Doing What I Love: Jasmin Tarasin, Director, Photoplay

The attitudes and culture are changing but unfortunately the statistics are still pretty awful. It is about 11% of all commercial work is made by women.

To mark International Women’s Day, AdForum is gathering opinions from women working in advertising and marketing communications. We asked women from a range of job roles both agency- and client-side, for their view of the state of the industry.

Sydney, Australia
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Jasmin Tarasin
Director Photoplay

How would you describe the overall culture at your agency / company?

Photoplay have an almost equal representation of men and women both in directors and producers.


In your opinion, what do you see as the biggest change in the advertising industry since women have begun to break the glass ceiling?

I feel a shift has happened in that when I pitch I don’t see as many 'female director' scripts. I am working on all types of scripts and campaigns and it's refreshing. Still working towards my first car script, then I will be satisfied.


Do you think that women still face challenges in our industry, and if so, what are they? 

The attitudes and culture are changing but unfortunately the statistics are still pretty awful. Only 11% of all commercial work is made by women. It's weird.


How should we tackle an issue such equal opportunity?

It's tricky but it needs to be a change in the whole system to make equal opportunities. Creating working environments and a change of attitude toward working parents would really open up opportunities for a lot more people. Also, I think there needs to be a transition time that is not that comfortable and may not make all that much sense, but is necessary until things change. I am the Free the Work ambassador in Australia and we have asked agencies to pledge that they will include one female director in every pitch. This actually does create a lot more opportunity for women to get a place at the table.


How did you find your way into the marketing communications industry and what professional achievement are you most proud of?

I have worked as a director for 15 years and before that I worked as a producer and before that I was at film school and working part time as a director's assistant and pa, and production manager. I think the most professional achievement is that I have endured a long and successful career doing what I love. I love my work, I know I am good at it and I love the results. Doesn’t get much better than that.


Who inspires you the most, either inside the industry or outside? Why? 

I am always writing down things I hear in the world, photographing people I see in the street. Mostly stories inspire me, watching films, seeing live music, art, reading books, talking and talking to everyone about their heritage, their family stories. I like humans. I like making stories about them.