Jennifer was a joint winner of the Bell Award, given to an individual who doesn’t work for a media owner or agency, but who has nonetheless made an exceptional contribution to improving the sector. It is also designed to acknowledge someone who is trustworthy, reliable, and long-serving; someone you can turn to in times of conflict or indecision, and rely on to supply facts and back them up.
Speaking of the need to develop research in marketing in order to grow the industry, Jennifer pointed to the lack of cooperation outside the country as she accepted the award, saying:
“The biggest challenge to media research in Africa is that there are no joint industry committees outside of South Africa and Kenya. Basically, people need to get together and start forming JICs because that is the only way to then get the research going in a country. And we’ve seen where there is research, the GDP goes up and the whole country grows.”
Nyathela was honored with one of four bursaries given to deserving young women. These awards have been created by Meta Media and the IMM Graduate School in the form of online short courses to maintain continuing development and keep pace with significant changes in the media industry.
Kagiso Musi, managing director of Meta Media, explained:
“Things are changing exponentially in the industry and what’s happening is that we are being left behind, and we’re starting to create silos again versus media people who are all rounded and well rounded. We almost need to move as fast as the changes are happening.”
The decision to honor women was taken in recognition of the fact that a gender pay gap still exists in the media in South Africa. Counterintuitively, the majority of the workforce in the media is female, but generally in lower-paid and junior positions. As Kagiso asked:
“Why is it that we’re the workhorses but we don’t actually occupy spaces of influence?”
We’re delighted to see the hard work and excellence of Jennifer and Nyathela recognized on the national stage. It’s a recognition that we are not only recruiting the best people, but also helping them to develop further while in their jobs, nurturing a workforce which will keep Telmar at the forefront of the media sector.