The buzz from day one carried over to day two, as WIM QLD convenor Kathy McLeish opened the morning.
Tracey Spicer then took to the stage with LJ Loch, offering up a plethora of tips to instantly improve your body language at work.
Need a boost of confidence before asking for a raise, giving a presentation, or just because? Jump into your power pose for two minutes – stand up with your hands on your hips or raised up over your head.
Don’t make your body smaller – stand proud.
Don’t be afraid of silence. Practise asking for what you want, then being silent and waiting for the other party to jump in.
“As women, we’re taught to fill gaps in conversation. Embrace silence,” Tracey said.
Legals and Liabilities
John Laxon (industrial lawyer), Media Super’s Jennifer McSpadden and Commercial and Property lawyer Steven Morris delivered a stellar panel discussion on contracts, superannuation, freelancing and bullying in the workplace.
Again, this was a talk that had my pen flying over the page and wishing yet again I knew shorthand.
John impressed the importance of knowing your rights and knowing what the law is on the audience.
He urged us not to assume that HR is our friend, get confirmation of meetings in writing, and to leave a paper trail.
If something happens at work, act fast, and don’t ever agree to a post-employment restraint clause, where you can’t work for a competitor once you leave.
If you’re being bullied, complain in writing, call out harassment, and always take a support person to any meetings with HR. Record the meeting and make notes.
Signing a new contract? You have a right to take away a copy of it to consider it.
The Hurdles We Still Need To Jump
Leila Gurruwiwi, Tracey Viera, Michelle Tapper and Kathy Lipari made up the final panel of the conference, discussing the major obstacles women still need to overcome in media.
Leila said it’s hard sometimes to get her voice heard when she’s working with a panel full of men on Marngrook – so she works with co-host Shelley to create ins for each other in the conversation.
This was something that really hit home for me, women working together to get ahead. We need to help each other up the ladder all the way – there’s enough room at the top.
Panel tips included finding out what your predecessor was paid in your role, and constantly asking and negotiating for more money. Write your boss an email and list the top points why you deserve a raise.
Michelle said to stay true to who you are, both your look and your ethics.
Stick to your own voice, and don’t back down from being bolshy.
Lunch with Sarah Ferguson
After we hopped on the bus and made our way to The Star, we settled in for one of the best moments of the conference – a lunch talk from the ABC’s Sarah Ferguson.
Fresh from her Australian exclusive one-on-one with Hillary Clinton, Sarah had a host of tips for interviewing successfully, with number one being preparation.
Do you know everything it’s possible to know about the person in the time you have available? Respect is crucial, and preparation is key to this.
If you’re being pushed by an assistant for going over the time-limit, just keep talking. “Very few people will pick you up and move you,” Sarah quipped. “You don’t owe anything to the assistant or person pushing you, you owe it to the audience.”
Sarah said not to do anything you don’t want to do. We all make mistakes, but “you don’t make many mistakes that make you feel uncomfortable in the middle of the night”.
“The only thing that counts in the end is your credibility – look after it,” she said.
The rest of the afternoon and evening was spent networking and enjoying the company of our new friends across the country.
I was still buzzing from the atmosphere of being around these incredible women in media – in fact, I’m feeling it again just writing this up.
If you have the chance to head to the next WIM conference, don’t hesitate.
It’ll fill you with fire and fierce determination to stand up for what’s right, help other women and jump into the next challenge.
Conference reports and information about the speakers not hyperlinked in this article can be found here.