Global Marketing
Management Consultants
Global Marketing
Management Consultants
mobile-logo
Global Marketing
Management Consultants
Top

Managing Marketing: Making Older Women Uninvisible In Business

Jane_Evans

Managing Marketing is a podcast hosted by TrinityP3 Founder and Global CEO, Darren Woolley. Each podcast is a conversation with a thought-leader, professional or practitioner of marketing and communications on the issues, insights and opportunities in the marketing management category. Ideal for marketers, advertisers, media and commercial communications professionals.

Jane Evans has a career and portfolio in advertising as a Creative Director that would be the envy of most. But Jane is now the Founder of the Uninvisibility Project, inspired by the realisation that at a certain age she became invisible not just in the media and entertainment but also her career. This is the experience of millions of women as their lives progress beyond middle age. At a time they have incredible personal confidence and experience, the world struggles to recognise the value they offer in business and to society.

You can listen to the podcast here:

Follow Managing Marketing on SoundcloudTuneInStitcher, Spotify and Apple Podcast.

Transcription:

Darren:

Welcome to Managing Marketing, a weekly podcast where we meet and discuss the issues facing media, marketing and advertising.

Today we’re at the Groucho Club in London and I’m sitting down and having a chat with Jane Evans who is the founder of the Uninvisibility Project and also one of the great creative directors. Welcome, Jane.

Jane:

Hi, how are you?

Darren:

I’m very well. I always have trouble with Uninvisibility. It’s a bit of a tongue-twister but what’s the purpose of the Uninvisibility Project?

Jane:

It’s very simple; to make midlife women visible. We are completely invisible in society. We’re not shown in advertising or media. We are supposed to disappear like old ladies of old but we’re not like the old ladies of old; we are a completely new demographic that the world has never seen before but the world doesn’t see us.

Darren:

You’re really talking about the baby boomers at 50 plus aren’t you?

Jane:

I have a problem with baby boomers as a term. When I was growing up it was a term for a lot of babies being born after the war. It wasn’t until Billy Idol came along and invented generation X that all of a sudden these new generations arrived.

When I was growing up the baby boomers finished at 60 and gen X started at 65. So there was one generation that wasn’t part of that group.

Darren:

That’s me.

Jane:

We’re the punk generation, man. We were teenagers in 1976. We’re this 5-year group that are completely different from anybody else.

Darren:

I had a conversation with Bernard Salt who was at KPMG (a demographer) and I said to him, officially the baby boomers finished in 1965 but I don’t feel any affiliation at all with the values and changes that occurred in society as the baby boomers matured. I missed out on greed is good in the 80s.

And he said ‘well you’re probably generation X’ but I was born in 1961. He said all these labels work to a certain level but they don’t work on individual levels. Do you feel the same way?

Jane:

Absolutely. And also the boomers were brought up in a very different way to what we were. Equal opportunity legislation came out when I was 13 years old so I was one of the first generation that could actually choose a career. When we were born divorce was almost unheard of and you had to give up your job once you got married.

So most of the girls I grew up with grew up knowing that was what their plan in life was going to be. So, all of a sudden at 13 the whole world opens up to us. I think our generation, the 60 to 65, were given something the rest of the baby boomers didn’t have and I think that sets us apart.

Darren:

I’m feeling so privileged right this minute because you’re actually giving me a sense of being special.

Jane:

I do, 1960 to 1965, we were absolutely at the cusp of change and that’s where the boomer turned into X but there was this moment of anarchy in the middle, which is why I like to call us the punk generation.

Darren:

So, what was it that led you into a career in advertising, especially as a creative person?

Jane:

The tube posters in London. When I used to come up to London I would walk through the tube stations and I would go ‘wow, that’s what I want to do’. I didn’t know it was advertising but I went and found out a course to go and learn advertising. It was purely seeing these great images with words alongside them. I wanted to be a graphic designer; I liked words and images that made something new.

Darren:

That communicated and made people feel things?

Jane:

Absolutely.

