28/01/2010 - 00:00

Sim, Ross up the ante in ad land

28/01/2010 - 00:00

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DURING the past decade, the traditionally male-dominated advertising and marketing industries have undergone a gender shift at the top, with more women filling senior decision-making positions.

Sim, Ross up the ante in ad land

DURING the past decade, the traditionally male-dominated advertising and marketing industries have undergone a gender shift at the top, with more women filling senior decision-making positions.

Two such women who have seen this trend, and the growing role of web development in the marketing mix, are the managing directors of a pair of the state’s leading creative and web development firms.

Block Branding co-founder and managing director, Tanya Sim, and Star 3 Media managing director, Linda Ross, may have come from vastly different backgrounds but they have shared similar experiences in climbing the corporate ladder.

Ms Sim, who is married to Block’s co-founder and creative director, Mark Braddock, suggested an increase in the number of smaller outfits in Western Australia has created more managerial opportunities for women in advertising.

“Because traditionally Perth has been quite blokey in that (advertising) area I could imagine there wouldn’t be many women, but in some of those smaller creative shops there are more women,” Ms Sim said.

“But it’s interesting, in the accounts sphere there are many more female account managers than male.

“I get a lot of resumes through, and you don’t get many male resumes for the account management area.”

Ms Ross, who has held a black belt in karate since 1990 and was the first female bouncer to work in Perth’s nightclub scene, said the experience of working security was terrific preparation for her work in the male-dominated web development and marketing field.

“I think there’s still a lot of old school ideology from the men out there who will listen to men and not women,” she said.

“So unfortunately to compete in that environment women need to be more aggressive and less demure to get the same kind of respect that a man would have in that situation.

“It’s sad to say but it still exists, there’s no denying it.”

While Ms Ross is the only female listed as the senior executive for the state’s top web development companies (according to WA Business News’ ‘Book of Lists 2010’), Ms Sim is joined by Magenta director, Melissa Lekias, and Trilogy Advertising and Marketing director, Nita Davey as the heads of their respective creative agencies.

Interestingly, both Ms Ross and Ms Sim recall bringing their children into work with them and calling or emailing clients while breastfeeding in an effort to strike the right work-life balance.

And Ms Sim said she may reestablish a select peer group called ‘Women In Management’ as a means to enhance her, and others’, business operations.

 

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