Why I say yes to speaking at events

25 Nov 2016

On Wednesday of this week I delivered a keynote address at the second annual Women In  Media event, organised by Quest Events. The topic that I was invited to speak about was: how I leverage my career and seek meaningful inspiration to support professional growth.

I am invited to speak at conferences like this about my career all the time and if I have a window in my diary I will always say yes. It is critical that as women succeed we offer the insights of that success to the next generation of female leaders. I shared my hope that everyone in the audience would continue the tradition in years to come: women helping other women succeed by offering advice, sharing career highs and lows, inspiring with personal tales of triumph. 

Four years ago I was the founder and launch publisher of this website, Women's Agenda. For a number of years before, I had been highly critical that there was virtually no forum for successful women to get their stories known. Prior to the launch of Women's Agenda in 2012, one of the only ways that you could get a story written about you in the mainstream media was if you were a victim of crime or a celebrity.

Since the earliest days of my career as a newspaper reporter I have been drawn to issues relating to gender inequality. It bothered me enormously that the business sections of newspapers almost exclusively featured male faces. Even as a teenager I would wonder why there were no women in the mix. 

My sense of social justice has always left me outraged that women still do not earn the same as men for doing the same work, and that there is a huge disparity in the numbers of women in leadership roles and on boards.

I am committed to promoting female achievement because I am a strong believer in the power of role modelling. I don't think we can hope for significant change without it because we need a pipeline of women pushing themselves up the ladder and banging on the ceiling. We need to create change as individuals where we can. I have been doing this for my entire career.

The Women In Media event was kicked-off by Network Ten Chief Content Officer Beverley McGarvey who talked extensively about the importance of embracing challenges and change in your career.

Pandora Managing Director Jane Huxley was on stage after me with key tips for reaching successful career outcomes in a  competitive media world.

I caught up with BBC Worldwide Chief Operating Officer Fiona Lang in the break, as she was due to deliver an address later that day on building meaningful leadership skills by aligning personal values with career objectives. The last time that our paths crossed was when she was working on the acquisition of PMP by Seven West Media 15 years ago. I was pleased to see how impressively her career had progressed.

The event was essentially a roll call of female leaders in the media industry. Too often we are told that there aren't enough women with leadership skills to achieve gender parity in the C-suite and on boards. But the impressive line-up of women with successful stories to share should tell you that statement is increasingly false.

Marina Go

Marina Go is Chair of the Wests Tigers NRL Club, a non-executive director of Autosports Group and author of the business book for women, Break Through: 20 Success Strategies for Female Leaders. She was previously GM of Hearst Australia at Bauer Media. Boss magazine named her as one of 20 True Leaders of 2016.  Marina has over 25 years of leadership experience in the media industry, having started her career as a journalist. She was appointed Editor of Dolly magazine at the age of 23, before spending the next decade editing a number of leading women's magazines. She has held senior leadership roles at Fairfax, Pacific, Emap, Bauer and Private Media, where she was CEO and founder of the career website Women’s Agenda.  

She is a director of digital startup Daily Siren, and also a member of the Advisory Boards of the Walkley Foundation, The Australian Republican Movement and Women’s Agenda. She is a former director of Netball Australia, Odyssey House,  Sydney Symphony Vanguard and The Apparel Group. She lectures on digital media at the University of Technology, Sydney, is a Mentor with the Women In Media and NRL Women programs and a UNSW Alumni Leader and Ambassador. She has an MBA from The Australian Graduate School of Management, a BA (Mass Communications) from Macquarie University and is a member of the AICD. She is a mother of two young men and passionate about diversity and equality. 

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