The Village launches to support working parents in advertising

By AdNews | 14 May 2024
Lauren Thornborough and Louise Wilson.

The Village, the first association dedicated to supporting working parents in the Australian media industry, has launched.

The group is designed as a nurturing community for industry professionals who are planning a family, expecting, or already caring for children.

The Village is co-founded by LinkedIn Marketing Solutions head of new & emerging business Louise Wilson and UM client partner Lauren Thornborough, both of whom are working parents.

The long-term vision is to advocate for industry-wide change to address the prevalent staff retention issue the media industry faces.

Research commissioned by The Village revealed 80% of surveyed parents in media cited an overbearing mental load as a barrier to peak performance.

Thornborough said this statistic clearly demonstrates the need for this cohort to connect, share experiences, and navigate the complexities of balancing parenthood and career aspirations.

"Failure to provide adequate support risks further attrition of experienced talent from the industry," she said.

The Client Relationship Consultancy consultant James Ledger said the ripple effect of talent churn on agencies and advertisers alike, noting the importance of initiatives like The Village in nurturing an experienced workforce.

"One of the biggest frustrations clients have is their agency teams are becoming more junior. Clients are becoming increasingly concerned they are missing out on the strategic counsel, guidance, and support that comes with a more experienced team," he said.

"In light of this, I applaud The Village, as a well-needed initiative designed to inspire, energise and motivate a more senior agency workforce.  That is good news for agencies, their people, and their clients."

Thornborough said every individual needs a community they can connect and navigate life with.

"I wish The Village existed when I returned from maternity leave; somewhere to meet like-minded people, to share advice and receive the mentorship I needed to see a future in the media industry," she said.

The Village already has the support of several prominent industry bodies including the MFA, IMAA, and IAB Australia. oOh!media are supporting the program as a foundational partner.

The Village’s volunteer workforce is supported by an esteemed advisory board including industry luminaries such as:  Angeline Lee, Venessa Hunt, Jacquie Alley, Scott Laird, Kim Portrate, Ricky Chanana, Anathea Ruys, Georgie Nichols, Claire Tsubono and Greg Graham.

The Village promises a robust line-up of offerings, including regular workshops covering pertinent themes, peer-to-peer mentoring opportunities and an online community.

The inaugural workshop series is scheduled to start late-2024; also launching will be a comprehensive and complementary member e-newsletter highlighting family-friendly workplaces and invaluable resources.

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