International Women's Day: Women in the creative industries

walking to meeting

International Women's Day is on March 8, and this year we are celebrating with a campaign to put some remarkable women we partner with in the spotlight.

We speak to Louise from Brisbane Festival and Danielle from Adelaide Fringe about working in the creative arts industries and how to achieve career success.

What would say is your key career achievement to date?

Louise: Starting and establishing Bleach* The Gold Coast Festival. This was such a huge project that I probably didn’t really understand when I embarked on the journey. The Festival started with a budget of $40K as a pilot project to the Gold Coast’s flagship arts and cultural Festival with an annual turnover of more than $4million.

Danielle: Working at the Adelaide Fringe. Every year Adelaide erupts with an amazing Fringe vibe and the hard-working team behind it are incredible and so supportive . I have learnt so much from those around me and working at Fringe has helped my career so much already.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

Louise: A day in the year that celebrates women in all their glory. The women that have gone before us and paved the way for the opportunities that exist for us today. We should inspire the next generation and create a world where gender equality is the norm.

Danielle: International Women’s Day is a day to acknowledge the great women who have paved the way in the current fight for equality  and to inspire the younger generation. It is important that we have women role models in positions that young women strive for, to acknowledge that it is possible for them to reach their goals. I find it incredibly empowering to work for a Fringe that has a high leadership representation of women, including our Director and CEO Heather Croall.

What challenges have you faced?

Louise: Biggest challenges are work/life balance and juggling two young children with a very hectic and full work life. I have to be very disciplined with my schedule to ensure that I have as much time as possible and the key to that is quality time with my little ones. I will never get these years back and I am deeply passionate about my work, so it is a constant push-pull that I try very hard to do my best and satisfy both sides.

Danielle: Work life balance has been a big hurdle in my career. Working in events, it is easy to fall into the trap of working long hours and weekends and I tend to pour myself into each event then move straight onto the next. It took a couple of years to realise that my best work and ideas are made when I’m at my happiest and that definitely requires spending time with my family and friends so I make sure to still to work hours only as best I can…….outside of the Festivals dates that is. Those 5 weeks of Fringe are crazy with all hands-on deck!

If you were speaking with your younger self, what advice would you give her to thrive in the workplace?

Louise: Not to be so worried about what people think and build a confidence much earlier on. I have held leadership positions from a young age and learning my way to own that space has taken time, which I think it is particularly more difficult for younger women.

Danielle: Take risks and don’t be afraid to ask for what you want. I have had managers in previous jobs who never thought to ask where I wanted to go in my career and hard efforts were definitely overlooked. Therefore, make it known early where you are headed so that if any opportunities arise they will think of you.

What’s the best advice another woman has given you?

Louise: My lovely GP – an amazing accomplished powerhouse woman who I used to see when I was on the Gold Coast. She saw me through my maternity leave with my daughter. We talked about my transition back into work and just her simple vote of confidence in me and a ‘you got this babe’ was all I needed. It was sincere and heartfelt and the timing was perfect. I will never forget her support and encouragement at that time.

Danielle: Don’t doubt yourself! It is easy to doubt your skills and question everything you have planned when working in a fast paced and stressful environment. Just remember you were chosen for this role for a reason and to trust yourself.

What would you say are your top three tips to achieving what you want for your career?

Louise:

  • Be authentic and genuine – be you
  • Be passionate and believe in what you do
  • Work hard but keep a sense of perspective at all times

Danielle:

  • Don’t be scared to try something new. You will never know what you are capable of if you don’t step out of your comfort zone
  • Always think ahead to what you want to achieve next and keep an eye out for these opportunities
  • Learn as much as you can from those around you

 

Louise is Artistic Director at Brisbane Festival - https://www.brisbanefestival.com.au/

Danielle is Events and Partnerships Coordinator at the Adelaide Fringe - https://adelaidefringe.com.au/