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Women in Media - Joe Pollard

Welcome to MediaScope's profile series where we regularly ask 'Women in Media' about their career and experiences in our industry. 

This time we feature Joe Pollard, who has held a variety of senior roles during her career including CEO of ninemsn and CEO of Mojo/Publicis Communications.

Thanks to Joe for getting involved.

  • Name: Joe Pollard
  • Company:  JP Consulting
  • Role:  Business Consulting with a focus on media, marketing and digital services. Independent Board Director: Nine Entertainment Co.

Tell us about your industry background?Women in Media - Joe Pollard


For 29 years I have worked across all areas of media, marketing and digital in Sydney, London, Hong Kong, the US and Japan.  Starting at media agencies for 12 years, then transitioning into client side roles at Nike Inc for 10 years (firstly, as Director of Global Media, Digital and Content and then CMO for Nike Japan).  After 16 years living and working overseas, I moved back to Australia in 2006 to take on the role of Director of Sales and Marketing for PBL Media and then CEO of ninemsn.   My final operational executive role was CEO of Mojo/Publicis 



In 2014, I transitioned into full time consulting and non executive director board roles.


What is your current role and what do you do?


I split my time across 3 areas of strategic consulting services:

  • Business Strategy with clients with a focus on marketing, media and digital strategies.  My clients range from multi-national companies to digital start-ups.
  • Executive Coaching of number of senior women in the marketing industry.
  • Independent Non Executive Board director for Nine Entertainment Co.

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


I have been married for 24 years to my wonderful supportive husband, Bronte and have 2 fantastic boys Jake, 14 and Max, 12.  One of the reasons we moved back to Australia was to enable the boys to live and go to school here.  


I have always said that our family has quite good work/life balance. My focus has always been work and my husband’s focus was family so together the balance was perfect.  However, it meant a lot of sacrifice for me from a family perspective.  


Living in the US during the early years of my children’s lives was both good and challenging.  While I only had 6 weeks maternity leave with both of my babies, Nike had wonderful on-site day care and an infrastructure that supported working families. However, I had to cope with being away from the family at least 50% of the time as I did a lot of travel for the first 8 years of my children’s lives.  While this enabled me to accelerate my career through my 30’s and early 40’s there have been a lot of personal sacrifices.


One of the main reasons, I have transitioned into full time consulting and board roles now has been to have more control of my time while my kids are in high school. So far it is working out extremely well.


Please outline your views on the general media industry – what is the State of the Media?


Working in Media and Marketing has always been my passion and now sitting on the board of Nine Entertainment Co., I get to be involved with the industry at a different level.  It is fast paced, constantly changing and there is no sign of things slowing down any time soon. In the next 2 years, we will see new entertainment services launch, digital connectivity and access drive changes in consumer behaviour and data driven marketing and creative problem solution go head to head and hopefully find the ability to co-exist.  Finally, potential government reforms will open up new opportunities for the industry.  It will be a fun ride.


What is your view on the current position of women in the media industry?

While it would be good to see more women in leadership roles in media, I believe that the industry in Australia has improved in the last 3 years.  Awareness of the importance of diversity has improved and we are seeing more women promoted into senior positions. I am certainly seeing a positive trend from a boardroom perspective regarding the importance of diversity.


Male mentors are critical to a female’s success in the media industry.  Throughout my career, I have had amazing males support and promote me, particularly at Nike. They are the ones who currently hold most of the influence (as there are more of them).  If you don’t have one a male mentor – GET ONE!


What advice would you offer to your younger self as you started your career in our industry?


It was a good decision to say “yes” when the opportunity to work overseas presented itself so continue to push for an overseas placement.  However, remember to make sure you keep your business network at home healthy.   Out of sight, out of mind. The hard work and sacrificeyou make when you are 34 to 44 will all be worth it. While it is hard at the time, it pays off.  Just because you aren’t around all the time, doesn’t make you a bad mother.  


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


Being away from the family and working long hours during the early years of my children’s lives.  Remember what Madeleine Albright said, “I do think women can have it all but not all at the same time. Our life comes in segments, and we have to understand that we can have it all if we're not trying to do it all at once."  While not completely encouraging, I believe it is completely true and once accepted a lot of angst goes away.


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


Job share roles instead of part-time roles.  That way the business and the employee can both balance needs.  


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


AFR, Vanity Fair, Flipboard, NY Times, Wired, Fast Company


Thank you!



SheSays - is a global networking organisation to support women in advertising, media, marketing and creative. It's entirely free and everyone involved is a volunteer. Come and join us at our next event. Find out more here - & join the SheSays Facebook page. 


Who's Your Momma - is a free mentorship program for women in advertising, digital, media and marketing run by SheSays. We know no matter where you are in your career it's good to have somebody to turn to when you need some advice and support. Find out more here.



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


Further Resources

  •  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


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