Brand & BusinessPress Release

LinkedIn and UM leaders organize ‘The Village’ support group for working parents in media

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA — The Village, the first association dedicated to supporting working parents in the Australian media industry, officially launches.

Designed as a nurturing community for industry professionals who are planning a family, expecting, or already caring for children, The Village redefines support, connection, and advocacy for working parents, and is aimed at fostering successful and sustainable careers within the industry.

Co-founded by Louise Wilson, Head of New & Emerging Business at LinkedIn Marketing Solutions, and Lauren Thornborough, Client Partner at UM – both of whom are working parents – The Village’s long-term vision is to advocate for industry-wide change to address the prevalent staff retention issue the media industry faces.

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new industry support group for working parents launches INSERT
Lauren (L) adn Lou (R) The Village

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

Lauren said: “This alarming 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.”

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

James said: “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. In light of this, I applaud The Village, as a well-needed initiative designed to inspire, energize and motivate a more senior agency workforce.  That is good news for agencies, their people, and their clients,” he concluded.

Lauren continued: “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.”

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 commence late 2024; also launching will be a comprehensive and complementary member e-newsletter highlighting family-friendly workplaces and invaluable resources.

The Village will launch as a free offering for members with details for registration found on the website. To become a member of The Village or explore sponsorship opportunities, please visit www.thevillageworkingparents.com.au.

The Village kickstarts its program with founders, Louise and Lauren, speaking at Cannes in Cairns in June, leading a panel discussion titled ‘Balance is Bullshit – working parents need a village,’ including Kim Portrate, CEO of Think TV and Matt Fahd of Tik Tok. Save the date: Wednesday, June 5th, 3:30 PM.

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