When it comes to the communications and media industry, it’s not unusual to see an agency that is a prominently female team – in fact, a survey of media agency professionals revealed over three in five (63%) media agency employees in Australia are female.1 With women making up such a large portion of this industry, International Women’s Day is the perfect opportunity to recognise the work of female communications professionals and to embrace equity and workplace inclusion.
While men are generally the minority in communications roles, men account for 70% of quoted sources and 66% of experts in all news stories, while female voices are still taking a backseat, according to the Women in Media gender scorecard2, released last month. While efforts to achieve gender parity among media organisations has improved, with a 10% upswing in by-line share towards women since 2016, male voices are still prioritised meaning there is still work to do.
At MediaCast, we are an organisation lead by women and are incredibly proud to have nine female team members who are passionate, kind and hard-working. We believe female representation in the industry is critical in enabling and inspiring women to be a part of the communications sector. This International Women’s Day, we took a moment to highlight the experiences our dedicated team have faced in this industry and what it means to be a woman in communications.
Almost eight years after moving from the UK to found MediaCast with my business partner, I am humbled to manage a workplace made up of strong women. It was not an easy decision to make that leap across the world but having found a hugely supportive female network here in Australia, I know just how right that decision was.
I am incredibly passionate about hiring the right team and feel privileged to support our female team members within their professional journeys. With their diverse professional backgrounds and skillsets, they consistently go above and beyond for our clients, display great tenacity for getting the job done, and continue to create positive change for female professionals within our industry. Beyond their professional interactions with clients, the team also lead a great example for other women they interact with daily from interns and suppliers to journalists and the café staff outside our office. I never doubt the team’s ability to positively represent both MediaCast and women in our industry.
I am so proud of the team and culture we have cultivated at MediaCast. It’s been a pleasure to see every single one come into their own and continue to thrive.
Across my career, I have been fortunate to work in female-dominated industries, with great experiences working alongside strong female voices. Throughout it all, I have been extremely lucky to have amazing relationships with female mentors. Starting my communications career within the London theatre industry, I gained a tremendous amount of experience working for an agency founded by one woman who had worked her entire career in PR which is where I learnt everything I know today. After moving across the globe, I have been even more privileged in Australia to have found an incredible female Managing Director in Fran. This theme of strong female leadership has set me up for success and provided a very clear and bright path ahead.
Before joining MediaCast, I’m proud to have had the chance to pave the way and empower women to have a career in the sports media industry. I remember being one of the only women covering a match – even when it was a women’s match - but now, to see more girls and women in the industry makes me excited for the future. While it hasn’t always been easy and definitely feeling the need to prove yourself in a male-dominated industry, I have been grateful for the opportunity to have worked in sports.
Surprisingly, MediaCast is the first organisation I’ve worked for where the leadership team is predominantly women, and female led. It’s a refreshing, inspiring and humbling team to be a part of. I was nervous about receiving mentorship that would foster my career and help shape me to be a strong communications expert. Luckily, our organisation is filled to the brim with capable and powerful women who are excellent communicators and most importantly, formidable leaders. Recently, I’ve witnessed firsthand how great leadership can change a workplace and a career. It’s encouraging to feel set up for success at every step of my career and have a legacy of remarkable professional women to back me up.
Working in the communications industry has enabled me to give a voice to women about stories that would otherwise go untold. Having worked across campaigns including a push to abolish the Tampon Tax and multi-platform Endometriosis awareness features, I’ve witnessed firsthand the powerful possibilities when women unite to use the communications industry for the greater good.
I am so grateful to have worked under leaders who are women throughout my entire journey in the communications industry. When I was in journalism, I had three amazing editors in my time at the magazine and they each taught me qualities that have shaped me to be the professional I am today. I was nervous about changing jobs when I moved from New Zealand to Australia, but was lucky enough to find MediaCast. At this job I enjoy being able to encourage my colleagues and shine the light on their efforts in shaping the field for the better.
While I have only been in the communications industry for a short period of time, I have been so lucky to be surrounded and mentored by such confident and smart women. Through working in a sector that embraces female opinions, ideas and leadership, I feel valued and confident within my own skills and beliefs. I look forward to what the future holds and will continue to embrace the culture of female empowerment in communications.
There are more women than men in the communications industry and I am fortunate enough to be one of them. When people find out that I will be working with a female boss, they are initially impressed but quick to point out that I should be careful, as female bosses are fans of gossip, biased and easily emotional. Unfortunately, these stereotypes play into the misconceptions of women, undermines our capabilities and further solidifies the invisible glass ceiling. Contrary to these labels, my experience in working with female bosses has been anything but. In fact, I’ve found that they are more empathetic, receptive, supportive and downright hardworking that they make some male bosses pale in comparison. This International Women’s Day, I want to give a shout out to the female managers, supervisors and colleagues who inspire and motivate me. I’m very grateful to be in an industry where there are women I can look up to and I look forward to the day when more and more women are celebrated for their contributions to their industry.
As a few of my colleagues have noted, comms and media is a very female heavy industry and I’m honoured to lead a workplace made up predominantly of women. Women of different ages, backgrounds, passions and cultures but with one very crucial thing in common… a commitment to championing our clients and their stories as well as each other. The celebrations for an amazing piece of coverage secured, showing our new hires the ropes or brainstorming the best choice headline for a media release, the women of MediaCast have each others backs. I am proud of the supportive and respectful culture we have cultivated and hope that as we grow we continue to build each other up and celebrate our successes together.
Not only do I work with a formidable group of women, but we are lucky enough to have a roster of clients with phenomenal female leaders at the helm and work alongside organisations supporting women in some of their most vulnerable moments. Gidget Foundation Australia, The Banyans Health and Wellness, 1:1 Diet and Miracle Babies come to mind as just a few of the teams of women we get to work with to make an impact on the world around us. This International Women’s Day is a particularly special one for me as I’m spending it on maternity leave having welcomed my second daughter just a few months ago. As a mum of two girls, I’m thrilled to see days like today gain momentum as a reminder that our contributions to the world are valid, important and necessary.
It is incredibly important to celebrate women not only in the workplace, but women’s achievements as a whole. Through recognising both positive and negative experiences faced in this industry, we as a society can strive towards gender parity and inclusion in the workplace. We are so grateful for our female team members, as without them, MediaCast wouldn’t be where it is today.