WPP AUNZ Women Talk International Women’s Day

WPP AUNZ Women Talk International Women’s Day
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WPP AUNZ has a long-term commitment to welcoming and supporting diversity and inclusion across all its teams.

It says it cannot truly deliver upon our commitment to providing the very best solutions to our clients without ourselves being reflective of the wide-ranging variety of individuals that make up the rich cultures of the countries we operate in. 

International Women’s Day is an opportunity to have a meaningful discussion about the company important issues facing our people, our clients and the world. Challenging ourselves on what we can all be doing to help improve the lives of women and girls everywhere

As International Women’s Day has undoubtedly grown around the world, employees across WPP AUNZ shine a spotlight on the issues that matter to them.

Minsun Collier, national head of digital, MediaCom Australia

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

A day for recognition and celebration of being female and the progress of equality around the world.

Do you believe it is still important in 2021?

Absolutely yes! There is still work to do in terms of recognising and achieving gender equality in this world. I think it’s also important to continue to tell stories of women that defy the ‘societal norm’ to inspire others that nothing is impossible.

What action would you like to see to help forge a more gender equal world?

Initiatives and education around behaviour change – but not just for women. It’s important that this applies to everyone – including men.

What challenges (or privileges) do you think women stereotypically face, based on their gender?

Women are more empowered today, particularly in the professional world. However, often they now need to be Wonder Women that can balance being great at work and outside work. There is a lot of pressure on women to do both well.

Which international women’s stories need to be heard and supported more?

I would love to see stories for all kinds of females doing amazing things throughout the year, not just during one particular period around International Women’s Day. 

Which women’s ‘cause’ needs to be challenged and changed, first?

I want to see women being treated equally to men in some parts of the world where the rules are very different for them.

What women-related myths or taboos need to be broken?

That women are ‘emotional’ and can’t take the pressure in the professional world.

As an industry, how can we contribute to wisdom, expertise or ideas to empower other women?

Provide education sessions/ events to share stories and experiences to inspire each other. It shouldn’t just be women talking and would be great to hear from men on their experiences working with inspirational women.

Sally Hellyer, national head of planning and analytics, Mindshare

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

It is the opportunity to celebrate all women, those that have succeeded in business or elsewhere, those that have help drive equality and those that have nurtured/educated us.

Do you believe it is still important in 2021?

It is still important because there is not equality everywhere and this will help to promote the need for celebrating women. Actually as I thought about this question I got quite upset to think that this isn’t the case already. I read an article yesterday saying that it will be more than 100 years before there isn’t a gender pay gap! That causes me concern that it can still take this long to fix.

What action would you like to see to help forge a more gender equal world?

A continuation of the great work for gender inclusive workplaces. Whilst I work for a company that has many strong female leaders this is not always the case. I am hoping in light of the pandemic more companies are realising that flexible work can be an option and this will give females a greater opportunity in the workplace whilst still maintaining a work life balance

What challenges (or privileges) do you think women stereotypically face, based on their gender?

Still to this day, I believe women face the challenge of having to support the family, which limits their working capability. This has definitely improved over the last few generations, but the reality is not completely wiped out yet. I am hoping by the time today’s young girls have grown up this will not be the case.

Which international women’s stories need to be heard and supported more?

Whilst most of my answers have focused on business, women in sport shouldn’t be overlooked and it probably still needs quite a bit more focus. Sport brings people together, inspires people and many children look to sporting heroes as role models. But, we still have differing pay and television rights for men and women’s sports, which means female athletes don’t get paid as much, or get as much visibility. This does not set a good example of what we want to see in the future.

What women-related myths or taboos need to be broken?

That a women can not juggle a family and the board table. I know that Mindshare is an anomaly in this with such strong female leadership across the agency, but the split is not always even when you look at most company’s leadership teams.

As an industry, how can we contribute to wisdom, expertise or ideas to empower other women?

I think we already have some strong women within the marketing industry and within WPP, GroupM and Mindshare I am very fortunate to work with them. So we need to help other industries. That could be through working with our clients, having our strong female leaders mentoring those clients to empower them and help them get ahead in their company. This could also through education sessions which give them the knowledge to help them succeed in areas which are out of their comfort zone, but are needed to succeed in everyday business or at the board table.

