to women at any level, from CEOs to young women starting out and going up through the ranks.

“I think it’s really important for our industry to recognise exceptional women at all levels.”

Looking at the progress Bauer has made in the last year in terms of driving gender equality in the media space, Holmes said the publishing group has been making great headway through a range of female-focused initiatives.

“I am enormously proud to be working at Bauer and to be part of some of the incredible initiatives we’ve been running over the last year,” said Holmes.

Over the last 12 months, Bauer has worked across three key initiatives that address the barriers and challenges women of today are facing. First up: ‘10 Million Words’ towards a more equal future for females. It involved Bauer’s brands working to champion a more equal future for women across its pages and platforms. The initiative saw its magazines create content that aimed to improve women’s financial literacy, profile women in STEM-related industries, paint a picture of a diverse Australia and the changing face of families, close the super and the gender pay gap, and educate women on how to prepare for AI’s effect on employment.

The second key initiative was Bauer’s Women To Love Campaign, a digital cross-brand content initiative spanning the entire Bauer digital network, elevating women in the arts and celebrating the importance of creativity to bring about the Female Future.

And finally, the Be Fierce initiative. Wanting to encourage more girls and women to enter careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), Bauer awarded one female a $20,000 grant to cover the cost of STEM related degree and support an internship within a STEM related field.

“There’s plenty going on at Bauer in terms of driving gender equality, which we’re very proud of,” said Holmes.

What’s on the cards for the rest of the year? Bauer has no intention of slowing down its gender equality campaigns any time soon.

“We’ve just launched our Financially Fit Female initiative. It’s campaign across all of our media brands centred around serious problems Australian women in terms of finances, such as not having full control and understanding of their finances, and how this can lead to financial and economic abuse,” said Holmes.

She also revealed Bauer’s research found economic abuse really peaked for woman around the ages of 40-49 (21 per cent). Holmes added: “As part of the Financially Fit Female initiative, we are aiming to drive one million actions to increase the understanding and education for women around key issues, which are saving, maximising super and being paid appropriately.”

Also in the works and due to be released in a few months is the Defiant Women study.

“The female economy is worth around $28 trillion worldwide, and the biggest slice of the market is women over 50. We want more brands to talk to her because currently, brands sort of ignore her,” said Holmes.

“The research findings also uncovered a significant number of women want to replace the ageing narratives with new languages. They want to celebrate life and self-love. They’re in a really good place in their life. They are happy and confident. They aren’t chasing youth or fighting the signs of aging. We want to celebrate those women.”



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