Darren:

You’re an art director—the visual side—I’m not saying you didn’t write headlines (often art directors wrote some of the best headlines). Are you more visual?

Jane:

I started out as an art director until I had a client reject an ad on a Friday afternoon for the guide dogs. Jane Carrow and Jack Vaughan refused to work over the weekend and they were my two copywriters at the time so if we were going to make this deadline I was going to have to write it.

So, I wrote my first ad over the weekend and it got into the book and won awards.

Darren:

Some of the best art directors I’ve ever worked with actually wrote some great radio ads. And I still think it’s a discipline of being a visual thinker but then using words to create the visuals. Whereas a lot of writers, because they work with words, are inclined to work with the language rather than the visuals they create.

Jane:

But also in the UK when we started out we (writers and art directors) all went to art school. So ultimately one would make the decision to be responsible for how it sounded and one would take responsibility for how it looked but actually how you got there was never ever separated.

Copywriters coming from a different place to art directors is a new thing and I think we’ve lost a lot from copywriters not going to art school because they lose the craziness of the thinking and become a bit too logical.

Darren:

A bit too rational whereas it’s all about emotions.

Jane:

It’s all about emotions and how can we make these words work with these pictures and they’re not separate. I think when David Droga came along and made the brighter king and brought in graphic designers to make his work look good I think we lost so much when we created that new way of working.

Darren:

There’s something special about that relationship. You’ve mentioned Jane Caro but there are certain relationships that become so intimate because the process of creating them is an intimate process isn’t it?

Jane:

Jane Caro and I are complete opposites but there was magic in that. We were big Jane and little Jane. Physically, emotionally we were very different and we had very different lifestyles but there was some magic when we worked together. And you’ve never seen a team work so quickly in all your life.

When I brought Jane back from maternity leave and she was working 3 days a week, 5 hours a day and we used to just bomb through it. And the rest of the time I would do all the selling, briefing, all the bullshit but it was an absolutely perfect way of working.

Darren:

Because it was such a productive way of working, a rewarding relationship.

Jane:

And it was ‘good you’re here, let’s get on with it’, no buggering about. We had 5 hours a day, 3 days a week to get the work done and we just did. We still work together today and we can crack most things far quicker than younger people can.

Darren:

The industry is talking a lot about the issues the Uninvisibility Project is addressing. There are 2 parts to that; one is gender, the other is age.

Jane:

Absolutely.

Darren:

And it’s bizarre how the industry almost neglects the experience and wisdom that people gather over time and it’s discarded as being irrelevant.

Jane:

It’s discarded as being irrelevant but also for some reason they’ve got this image that we’re expensive. I’m sorry but most of us can do our jobs 2 or 3 times quicker than a younger person, our experience tells us what traps to not fall into and we don’t make mistakes as often. So the argument that we’re expensive is to me absolutely ridiculous.

If you’re going to hire a 50-year old woman versus a 35 –year old woman, the 35-year old might be cheaper but not if you’re going to hire the 50-year old for 3 days a week because I guarantee you she’ll be able to get exactly the same amount of work done.

Darren:

I also believe that women generally and especially those that have had children become infinitely more productive than men and women without children. In agencies I’ve seen it time and time again. They come in, they focus, they get the work done just as you were saying with Jane and Jane; you’d get a whole week’s work done in 15 hours because that’s the only way you can cope with all of the responsibilities you take on.

Jane:

I think it’s absolutely ridiculous that business does not classify motherhood as business skills. Business is crying out for soft skills. We need to find ways of training and measuring soft skills. Motherhood is the Ivy League of soft skills.

Darren:

Exactly.

Jane:

Time management and negotiation skills. If you can get a 5-year old to eat broccoli you can get a client to do absolutely anything. One of the things we’re doing in the Invisibility Project is looking at women and their careers in very different ways. And we’ve also got to look from a woman’s physiology.

Motherhood brings so many amazing skills but menopause brings something even better and that is zero baby-making hormones going through your body. So when a woman comes through the other side of menopause she gets this incredible confidence; all of the confidence from being a mother and add in this experience.