Becky Marsh, business development director, Wavemaker

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

For me, IWD is an opportunity to celebrate female achievements, but more importantly it is a reminder that we still live in a world where gender equality is an issue. Change needs to happen, and IWD is a day in which we can unite and continue the fight to live in a more equal and balanced world.

Do you believe it is still important in 2021?

IWD will remain important until gender equality is no longer an issue. Unfortunately, it is unlikely any of us will see gender equality in our lifetime. Until this happens, we must continue to drive and support initiatives like IWD.

What action would you like to see to help forge a more gender equal world?

Although initiatives like IWD are so important and powerful, I would like to see people take more action and take on a more inclusive mindset in their day-to-day lives. It is not one person’s responsibility to improve gender equality, it is everyone’s responsibility, and it isn’t going to happen overnight. Everyone can play a role in ensuring future generations live in a more diverse and inclusive world.

What challenges (or privileges) do you think women stereotypically face, based on their gender?

If I think about the workplace, although people have become a lot more conscious of gender imbalance, in some ways, overcompensation is having a negative impact. For example, we are now seeing female career achievements being celebrated because of our gender, not because of our talent, skills, knowledge, and expertise. I often hear gender leading comments like ‘Girl Boss’. I don’t think we would ever hear a male being referred to as a ‘Boy Boss’. Women want to be acknowledged, irrespective of gender.

As an industry, how can we contribute to wisdom, expertise or ideas to empower other women? No matter what industry you work in, everyone can play their part.

Education is key, everyone, no matter their gender, must continue to be educated on all areas of inequality, and understand how they can take action. We must empower women, but also empower men to speak-up, act, educate and commit to working towards a fairer and more equal world.

Sarang McLachlan, receptionist, WPP AUNZ

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

IWD means a time to reflect. The day shines a light on accomplished woman who we look to for inspiration. It also raises awareness on females who may not be as fortunate as ourselves. For me, that is the most critical essence of the day.

Do you believe it is still important in 2021?

Absolutely. We should strive to support each other no matter what day of the year. If we begin to cap woman’s awareness to one day, we would be doing ourselves an injustice.

What action would you like to see to help forge a more gender equal world?

I think as women, we need to take ownership here, and really create opportunities for each other. I don’t believe in preaching about equality. I say, let’s take a step back and start thinking like a female Freemason, come together as a group and show what we have to offer. Actions speak louder than words!

What challenges (or privileges) do you think women stereotypically face, based on their gender?

Speaking personally, I find women’s capabilities are questioned. I often stereotype myself in this sense. However, just because I can change a tyre, doesn’t necessarily mean I have to (or want to), if a man’s around … and that’s the privilege!

Which international women’s stories need to be heard and supported more?

Young females at risk of FGM – WHO currently states 3 million girls are at risk annually.

Which women’s ‘cause’ needs to be challenged and changed, first?

Sexual and reproductive rights, coinciding with access to education so young woman can make informed decisions for themselves.

What women-related myths or taboos need to be broken?

“Pink is for girls” – Gentleman if you have a cool completion and salt and pepper hair, I strongly suggest a pale pink shirt for your next client meeting!

As an industry, how can we contribute to wisdom, expertise or ideas to empower other women?

Be aware, be inclusive, be encouraging and share your story. Very Simple.

Jade Hickey, junior strategist, VMLY&R

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

IWD is a day to celebrate women – in all of our raw beauty. We’ve come a long way through history in proving we are fierce, we are powerful and we can take on the world – all while wearing both stretch marks and a fresh shade of lipstick. But despite this, there are still issues that we face as a collective – being underestimated and underpaid are the two that stand out to me most in our industry.

Do you believe it is still important in 2021?

IWD’s importance is two part; 1. For celebration and 2. For change.

What action would you like to see to help forge a more gender equal world?

We need to stop telling women that they have to look a certain way in order to be taken seriously.

We need to stop telling women that they need to look a certain way in order to be heard.

We need to stop telling women that they need to look a certain way in order to be safe.

We need to stop telling women that they need to look a certain way.

We need to stop telling women. We need to start asking women what they want, how they feel and what they think.

We need more women in power, more women role models and more women voices being heard. Women are powerful, and IWD is about celebrating them. IWD isn’t about women taking over, it’s about everyone taking ownership.

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