Celebrating Women in Media: Progress, Challenges and Our Continued Commitment

As we honour International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, it’s crucial to acknowledge the advancements for women and their professional journeys. Throughout the years, dedicated efforts have been undertaken to tackle this challenge, with numerous organisations implementing policies and programs to ensure fair compensation for all. While there has been significant progress has been made, there’s still much to do for women in Media.  

The Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) has revealed pay gaps as high as 26% in some of Australia’s major media companies. Media companies play a crucial role in shaping societal norms and attitudes, and their commitment to addressing gender disparities sets an important precedent for other industries to follow. 

Initiatives such as the Women in Programmatic Network and the Index Women affinity group are instrumental in promoting women’s leadership and advancement within the media industry. These networks provide women with the support, resources, and opportunities they need to thrive in their careers and break through the glass ceiling—especially in male-dominated niche industries like programmatic advertising. 

“The woman who inspires me the most is Kali Guillas from The Trade Desk. Her drive, determination, and unwavering commitment to making a difference are truly inspiring. She co-founded and launched TWIPN in Australia, providing a platform for women to connect and empower each other, and initiated the A Seat at the Table x IAB Series, fostering dialogue on important issues. 

She returned in full force after her maternity leave, kick-starting a diversity, equity, and inclusion working group, with the first in-person event happening next week. Her ability to balance professional success with personal responsibilities is remarkable. Moreover, she has always been there to support others, offering guidance and encouragement to me throughout our TWIPN ANZ journey. She exemplifies strength, empathy, and integrity, inspiring me to strive for better and to make a positive impact in my own sphere of influence.” 

Rhiannon Homer, buyer account manager, ANZ, Index Exchange 

Promoting gender equality isn’t just the responsibility of women—it requires the active participation and support of men as well. Male allyship is crucial in creating a culture of inclusion and empowerment where women feel safe and supported to achieve their full potential. By actively advocating for gender equality in the workplace, men can help dismantle patriarchal structures and create space for women to succeed. 
Furthermore, the importance of inspirational women cannot be overstated. Women who have achieved success in their personal and professional lives serve as role models and mentors for others, inspiring them to pursue their aspirations fearlessly. Their stories of resilience, determination, and triumph motivate and empower women and men to overcome obstacles and strive for greatness. 

“The woman who inspires me the most is my wife, not because she is my better half but because as a person and as a woman, she is very determined and understands what it takes to achieve a goal in life. I would not be where I am now in my career if not for her pushing me from my comfort zone and challenging me to always be a better version of myself each day. She’s someone I admire deeply for her dedication to her work, especially in her profession where she cares for the elderly with the same love and attention she would give her own family.”  

Richard Abao, senior solutions consultant, Index Exchange 

In addition to male allyship, women also need other women to look up to and to empower them to push the status quo. The stories of women breaking barriers and achieving success not only inspire, but also pave the way for future generations of women leaders. 

“As I go through different life stages, I aspire to maintain a balance that allows me to work hard and enjoy everything life offers. Amelia Ward (Meals) inspires me in this regard, she excels in her professional endeavors, and actively participates in Index’s DE&I groups, including leading the Index Women group in APAC. Amidst the demands of motherhood, maintaining a vibrant social life, and pursuing her passions, Amelia demonstrates that it’s possible to find fulfillment in every aspect of life. Her ability to navigate multiple roles with grace and enthusiasm serve as a reminder that amidst life’s challenges, there’s always time to prioritise the things that bring us joy.” 

Miranda Vaughan-Floyd, buyer account manager, ANZ, Index Exchange 

As we commemorate International Women’s Day, and Women’s History Month let us celebrate the progress made in closing the gender pay gap within media companies while also acknowledging the challenges that remain. Let us continue to support initiatives that promote women’s leadership and advancement, foster male allyship, and uplift the voices of inspirational women. Together, we can create a future where every woman feels valued, respected, and empowered to achieve her dreams, both personally and professionally. 

Learn more about our affinity groups

Adele Wieser

Adele Wieser

Regional Managing Director, APAC

With over 12+ years digital experience and 8+ years in programmatic, Adele has secured a reputation as one of the top authorities on programmatic media trading in Australia and the broader APAC region. Adele got her first taste of the power of technology in the digital ecosystem straight out of university, optimising the performance campaigns for marketers and agencies at two market leading media owners in Australia. For Adele, technology has allowed her to develop a childhood love of solving puzzles into a career focused on tackling complex issues for media owners, marketers and agencies. Making the transition into the technology space in early 2012, Adele furthered her expertise in programmatic by working with exchange technology and began consulting for CoLab Media Consulting in 2016 before her appointment as Country Manager at Index Exchange in 2017. As one of the first employees in APAC, she was tasked with growing Index’s footprint by building a team and educating media owners, marketers and agencies on the promise of programmatic media. In 2019, Adele was appointed as Regional Managing Director and is responsible for overseeing the company’s operations, strategic direction and future growth opportunities for the APAC region.

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