There is zero imposter syndrome in a woman past menopause because she damn well knows her stuff. The industry should recognise that this is the most powerful time in a woman’s life and we should be making the most of it.

Darren:

Isn’t it bizarre when you look at many traditional indigenous cultures that older women were seen as the wisdom within the culture, tribe and grouping because they’ve been through all those life stages and they’re also liberated from all of the issues around childbirth and child rearing.

Jane:

There are only 2 creatures that go through menopause: humans and whales. We’re the only ones over ground who go through menopause. In whale culture they go from being breeders to being leaders, which makes sense. The whales that are going to look after the pod are the ones that created the pod.

We need to look at this; we’ve got a whole generation of women just coming through menopause. They’re the first generation of women in the workforce, the most educated women ever, we’re going to live 20 or 30 years longer than our grandmothers and all of sudden we’re to just disappear.

I think we are the unicorns; the most untapped resource in business. The Uninvisibility Project is out there going we are here, we’re amazing, look at us, see us, hear us but also let us tell our story.

Darren:

Do you think having a career in media, creating advertising made you more finely tuned to the lack of visibility of older women or do you think it was just natural? When you say it and I see the work you’re doing with Uninvisibility Project, you realise there are all these amazing women there but when they’re not there in the media it doesn’t necessarily stand out for me.

That’s because I’m a man and because I’m used to getting bombarded with images.

Jane:

It started because I personally became invisible. I was out of work for 3 years. When the 3% conference came out saying there were no female leaders I stuck my hand up so loudly, ‘I’m here’—completely and utterly ignored.

But not only ignored but had ageism directly to my face. I would be told things like, ‘Jane, I would give you a job but you would end up as the old woman at the back of the creative department doing the shit nobody else wants.’ Or my favourite, ‘You may love the CIA, Jane, but the CIA doesn’t love you.’ Which was very much saying this is a young persons’ business and how dare you even try and come back. That was the attitude I faced.

You mentioned not seeing invisible women. I find this when you’re pregnant all you ever see is other pregnant women. When you become invisible all you ever see is other invisible women.

Darren:

And in my case, having twins suddenly I notice every other family that has twins whereas you never saw them before. So, it’s not unusual for me, even though I may think of myself as enlightened, not to see them.

Jane:

But we’ve also never existed before. When we were born we had a life expectancy of 70. At 55 we had pretty much 15 years to go, ready to settle down and disappear. But now we’re going to be living to 90 or 100, we can’t disappear.

Darren:

You’ve still got a whole life to live.

Jane:

And it’s a crisis. In the UK women over 55 are the fastest growing group of successful suicides; in Australia they’re the fastest growing group of homeless. People ask why aren’t you just going for advertising and marketing but this is well beyond just advertising and marketing; this is societal.

Women like us have never existed before and so we’ve got to stand up, show up and be counted. One of the things that shocks people is they see the Uninvisibility Project and they go ‘wow, these women are amazing, their stories are incredible’; half them are not making a living. There are women on there that you would think are incredibly successful who are on housing benefits.

So, we have to show up, stand up and we actually have to start fighting a bit. We fought for things like maternity leave, equal pay, private pensions.

Darren:

And still fighting.

Jane:

We fought for them and everybody else is benefiting from it except for us. We didn’t have maternity leave. We had a massive gap out of our careers if we had children. There were no private pensions when we started our careers so even if we did start a pension it was probably when we were in our mid to late 30s.

So we’re now finding this group of women who are unemployed, no pension savings, and absolutely no future ahead of them, and a world that doesn’t see them.

Darren:

That’s the financial security but the other thing is the role of work. Apart from working for your financial future, there’s also a sense of work validating and giving meaning to your life. A lot of men are taking early retirement and then 10 years down the track they’ve played as much golf as they can possibly play and they realise they don’t have that meaning anymore so they’re trying to jump back in to the industry.

The role of work is so important in giving people meaning and validation. I imagine during those three years you must have been going crazy.

