It’s the viral campaign of women sharing stories of sexual abuse and harassment and while it’s been incredibly disturbing to hear about the Harvey Weinsteins and Don Burkes of this world, I can’t help but feel it’s also a good thing to have such disgusting and unacceptable behaviour outed.
I work in a media and communications team with a couple of ex-television news readers and it was also interesting to go out with my two bosses and broadcaster Francis Leach the other night for dinner and conversation as I think such behaviour has been fairly rife in both the music and entertainment world and perhaps just the tip of the iceberg. I am hopeful that as more women rise into senior ranks and positions of power that this will change.
I think I’ve been fairly lucky working in PR most of my life as it’s a female-dominated industry with mainly women also working in many of the industries I’ve chosen like fashion, beauty, retail and visual art. I’ve never experienced sexual harassment or discrimination in the workplace although unfortunately I can’t say the same for public spaces like bars, clubs and on the street. If I had gone into journalism, my preference would have been to work for a magazine but again, the likes of these Sydney-based publishing companies have also been run, in the main, by women although I think we have champions like Ita Buttrose, Lisa Wilkinson, Marina Go and Mia Freedman who’ve also paved the way for the next generations. I have always found these women inspiring as role models. I think if I’d gone into radio or TV, then it might have been a different story given the amount of men who’ve traditionally worked in these organisations (and who still mainly do).
I led a focus group a couple of weeks ago with a number of 20-somethings and it was also a fascinating exercise into not only the topics that interest them; but the way in which they engage. They’re a picky bunch and the online world is just as real to them as face-to-face connection as much as this Gen X-er disagrees. I think you lose something when all communication is done via a screen – the subtle nuances of body language and social skills are diminished for me as much as social media is convenient! It’s indeed a brave new world and I look forward to incorporating some of these topics into the 2018 Bold Thinking Series.
The rain has arrived here in Melbourne and after multiple events on every night this week and more to come, it’s been nice to have a breather. Stay dry!