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Thriving and Surviving: Women in Media

HerCanberra Team

There’s been a bit of media coverage recently about the big professional firms, like Deloitte, SEEK, Microsoft and Accenture dropping their annual performance review programs in favour of “real time” feedback from bosses.

Thank heavens for that. All those hours of tedium filling in questionnaires about our job satisfaction and future career aspirations (“on reflection, I’d really prefer to be an orthodontic surgeon”) that you suspect no one is going to read anyway.

But it does beg the question: if there’s no performance review season, when do you have that important conversation with your boss about pay and promotion?

That’s just one of the questions to be tackled at Women in Media (WiM) Canberra’s practical event, “Thriving and Surviving: The Everywoman’s Guide to the Media“. Coming up on Monday 10 August, it’s an opportunity for local women working in the media and communications to hear insider tips from the nation’s leading media professionals on making strategic decisions to get ahead in the media industry.

The event’s moderator, Fleur Anderson, political reporter and parliamentary sketch writer for the Australian Financial Review, says, “we’ll be talking about the tough stuff: money, pay rises, promotion adjusting to a digital-first environment and, unfortunately, redundancy.”

Thriving and Surviving will give women the opportunity to use the decades of experience of some of Australia’s most senior media, communications and political professionals to build a rewarding and long-lasting media career.

“We’ve been a bit cheeky calling the evening, the Everywoman’s Guide to the Media, says Fleur.  “Any girl turning 13 in the ‘70s or ‘80s would have been given a copy of Derek Llewellyn-Jones’ classic sex education book, Everywoman, that details everything a woman can go through from cradle to grave.

“And it seems to me that pay rises and surviving in the media is a lot like high school sex education classes; everyone else seems to know what they are doing but nobody talks about it.  On August 10 at 7pm, we’ll be talking about “it” – money and career – but thankfully without any graphic illustrations.”

It’s set to be a fun evening, a kind of Geoffrey Robertson “Hypothetical’-style conversation with one of Australia’s best known and respected political editors, the Australian Financial Review’s Laura Tingle, and for an insider’s view of  the highest levels of corporate communications, Treasury’s Mary Balzary, the woman many credit with Australia’s hosting of the G20 last year without a hitch.

The audience will have the opportunity to talk about all the cycles in a woman’s media career, from starting out, moving jobs, moving industries, staying put in a long-term role (willingly or unwillingly), the increasing casualisation of the workforce and, unfortunately, redundancy.

 There’ll be lots of practical information, too. Workplace expert Katelin McInerney, from the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA), will give the low down on pay rates for journos, freelancers and interns. WiM’s digital media gurus will also be introduced to Canberra: Drag0nista (aka Paula Matthewson), Fairfax Media’s Facebooker extraordinaire Sarah Whyte, Fairfax’s The Pulse political live blogger Stephanie Peatling, and HerCanberra’s, Amanda Whitley.

Being able to draw on the skills and contacts of your colleagues is an essential part of building a long-term and rewarding media career – the WiM event will provide plenty of opportunity to mingle with senior women from all media outlets, the public service and the private sector.

“It’s a tricky thing knowing how to think about your career in a strategic way,” says Fleur. “I think part of the secret to making good career decisions is picking good colleagues for their advice and having the confidence to follow your own instinct.”

While Fleur is moderating the event, she’s careful to emphasise that she does not consider herself an expert in the area, “In fact, I’m being totally selfish because I really wanted to put my media and communication colleagues on the spot for their best career tips so I could use them!”

the essentials

What: Thriving and Surviving: The Everywoman’s Guide to the Media
When: 7pm to 9pm, Monday 10 August
Where: National Press Club of Australia, 16 National Circuit, Barton
How much: $20 for MEAA members, $25 for non-members plus booking fee. Ticket price includes refreshments and canapés.
Book: Online at Eventbrite

Image credits: Karleen Minney, The Canberra Times.

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