Jane:

I was absolutely in shock. I’ve been through quite a lot of shit in my life and the one thing I’ve always been able to rely on is my talent. So to find that I can’t rely on that anymore was absolutely devastating.

I can understand why women have such a loss of confidence particularly if it’s in the middle of menopause. You’ve got all the physical changes; lack of confidence is one of those things. Add this level of invisibility and unemployability and I can totally relate to why women are committing suicide.

Men get so much of their self-worth out of what they do for a living and women get so much self-worth out of being a mother and again we don’t give enough credit for that. You don’t know whether you’re going to be a good mother until you’re finished.

Darren:

It’s a lifetime project.

Jane:

It’s a lifetime project but when you get to 55 and you’ve got your kids to 18 and they’re pretty decent human beings you realise oh I can do that and then all of a sudden there’s this next half of life and I think a lot of women who haven’t had the confidence or validation get that from being a good mum—‘I’ve done that job really well’.

In the same that men get it from doing their job really well, ‘I’ve done mothering really well’. To take all of those skills and restart the career at the point when you can give it 100% because you cannot give 100% to your career, whether you have children or not, with all of those chemicals running through your body.

I used to have 1 day a month where I would lie in bed going ‘what have I done? Have I said something wrong? Have I hurt somebody?’ It wasn’t until I was 40 that I worked out it was PMT. You don’t realise until it’s gone how much those hormones take away from brain space and how much time and energy that takes up.

So, when you get to the other side and it’s beautiful and clear and you go ‘fuckin hell, is that what men have felt like all the time?’ You get the confidence. I remember thinking ‘bloody hell, this is what David Joger felt like at 22’.

We need to be looking at this as women at this time with no chemicals running through their bodies, their children have finished, and they’ve got the time and space and more importantly the massive boost of energy after menopause. So, there are 20 or 30 years—what am I going to do?

Talk to these women; they’re changing careers, writing books, going off travelling. They’re not sitting at home, ‘oh, I’m invisible, the world doesn’t care about me’. It’s ‘fuck the world; I’m off to do my own thing’.

Darren:

Which is what retirement used to be for everyone. Retiring at 60 and the average life expectancy was 70 but everyone now is looking at a 2nd life. There’s a university called the 3rd age but the idea that this is the time when you’ve been a mother, worked, contributed and now here is the opportunity for opening up those possibilities.

What you’re saying is you get to this point and there is not that much opportunity.

Jane:

There’s zero opportunity. It’s all millennials this and that and digital natives and that they’re going to have life-long learning and multiple careers and we’re going ‘start with us’. We’re pioneers; we pioneered women in the workforce, let’s pioneer the 2nd half of our life. Let’s pioneer new training.

It won’t take us 3 years at university to learn something; we’ve got so much life expectancy. We’ve already got the soft skills, hard skills are easy to learn. If we can change the attitude that our careers are now no longer 25 to 50 on a trajectory from bottom to top; that our careers are 25 to 75 with troughs and plateaus, you can take things easy for a little while.

I hear so many women that are making decisions about having family out of fear. And I know so many women who are choosing not to have family out of fear or having family and trying to be super women, which is impossible. Again, if we extend that sweet spot from 35 to 55 that gives us all the space to do our lives properly and not just be on this single career track.

Darren:

Going back to the advertising industry, when these conversations come up, a lot of agencies say, ‘oh, the client’s not interested, they want to appeal to a younger audience’, yet when you look at a lot of the advertisers, marketing departments are actually made of the senior men and women.

Jane:

There are two sides to this. At the 3% conference someone said I want a senior woman on my account and the agency kept saying there’s no such thing, we can’t find them, they don’t exist. So she went out and found her own. We all know that we exist but this is the invisibility.

Because young groovy male ECDs don’t think we’re cool or groovy we don’t exist so they’re not going to have us in the department. But on the other hand I had an incredible influencer who was cross-generational, the most amazing woman in the world. I was about to take her into a major fashion brand and they came back and said ‘no, our target market is 19 and if anything we’re going even younger’.

