The pleasure of meeting in person the women you've gotten to know online
After decades of holding high-profile positions in the media, I often meet women, in particular, who approach me as if they know me.
On Wednesday evening at the Women In Media NSW drinks it was my turn to do the approaching. After years of connecting on Twitter, the journalist’s social media of choice, I was able to say hello in person to a number of fantastic women.
I have engaged with and retweeted the opinions of journalists Danielle Warby and Lauren Ingram for some time in the twitterverse. It was exciting to actually meet them in the flesh. We felt as though we already knew so much about each other and that’s really the beauty of social media. It enables you to dispense with the small talk and dive straight into discussions on issues that matter, like gender diversity and the glass ceiling in the Australian media. Those two women are active contributors to the gender conversation and their passion was equally as pronounced in person. And because they also follow me on Twitter, they were aware of my passion for the subject, what I have written and fought for.
Two other tweeting journalists that I caught up with on the night were Eliza Berlage, who works for the Walkley Foundation, and Kayte Murphy, who runs the highly successful blog Woog’s World. Although I have met them both before at previous events, I have had more to do with them on Twitter. Twitter has given them prominence in my daily newsfeed, which for me begins with the curated group of news organisations and individual voices that I follow. With the underrepresentation of female journalists in the mainstream media currently sitting at 30.8%, according to the Women In Media Report released this week, the strength of women on Twitter is to be celebrated.
The amazing Georgie Dent, a journalist who I met via Twitter and later hired, is an example of why this matters. With increasingly less time available to go and search for content that would be of interest to me, social media newsfeeds are the ideal way to ensure that the best of what’s available comes to me. Georgie’s articles were regularly appearing in my newsfeed on Twitter, even though I rarely read the hard copy or web version of the newspaper that she wrote for at the time. Fast forward a few years and I am now in a mentoring relationship with her. And she is now considered a leading voice in the gender debate with a fantastic career ahead of her.
I enjoy meeting the next generation of female leaders in the media. There is an enormous amount of female talent in the ranks. As a mentor to a number of them I am hoping to be able to help more reach the executive levels of media companies and in particular the CEO position, which is still a closed shop to women in far too many companies.
The senior women at the Women In Media event are working overtime to change that. Watch this space.
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.