Interview with Tarla Lambert, Editor in Chief at Women’s Agenda
Tarla is the co-owner and Editor in Chief of Women’s Agenda, Australia’s leading online news site for women. She specialises in content strategy and production, editorial, social media, events and digital partnerships. She earned a Bachelor of Arts Global Studies from the University of Sydney graduating in 2012, and a certificate in content marketing with ADMA.
Tarla was shortlisted in B&T magazine’s #30under30 awards ‘entrepreneur’ category in 2020. She’s also a public commentator, appearing on Sky’s YourMoney and ABC and speaking at various events championing women’s equality.
Have you always worked in the media? What attracted you to working in the media?
Since graduating university I’ve always worked in the media, but I’ve shifted roles a fair bit and even pivoted from the commercial/business space into editorial. Media’s a rapidly evolving landscape, and I think it’s important for individuals working within the industry to have knowledge and interest in different spaces—nothing’s siloed anymore. I hated sales when I first started out, but it was the biggest help in growing Agenda Media and Women’s Agenda’s footprint and it also helped me to build confidence and fight off imposter syndrome. I’ve always been attracted to media as an industry because it suits my skillset but I’m not sure I would have lasted in the industry if I didn’t have so much diversity in my role!
Tell us a bit about Women’s Agenda.
Women’s Agenda was the brainchild of Marina Go, who first launched it as part of Private Media’s suite of titles when she headed up the company. The rationale was to build a news platform that would champion the lives and careers of women and cover news in business, tech, lifestyle, health, finance and social agenda. In 2016, my business partner, Angela Priestley acquired the business while she was on parental leave. She had a toddler and a 6 week old, but knew that opportunities like that one weren’t likely to come around again. So she bit the bullet and went for it. Having worked with Ange at Private Media, I suggested that I support her grow the commercial side of the business and she subsequently brought me on as a partner. Together we’ve launched and grown Women’s Agenda’s parent company, Agenda Media—a solely female owned and run enterprise. Through this, we’ve launched a suite of industry- specific newsletters for women in business, agriculture, sport, and STEM as well as a new platform for working parents called ‘Jugglehood’. We’ve also expanded our range of webcasts and podcasts and recently launched a membership platform, designed to ensure more women are heard and represented in the media: ‘Women’s Agenda Extra’. Women’s Agenda’s mission statement has always stayed the same, and we’re proud of our footprint and our capacity to run against the giants. Our traffic has grown year on year, and we now have an average of 320,000 Australian women who read our site each month, 90,000+ followers across social and 25,000 subscribers to our daily eNewsletter.
What would a typical day’s work at Women’s Agenda look like for you?
We’re a small team, but that means we can be stupidly agile. We all pitch in where we can. I’d typically start my day on the hunt for news stories and try to get something together while my 8 month old baby, Teddy keeps snoozing. (Always a perilous time!) I’ll shoot through story ideas to my colleagues and we’ll discuss angles and ideas. Then we’ll all work on our respective articles and compile the newsletter which is published just before lunch each day. From then on, the rest of my day will be a mix of virtual meetings, walks to the beach with Teddy, emails to clients and PR companies, writing podcast scripts, eating chocolate, and then falling into a heap around 7pm.
How has the pandemic affected the content in Women’s Agenda?
Early on we could see that the pandemic was going to have far reaching consequences, and that the impact on women would be most acute. But I don’t think we could have ever imagined how dramatic this would be. We know that women in Australia and across the world are really struggling right now. Domestic violence rates have skyrocketed, job insecurity is higher than ever, quality childcare is unaffordable and the response from our government has been largely inadequate. We’ve been covering all of these issues on Women’s Agenda and doing our best to advocate for our readers through this period.
What sort of media releases attract your attention?
Anything that isn’t generic! Try to keep pitches as relevant as possible and understand the tone of the publication you’re pitching to, before you do it. I love hearing about inspiring women breaking barriers across industries.