And my response was ‘who the fuck do you think buys this stuff?’ Marketers are going to have a massive comeuppance if we come into our power and recognise that we buy 40% of everything. That means we control half of all consumer spending and that is the most important thing in any growing economy.

So, if women our age come into our power the brands that have ignored us for so long – we won’t give a shit about you.

Darren:

The word that everyone is bandying around in marketing is relevance. How can we become more relevant to the audience and particularly the purchase decision-makers who are the gatekeepers to household expenditure?

Jane:

It’s not that we’re rich; it’s that we buy 2.5 times more than anybody else because we’re buying for 2.5 times more people than anybody else. As a consumer group we are the most powerful group.

Darren:

It’s a gatekeeper role.

Jane:

Absolutely. And if we come into our power and actually start using that we can force a change and that’s what the Uninvisibility Project is about, forcing this change. There’s a lot of talk about this is an important demographic, we should be talking to them and they’re putting kids onto it.

You would not a get group of teenagers talking to a group of 30-year olds so why would you think it’s any different for us? We didn’t expect our life to be like it is so how on earth can you imagine what it’s going to be like to feel the way that we do? So, agencies, marketers, everybody should be making a concerted effort to get more older women into the workforce.

Darren:

When you see work targeted at the 55 plus you see that the person doing it has got this image of retirees that’s actually more like 70 or 80 not 55, 60. They have this image of someone at the end of life.

Jane:

I was talking to this young person the other day and I said, ‘we’re so fed up with seeing Helen Mirren’ and they were like ‘what’s wrong with Helen Mirren?’ ‘She’s 74’ and they went ‘what?’ ‘Do you think she was in her 50s?’ ‘Yeah’. So, that’s what your image of somebody in their 50s is. Somebody in their 50s is Elle McPherson, Kylie Minogue, Jennifer Aniston. You’ve got to change your image of what a midlife woman is.

There has always been this young and old but now there is middle. And nobody talks about middle. But middle is the best bit; it should be something to look forward to.

Darren:

It was always called a midlife crisis but there’s not a crisis. Maybe the crisis is that no one’s caught up with the fact it’s midlife and it’s a good thing.

Jane:

In the old days midlife was ‘oh, shit, the next bit’s death’. Now it’s 30, 40 years, I’m going to be fit for 20 or 30 of them, what am I going to do? And great for all those people who have got fantastic superannuation but that’s the blokes; women don’t have it. We have 30% less pension savings than men.

Darren:

And that’s been based on not having maternity leave and contributing.

Jane:

48% of us don’t even have a pension at all. Again, if we don’t do something about it the economic impact of this is going to be enormous. And if we don’t change our attitude right now in 20 years’ time economies are going to collapse from looking after destitute old women. This isn’t a nice to have; this is an essential.

Darren:

But there is also the other side which is the huge amount of wastage in human capital because there is so much potential.

Jane:

This also comes down to this love of tech and digital native. I joke that I played as much Club Penguin as anyone but I was going ‘what’s that penguin doing? Is that penguin supposed to be there?’ but also ‘this is really interesting; I wonder what you could do with that for a different target market?’ We were there for the birth of it all. The thing is that thought processes don’t change all that much.

There was a return ship a couple of years ago, I think it was Sapient Nitro, wanted UX designers but UX design didn’t exist when we left the industry. So you put an ad out there saying ‘come to a return ship of UX designers’. You’re going to get a bunch of 25-year olds to do that?

When we went to art school we would get a brief for how to get somebody from a car park at an airport to their gate using signage. That is UX.

Darren:

Also, great UX design, like any design, is an absolute appreciation of the person who is going to be viewing it. It’s understanding how human beings navigate their way through any environment whether it’s a screen or a car park at an airport.

Jane:

That’s right and we learned all of those skills but just in a different way. To turn a graphic designer into a UX designer is a few weeks to learn a few new acronyms and a couple of new programmes because the basic thought has never changed.

Yes, marketing has changed but marketing will never inherently change. So if you understand it you understand it. Yes, you might need to learn some new processes, buzz words but you don’t need to go back to the start.

