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Women in Media - Jane Huxley

Welcome to MediaScope's 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.

This time I'm pleased to present new MD of Pandora and long time senior industry executive - Jane Huxley.

Thanks to Jane for getting involved.

Name: Jane Huxley
Twitter: @janehux   
Company: Pandora Media
Role: Managing Director, Australia and New ZealandWomen in Media - Jane Huxley

Tell us about your industry background?

I have what is known as a “classical TMT” background. Technology, starting with 16 years at Microsoft (yes, the early days), Media and Telco. For me there was always going to be a time where all of these industries collided, and think we are well into the chaos now. Out of chaos comes enormous opportunity…

What is your role and what do you do?

About four weeks ago, I started as the Managing director of Pandora  Media – and we are in the business of streaming personalised radio, to your computer or mobile device. It’s a big company in the US, with over 185 million registered users, and we are just starting out here. I feel like I am on the cusp of the best ride of my life.

What are your family circumstances and how do you manage your work/life balance?

I have an awesome husband I call my 50/50 man, who shares the responsibilities and delights evenly with me, and two young girls who are 3 and 6 years old. We manage our lives the same way I run a business – as a team. We have incredible support– including family, an amazing nanny and we outsource as many “chores” as we can. We may not have any money, but we are happy!

A while ago I decided to give up the guilt associated with being a working mother. My mantra is that if each of us in our little family can be getting *exactly* what they need for 25% of the time then we are doing well. A family is about the component parts – not just the kids! And so far it’s working for us.

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

It’s an amazing time to be in media, and I have never met so many incredible women in my life! It’s a tough business to be in and some of the skills that are “innate” in women are really coming to the fore. Resilience, patience, compromise, communication, tenacity – are the new core capabilities for a successful career.

They are behaviours rather than skills and they have become an important part of survival in the long game. 

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

Work hard, love what you do, and be brave enough to say what you really think.

What challenges have you faced in your career and how have you overcome them?

So many, ahhh so many. Like many of you I have learned most things the hard way. I think the best lesson I ever learned was how to not take things personally (and one day I’ll tell you how I did that!). The saviours for me have been my “smorgasbord” of mentors – people I go to when I need to be put back together, supported, encouraged or challenged. There have been quite a few of these influences over my career, and a lot of who I am and what I have become is due to the frank and open conversations I have been privileged to have with these people.

What can our industry do right now to better recognise & support women & families?

On the topic of women here, I’m going to borrow the wisdom of a friend and mentor of mine, Jennifer Zanich, queen of startups and general whip-smart-edness (yes spellcheck, I realise that’s not an actual word). Her absolute conviction here is the “industry” should figure a way for every woman to go and get some training in the art of negotiation. It’s time we started to state what we want, what we are worth, and why hiring/promoting/rewarding us will create positive change. Right now women are not necessarily programed for a “me” world, and we need to address that. On the topic of families, it’s important to remember that the father plays as critical a cog in the family as the mother – I worry that we are perpetuating the traditional role of women if we don’t start to create opportunities to support and celebrate the fathers amongst us.

What’s your favourite business and personal magazine, site or program?

I love Zite on my iPad which actually allows me to combine business and personal stuff together. I think you can tell a lot about a person by the way they build their own mag – in mine I have business, finance, entrepreneurship, mobile and tech sitting right alongside food and cooking, design, parenting and good old celebrity gossip.

And of course you’d expect me to say Pandora. I never expected music to just delight me in the way it has since I started listening to my own personalised stations.  Seriously, download it this minute. And if you don’t love it I’ll give you your money back.

Thank you!

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


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