Tarla Lambert is the Publisher & Part-Owner of Women’s Agenda, one of Australia’s leading online news hub for professional and entrepreneurial women.
She is also a public commentator, appearing on Sky’s YourMoney and ABC and speaking at various events championing women’s equality.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
I’m pretty lucky to have landed my dream position as the publisher of Women’s Agenda, and part-owner of Agenda Media, but I have to admit that my career trajectory was not exactly linear.
After uni, I started a grad role in media sales even though I had a passion for writing and wanted to pursue journalism.
It wasn’t a standard steppingstone, but I’m so glad I did this, because it gave me:
- a better sense of the commercial and business side of publishing,
- greater confidence in speaking and understanding key stakeholders, and
- lessons on how to build strategic propositions
In running a media business for the past 4 years, this has been invaluable experience.
2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
Each workday varies a fair bit from the last. I sit across editorial and commercial opportunities for the business and so I might start the day writing an op-ed but finish the day in a meeting pitching a proposal. I also spend a fair bit of my time thinking and working on ways to expand our reach and implement new products.
I’m on maternity leave with my first baby at the moment, so I must admit that my days are now more vomit-filled than ever before! I’m easing my way back into work now, and I have more appreciation than ever for women who manage to juggle so many competing priorities. It’s no walk in the park!
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
I’m really proud that all employees of Agenda Media are offered flexible work arrangements. We have an office where everyone’s always able to come in and catch up, but there’s no expectation on that.
I firmly believe that all organisations need to adjust to a new norm where all workers irrespective of gender or background are enabled opportunities to work in the way that suits them and their families best.
Working from home half of the week often leads to me getting more done, especially when I’m working on business admin.
4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
It’s the age-old question, but I have to say that I don’t really believe in the notion of work-life balance. Some days are better handled than others, but a lot of the time I’m forsaking one or more areas of my life for the others.
I think this is a challenge faced by many women. Ultimately I feel that government and business needs to evolve further to better support working families and that will in turn lead to an increased capacity for true balance.
5) What do you think are some of the best habits or routines that you’ve developed over the years to help you achieve success in your life?
Unwind at night! This is also a bi product of my brain refusing to function past 8pm, but I genuinely think that we should all relax in the evenings and watch terrible TV and eat dinner with our loved ones. Having this time off every day enables me to reset, typically sleep well and start the next day easily.
6) Are there any books that have helped you improve over the years?
The Motherhood by Jamila Rizvi is one that I’ve recently read and features reflections on the reality of parenting by a number of successful Australian women including Women’s Agenda’s editor, Georgie Dent.
Reading these accounts have alleviated my own anxiety and made me realise that there’s no perfect way of doing things—especially when it comes to parenthood.
7) What is the number one thing you do to make sure you get the most out of your day?
Eat well and never wear high heels.
8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
Women on the frontline of this COVID-19 crisis: emergency services workers, doctors, nurses, teachers, Premiers. People who have really had to put their life on the line to lead us out of this mess.
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
Don’t try to live life in the mould of anyone else. Your life and circumstances are unique. Do what suits you; your life, your work and your family.
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