Darren:

Do you see any particular areas where this is starting to happen? You referred to film, Hollywood first of all discovered there was an audience called women that actually wanted to see stories about other women and not just men with their shirts off and then they started telling stories about older women.

It is evolving but do you see that as a lead other industries could follow?

Jane:

Julia Louis-Dreyfus the age of unfuckability was an absolute turning point for body work because they went ‘holy shit, we do get rid of women when they’re unfuckable’. And yes, in the advertising industry you still do that. We need to learn a lot from the industry but also the box office is going to tell.

I went and saw Ad Astra, Brad Pitt’s latest film—120 minutes of Brad Pitt close up on the screen—absolutely fantastic. But I got to the end of the film and thought—another fuckin’ film about a white guy with daddy issues. I am so fuckin’ bored. I was actually at a director’s screening and the director was ‘we took Homer’s Odyssey and tried to look at it from a different character’. For fuck’s sake, there have been more stories than Homer’s Odyssey.

And when you compare that to watching on television when you’re seeing stories we’ve never heard before and not just women. We’re hearing minority stories, Crazy Rich Asians. I think we’re finally breaking down the years and years of patriarchal storytelling. This whole world is built on patriarchal stories.

Darren:

The ‘me too’ movement was particularly prominent in the Hollywood movie industry. What I’m trying to get a sense of is, is this the start of the change that needs to happen or is it an isolated point and what would the lag be? As you say, this is an issue that is critical now. We can’t have an evolution that is going to take 30 years because in 30 years’ time this group of women are going to be destitute.

Jane:

What we’re facing at the moment is societal and I think it goes back 5 or 6,000 years from when men started writing the stories. We created society. You guys all went off hunting, you’d go away for 3 days, come back you’d bring one meal. While you were gone we created agriculture, textiles, dwellings, society, communication and then the men worked out that it was their seed that made the babies.

Prior to that we were goddesses on earth. We bled without dying and miraculously had children and when men worked out it was their seed they took over all the stories. I find it hilarious that Nemesis, the great enemy is the goddess of fuckin’ justice. We need to turn Nemesis back into the good girl.

We’ve been built on these stories over and over again; women are marginalised, once you’re unfuckable you’re supposed to disappear off into the woods or be burnt at the stake. So we have to change really basic thinking that the patriarchy has been built as a system that only benefits men. And it doesn’t benefit all men.

We need to take the gender out of this argument; it needs to be people versus the patriarchy because it’s an unfair system for women, minorities.

Darren:

It’s unfair for everyone that’s not in that self-determined group of born leaders.

Jane:

The privileged white males that don’t even realise how privileged they are. When men actually realise how privileged they are and realise they need to give some of this power away and help destroy this system which is not going to help us in the future.

At the moment we’re at the head of a tech revolution and if we don’t have as many voices; male, female, black, whatever sexual preference creating this we’re going to end up with another revolution run by white guys that doesn’t help anybody else.

Darren:

And we’re seeing that because the internet was all about democratising information and communication and almost all the time we’re seeing this group of white privileged males commercialise, control it or shut it down. The great thing is so far it’s managed to resist that.

The Uninvisibility Project—one of the most visible things is the site with all of these amazing stories but then getting it into the mass media—much of it is controlled by the patriarchy so this is going to be resisted. So, we need the groundswell.

Jane:

And there are as many women that support the patriarchy as there are men. We often hear women can be such bitches. Yeah, women can be bitches but they can also be on the side of patriarchy. They can profit from the patriarchy and they have so much invested in it that they’re going to fight tooth and nail.

Darren:

I think that’s one of the reasons the Handmaid’s Tale is so powerful because there are those groups, the women that have bought into the patriarchy because it gives them power and influence and the rebels resisting it. It’s such a powerful piece of storytelling because it’s full of those examples.

Jane:

Story is everything. All of our society is built on story. Women weren’t even allowed to read until 150 years ago so there is an awful lot of narrative to rewrite but the world is open to the new stories.

