By Bond University Journalism students, Lucinda Bassam & George Lysnar
The Men in Media panel brought forward a number of key ideas and good humour to the crowd during the Women in Media Conference at Bond University.
SBS CEO Michael Ebeid, Foxtel CEO Peter Tonagh and Studio 10 co-host Joe Hildebrand contributed personal stories, ideas and initiatives on how to solve issues facing women in the media.
Despite online backlash over the inclusion of a men-only panel in the program, all three speakers arrived to an energetic crowd ready to engage in the conversation.
Ebeid stated throughout the discussion: “the issue of equality is really important to me.”
Tonagh said it was useful for a CEO to know the strengths of both men and women in the workplace.
Hildebrand noted: “it is up to the leadership to be aware of who their best people are and have ears to the ground.”
Ebeid said the leadership team at SBS is implementing diverse hiring panels to ensure balanced perspectives when selecting the best person for the job.
The discussion evolved into initiatives that could be undertaken in the workplace to improve the working conditions for both genders.
Tonagh said he realised the importance of flexibility and advocated that bosses sat down with employees and asked them what they felt was best.
“Good workplace policy for women is good workplace policy for everyone,” Hildebrand agreed.
Good humour and personal anecdotes from the panel kept the crowd entertained.
Hildebrand stressed the importance of mentoring female journalists.
“Mentoring is giving advice and helping. There need to be instances where you need to champion women to push them forward,” Tonagh said.
Four of the five women on the preceding panel noted they had supportive male mentors throughout their respective careers.
Twitter users expressed full support of the panellists both during and after the event. Channel 10 presenter Sandra Sully wrote: “BRAVO to these 3 men – invaluable insights! Equality is everyone’s business.”
The Women in Media conference continues tomorrow with new speakers and ideas to further the discussion about gender equality in the media.