Women’s voices are underrepresented in the media and public policy debates. On boards, in the executive suite and in startups. On panels and at events.
Meanwhile, women’s work is undervalued, from agriculture to law, from sport to science and awards. And it’s also underpaid, with a gender pay gap in every industry and occupation level in Australia. Girls get less pocket money and women retire with less superannuation. Even women’s jokes are discounted.
Why? Because men are overrepresented in positions of power and authority in our society. As a result, expertise and leadership are perceived – even unconsciously – as masculine qualities.
Then there’s the visibility factor. Those already in the public eye get chosen to speak, to write, to win. So the status quo of male leaders and experts keeps reinforcing itself.
What’s more, women frequently play down their expertise, or are reticent about self-promotion. And we are already frantically busy, thanks all the same. So the cycle continues.
At Women’s Agency, our goal is redressing the gender imbalance in public life and improving women’s representation. Our philosophy in action means working mostly with women. But as long as female agency is part of your project, we’re keen to hear from you!
Multi-award-winning investigative journalist and campaign consultant Gina McColl founded Women’s Agency in 2017.
During two decades as a senior editor and journalist, she saw the effects of media disruption and the contraction of newsrooms. She spotted the threats and opportunities these trends presented to women’s voices. And she decided to do something about it.
Her range of journalistic experience gives her a broad and deep understanding of the Australian economy, community and global trends. (She has previously been deputy editor of The Sunday Age and The Age’s investigations team, BRW online editor, and arts editor of The Age.) She won the 2017 Gold Our Watch Award, administered by the Walkley Foundation, for her series on sexual harassment.
Gina is also a seasoned campaigner, having played a leading role in editorial independence, press freedom and gender equity campaigns as director of the Walkley Foundation and vice-president of the journalists’ union, MEAA.
In 2018, she led the ABC’s campaign to engage high-profile, eminent and everyday Australians in the role and future of the ABC. Audiences were mobilised across the country by a campaign that included on-screen and on-air stories, user-generated content, newsletters, websites, events and extensive stakeholder development.
In 2017, she was media director for Go Gentle Australia, a not-for-profit founded by TV’s Andrew Denton. GGA ran a five-month campaign in support of the Victorian Government’s historic voluntary assisted dying law reforms. The national campaign was a GQ Australia Social Force Award Finalist in 2017.
Gina is also founder and director of investigative agency The Tell and is certified in Investigative Services and Government Investigations; Victorian Investigator Licence 962-139-90S.