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Women in Media - Amanda Gome

Welcome to MediaScope's new profile series where we ask 'Women in Media' about their career and experiences in our industry.  Our aim is to create awareness of the opportunities and ongoing challenges for women in the media, marketing, advertising and publishing industry - and hopefully generate some level of conversation within companies and employers of our capabilities and needs. Thanks to Amanda for getting involved.

Please subscribe to our newsletter to be the first to meet other great 'Women in Media'.

Please share your industry background?

My passion is building profitable media publications and audiences across print and digital platforms and I have been fortunate enough to do that almost my entire working life.

My latest venture has been the most successful. I started SmartCompany in early 2007 which then merged with Crikey a few years later and I became CEO of Private Media which owned both titles. When I took over Crikey, I reinvested in the brand and it has been growing fast for the past two years.

We subsequently launched five other new publications including Startup Smart, LeadingCompany, Property Investor, The Power Index and Property Observer. When I left the business in September 2012 we had successfully built new digital audiences in key markets, created new advertising channels to readers, had around 60 staff and revenue approaching $6 million.
Prior to that I led the development of the entrepreneur/small business area at BRW as editor of Small Enterprise and founder of the Fast 100. 

I started my media career in business journalism at News Ltd at the old Melbourne Herald before working briefly at the Herald Sun and Sunday Herald.
What is your role and what do you do?

I am currently assessing a lot of entrepreneurial opportunities in media and elsewhere. I have also been an adjunct professor at RMIT University for more than ten years. And I do a lot of public speaking on building entrepreneurial cultures and infusing your workplace with innovation and entrepreneurship.

Plus of course I talk on how to build fast growing, sustainable companies, particularly in the digital space.

How do you personally manage your work/life balance?

Forget balance. Work is life! The media industry is a complex beast so the more you know the better off you are and experience gives you a competitive advantage. Rather than focus on balance I work at not burning out. That means being mentally and physically fit. I turn up at the gym at least four times a week and do whatever class is on offer from crazy Zumba to weights and boxing. I also run on the beach and bush walk when I can to remain physically fit. Mentally? I read great journalism and literature and remain closely conected to family and friends.

Please outline your views on the general media market & the position of women?

First, there are very few women in senior positions in media. That needs to be addressed because most women love working for other women and are inspired by senior female role models. So if we have morefemales at the top of media, we are going to attract and keep excellent women in the profession.

Second, there is a fantastic opportunity to build female readershipand advertising channels in business, entrepreneurial and investment media which is where my passion and experience lies.

What advice can you offer to women who are considering a long-term career in our industry?

Media is a tough industry so toughen up. There are lots of hurdles in the way so know when you need to jump high and when you need to knock them over. And seek out male and female mentors both inside and outside the industry. You need a plan and mentors help you work on the skills you need to fulfil that plan.
What challenges have you faced in your career and how have you overcome them?

I have faced two major challenges. First giving up a job I loved at Fairfax's BRW because I felt the company was too slow to grasp the digital opportunities.  Even so, the first two years of building the SmartCompany brand with both advertisers and readers was very tough and I envied Fairfax its strong, well known brands.

I am facing my second biggest challenge now! After almost seven years, I have just left the company (Private Media) that I spent a lot of time and passion building. Chairman Eric Beecher has decided to take the business in a different direction. I miss my wonderful staff, readers and advertisers terribly although I am also pressing ahead and working on what's next rather than repeating anything I have already done.    
What can our industry do right now to better recognise & support women & families?

Recognise that there is a  very strong business case for attracting and retaining women to senior ranks, particuarly through those difficult years when they are combining young families with work. Include men in the conversation. All the men I know don't want to miss family life either. 
What’s your favourite business and personal magazine, site or program?

For business - I start the morning with AFR, Twitter, Harvard Business Review blogs, Startup Smart, The Australian, The Age and then through the day I read SmartCompany, Property Observer, Crikey, Women's Agenda, Mumbrella, LeadingCompany and maybe Daily Beast or Huffington Post. On a weekly basis I read BRW, The Economist, MondayNote and Eureka Report (Alan Kohler on Saturday is excellent.)

TV - Really enjoying Leigh Sales on a revitalised 7.30 Report and Q&A.

Personal - I read a lot of books. At the moment I am reading The Rise of the Fifth Estate by Greg Jericho and working my way through Text Classics.

Thank you!


If you know a 'Woman in Media' you'd like to see profiled please get in touch with your suggestion.

Any comments? - please go to MediaScope's Facebook page and don't forget to subscribe to our newsletter to be the first to meet other great Women in Media.


Further Resources

 - Women in Media - see other women profiled in this new series

 - Digital People Profiles - over the past 2 and a half years we've profiled 100 of the most well-known and experienced people in the Australian digital media industry through trade site - Digital Ministry

 - Media Owner Profiles - we ask some of Australia's most successful media owners about running their business and ask them to offer advice to other media owners


Other Pages of Interest