Women To Watch: DDB’s Tara Ford

Women To Watch: DDB’s Tara Ford

Women are vital to any industry, especially the world of advertising and media. And, B&T doesn’t think it’s fair that some of these women fail to be recognised for their incredible work and efforts, simply because of their gender.

So, to celebrate the launch of our annual Women in Media Awards, we’ve asked a few of the industry’s best and brightest about what it means to be a woman in the industry, as well as some of the best advice they’ve ever been given, who the most influential woman in their life is and more.

Today, we are hearing from DDB Sydney’s executive creative director, Tara Ford.

Tara - Office

I wouldn’t be the woman I am today if it weren’t for the influence of many women (and men) in my life.

Firstly, my mum who not only told me I could be anyone and do anything, but also made it clear that financial independence gives you choices in life. My aunt who was the most amazing artist, a true creative force. The headhunter who saw the potential. The CEO who told me “you got this” just at the right time.

I’ve also been shaped by all the women (and men) who have been negative. They influenced me too, but not in the way they would have perhaps hoped.

I believe everyone has the power to influence, which also means everyone has the power to be a champion of change, specifically, champions of equality.

Society is demanding it. Clients are demanding it. No one can afford to not be behind it. No one has anything to lose from equality. It’s very well documented that it improves organisational culture and productivity. It’s good for both humans and business. Those who aren’t behind it now may well be hiding their sexism, or more likely their mediocrity. 

There’s no doubt adland is a tough industry to be in, and if everyone did their part to help make equality in the sector a reality, it’d make all the difference.

My dad was a Colonel in the Australian Army and he used to say “rub it with a brick” whenever I fell over and hurt myself.

While not necessarily great advice at first glance, in retrospect, it prepared me perfectly for a life in advertising, and beyond, where resilience is an absolute necessity.

And for the record, I don’t say it to my own kids. Or anyone.

Entries for B&T‘s Women in Media Awards are now open. Enter here. You can also buy tickets here, or read more here.


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