Darren:

There is also a generational change; you and I were born in that gap but post that we’re seeing a lot of young men that were raised by single mothers and have grown up with a very strong appreciation for the capability of those women. And they’re taking into the workforce and positions of leadership an appreciation that these are unfair circumstances.

Jane:

A lot of men of our generation really suffered. I’ve had some horrendous things happen in my career; horrendous bullying and I think that comes from the fact that we had a generation of men who were brought up incredibly brutally. They were told they would find and marry a woman, they would be the breadwinner, they’d have kids, they’d look after the house and that was the way it was going to be.

And I think a lot of these men have felt really cheated, that they didn’t get what they expected. They didn’t have the subservient women that were going to bow to them and I think that generation have a tremendous amount of problems from the programming they had growing up to the reality of what they faced.

That’s why the divorce rate shot through the roof because we weren’t going to be subservient anymore and we were going to have our own lives. But young men today are remarkable and the generations that are coming up are remarkable. My 18 year old daughter (a couple of years ago) said to me ‘Mum, you’re a radical feminist’.

I said, ‘I don’t know whether I’d say I was radical’. And she goes, ’it’s all right, you are radical but it’s fine because you walk the talk’. She said, ‘I can’t stand radical feminists that just talk and don’t do anything’. But she said, it’s got to become totally equal and for her there is no difference between boys and girls. And it’s like why are you putting women first?

Because we have to. There are still things that need to be changed but no, for her generation it’s an even playing field.

Darren:

My mother was born in 1940 and I used to like what she said, ‘men and women are equal but different and it’s the differences that make life interesting but the thing we can’t forget is that we are absolutely equal in every way’.

For a woman from humble beginnings she achieved quite a level of influence but a lot of men she said that to just couldn’t get it. They couldn’t equate equality to difference. They thought if we’re different we can’t be equal. No, they’re two different measures.

Jane:

One of the reasons why we struggled so much when we came into the workforce was because the only image that men had of what a feminist was was Margaret Thatcher.

Darren:

That’s a terrifying thought.

Jane:

We’re going to fill our companies with mini Margaret Thatcher’s. In the 80s a feminist was either Margaret Thatcher or a Greenham Common demonstrator; there was nothing in between. So, most of us kept it quiet that we were feminists because we didn’t want to be tarred with that brush.

Darren:

There were so many clichés—the burning bras—and it was trying to diminish the importance.

Jane:

The number of times I was called a hairy-legged lesbian as if being a lesbian was a bad thing to begin with. Somebody the other day asked, ‘how do we get men involved in the conversation?’ I said, ‘I’ve been waiting 44 fuckin’ years; I’m fed up with waiting’.

Darren:

Let’s just keep having the conversation. If they want to join in.

Jane:

Absolutely. The patriarchy’s matrix is against us so we didn’t identify as feminist because we’d be seen as Margaret Thatcher or a hairy-legged lesbian. Now it’s the time for the men to be the hairy fucken legged lesbians. We had to say things that were unpopular and stand up for unpopular opinion.

Now it’s time for guys if you seriously believe in this, it’s time for you to stand up and start talking because we’ve been doing this for too long and I’m bored with it.

Darren:

Jane, we’ve run out of time. It’s been fantastic catching up with you. One last question. Through your career could you name one person who did the most to help you shape the direction of your life?

Ideal for marketers, advertisers, media and commercial communications professionals, Managing Marketing is a podcast hosted by Darren Woolley and special guests. Find all the episodes here

Want more articles like this? Subscribe to our newsletter:

Fill out my online form.

Darren is considered a thought leader on all aspects of marketing management. A Problem Solver, Negotiator, Founder & Global CEO of TrinityP3 - Marketing Management Consultants, founding member of the Marketing FIRST Forum and Author. He is also a Past-Chair of the Australian Marketing Institute, Ex-Medical Scientist and Ex-Creative Director. And in his spare time he sleeps. Darren's Bio Here Email: darren@trinityp3.com

We're Listening

Have something to say about this article?
Share it with us on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn

Tweet
Share
Share
Buffer
Pin