Angela Priestley, Owner and Editor of Women’s Agenda, radiates a composed, capable and approachable leadership presence. Her down to earth and naturally inclusive conversational style coupled with incisive journalistic instinct has made Women’s Agenda a go-to publication for Australian professional women. Look no further when seeking a reliable, intelligent source of insight on politics, economics, career, lifestyle and gender equality penned by a tight-knit cohort of women who tell it like it is.
When I read Women’s Agenda, I feel like I am listening to a close friend updating me on the latest interesting news she has discovered. I also feel invited to contribute to the discussion. In a country where 70% of print and broadcast journalists are male and 77% of experts quoted in media are male, a platform devoted to content written for women, by women and profiling female leaders, is a welcome alternative.
You acquired Women’s Agenda in April 2016. How did that come about and what made you feel ready to take that step?
I was at home with a three-week old baby when I heard about the opportunity to acquire the publication. As the founding editor, I already felt strongly connected to the brand and its audience. I could also see some significant opportunities for growing the publication into a larger media business, and for providing a much-needed voice on news affecting professional women and female entrepreneurs. We had a transition period and completed the acquisition on 1 July this year.
It’s been a huge start. We ran our 4th Annual Women’s Agenda Leadership Awards, have developed our partner content offering, and have just kicked off a major design and development project to relaunch the publication in early 2017.
What will online publishing will look like in five years? What future trends excite you?
Five years? I’m not even sure about the next five months! The one trend I can say is that online publishing is constantly changing. What we know now is that the barriers to entry have never been lower. Anyone can set up a website and increasingly now anyone can create video, podcasts, graphics and other media. It’s developing and maintaining an engaged audience that really matters, and I believe ‘niche’ audiences will be increasingly influential in the future.
2016 has been a pivotal year for media in general. We’ve seen the rise of ‘fake news sites’, particularly during the US election which is cause for serious concern. We’ve seen some general distrust in major media brands and campaigns against the so-called media ‘elite’. More than ever, we need a more diverse range of female voices having a say on the issues that affect us: from business to politics, international affairs, economics and how we approach work and life. I’m proud that Women’s Agenda will help provide this. I’ve never felt more committed to our goals, or more passionate about the need for a publication like Women’s Agenda.
What workplace policies work well for Women’s Agenda?
Flexibility. Our team all have other priorities outside of Women’s Agenda, whether it be kids, or even another job. We all work flexibly, something that’s helped by the fact we’re all passionate about what we do and have the added help of deadlines. This means it’s easy to measure outputs, without having to rely on time!
You have interviewed hundreds of executives and entrepreneurs. Are there any particular pieces of advice that ring true for you?
To back yourself. I hear this over and over again. They’re two words that sound so simple to do, yet they’re not so easy to execute. We need to back our self worth, back our abilities, back ourselves to think bigger and bolder , and back ourselves to take the risks we need to take in order to achieve our vision.
What has been your biggest challenge?
Professionally in 2016, my biggest challenge has been taking on a new business with a new baby and a toddler at home. I’ve had to rely on a lot of help, a lot of patience from family and friends, and a lot of working in the middle of the night.
What is one of your proudest moments?
It’s been meeting the above challenge and managing to grow the business in 2016. Despite being in a bit of ‘holding period’ this year, we’ve still managed to grow traffic, increase our revenue, bring on a number of staff members and host a successful event with 350 people to celebrate the 4th Annual Women’s Agenda Leadership Awards. I’m proud to say the business is growing and that we’re in a position to offer a much wider women’s media platform in 2017.
What has been the most useful tool or work practice to juggle the work/life blend?
An iPhone, always. I imagine any smart phone would do. I wrote part of my first book Women who Seize the Moment from my iPhone and continue to use it for taking notes, keeping up with interviews, writing stories, and publishing on social media. Dealing with a newborn in the middle of the night it’s also offered some excellent company, and of course access to news publications all over the world.
Where do you shop?
I am starting to intentionally shop from brands that are supporting women or founded and led by women. Yesterday, I purchased some client gifts at The Trading Circle. A school friend of mine has just launched an amazing kids clothing label called Huddle. I’m lucky that I get to know about different female-led businesses through my work. I have become a big fan of Kate Morris with Adore Beauty and Elke Keely and Noga Edelstein from UrbanYou, a cleaning and gardening service you can book online for a next-day appointment (very necessary for me at the moment)!
Stay tuned for Women’s Agenda’s relaunch in 2017. I am excited to see what magic is currently being created behind the scenes, and look forward to the big reveal in the New Year!
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