March 25, 2019


With over 15 years of work experience in the creative media industry, Ayesha Farzana has paved a road to success for herself, with her zeal for digital marketing. Upon graduation from university, Ayesha joined Bitopi Leo Burnet, where she worked for 8 years, handling a diverse range of products, including telecom, banking, FMCG, media, retail, airlines, F&B, real estate. She joined Grey in 2014 and is currently serving the company as the Client Servicing Director. Under her leadership, her team of 40 members delivered 6 award winning ATL campaigns in 2016, propelling Telenor Grameenphone to become the nation’s overall Number 1 brand.

While talking about the challenges, Ayesha shared that there is still a problem in perception related to the media industry and, work in any capacity associated with this industry is not highly regarded or understood. Misconceptions from family members also add fuel to such challenges. Ayesha said that even after working in this industry for over 15 years, her family members do not fully understand the work she does. Moreover, people only appreciate the work that occurs in front of the camera, to some extent, as they are ‘visible.’ Unfortunately, the work that goes behind the camera is often unappreciated and unrecognized. Ironically, the ‘visible’ face of work also conjures up a stereotypical image of the glamorous industry, portraying it as without morals set by society. There is a need to break out of such notions and prejudices. Besides, there is a lingering pressure on women to prove that they are capable of creating and maintaining a proper work-life balance. They have to work twice as hard to keep their stance. Amidst such challenges, Ayesha likes to take inspiration from other women who are heading the industry with great respect and setting high standards, challenging pre-conceived notions. She lives by the objective, “Keep learning and avoid the predictable.”

Ayesha wants the younger generation to recognize these ideologies and embrace it. Thus, they can work their way up the ladder towards an excellent career path, particularly in the creative industry.


Sharmin Rahman is currently working as the Associate Vice President-Creative at Asiatic JWT. Previously, she was the Group Creative Director at Asiatic, which marked her as the first and youngest woman in the field of Advertising to undertake such a role. She started working as a fashion designer, before joining University of Dhaka to pursue her higher studies in English Literature and, continued this profession for over a decade. As a firm believer of “thinking outside the box”, upon graduation from university, Sharmin began pursuing her career at the advertising field and has since then, established herself as one of the most promising women in this arena.

When asked about her experiences and challenges of working in the advertising industry for a decade, Sharmin pointed out that there are two aspects to consider in the audio-visual media. One is “in front of the camera” and the other is “behind the camera”. She pointed out that it is important to understand the difference between these two aspects.

Sharmin is mostly experienced in working behind the camera at commercial projects, comprising of ad films for several types of media channels. She is focused towards promoting brands and services. She highlighted that prejudices and taboos encircling all sorts of content, be it television dramas/cinemas or advertisements are the same, regardless having different content and duration. This is because in Bangladesh, advertisements are created with glamour and intensity which garner a lot of attention.

Therefore, the effect of entertainment factor in advertisements is mostly similar to that of dramas/movies.

Sharmin believes women face more hurdles for working in media compared to men. Given that the media industry is male-dominated, it is difficult for women to have significant impact in leadership roles. Though women are increasingly joining the media industry in several positions, they still lack empowerment at the top level. More women are required at the decision-making and leadership roles and men need to be supportive and co-operative in this regard; doubts on women’s capabilities in decision-making need to be shunned.

Moreover, Sharmin pointed that women are constantly under pressure for working late hours, travelling outside Dhaka/Bangladesh for work purposes. Besides the society, such pressure also comes from their conservative families which make it harder to deal with such issues.

Consequently, women have to compromise more which affects their career adversely. She urges women to be more persistent and convince their close ones about the nature of their jobs so that they become more open-minded and accepting of women’s career choices. Attaining success in jobs can also help reduce prejudices. When families see women from their families are being successful in their respective jobs, they become more accepting towards their profession.

In regards to how she wants to progress in her career in future, Sharmin shared that she is focused towards team building. She believes young people need to be inspired and they need to work together with integrity, enthusiasm and dedication to make a mark in the creative industry. Since circumstances keep on changing, work dynamics need to be aligned to cope up with the changing environments and for this, team building is critical.

Sharmin stated that the creative industry is based on trial and error and therefore persistence is required to build a career here. It is important for individuals to have patience and give time to both themselves and to their companies to reap the best output.


Zinat Jahan Tuaa is a name we need to hear more often to inspire people residing outside Dhaka city to dream big. Born in Barishal, Zinat shifted to Dhaka when she enrolled in University of Dhaka to complete her undergraduate (Honours) and Masters degrees in Sociology. Later, she had her fair share of experience in working as a model for Bibi Russel. She also worked in the fashion section of Ananda Bhuban magazine for around two years. She later worked for Maasranga Productions (a sister concern of Square Group). She joined Expressions Ltd. in 2005 and presently she is working there as Manager, Strategic Brand Communication. 

With almost 14 years of experience in the advertising agency, Zinat shared the challenges she has been facing on her journey, where she sees herself in the next five years and her advice for young people who want to work in the advertising industry.

Since the inception of her career, Zinat has loved her work in media. She loves the drive working on new products, communicating with clients and the everyday challenges her tasks entail. And therefore, she plans to remain in this industry and continue working with utmost zeal.

However, Zinat believes the word “media” itself creates a negative notion in people’s minds. She thinks people are usually unclear of the several aspects to media work. For instance, when the word “media” comes up, people usually tend to think it is mainly associated with movies, television advertisements, dramas and such like. However, most people fail to notice the other aspects of media and therefore, there is a need to inform people about how media functions. Such problems are encountered by both men and women who work in this field. However, since women’s participation in media is comparatively low, they are more prone to face negation and prejudices for being a part of media. 

Zinat also pointed the fact that since people working in media dress a bit differently than the traditional norms followed at workplaces, it strengthens the prevailing prejudices. To lessen such notions, Zinat tries to engage more with people outside the media industry. She likes to use public transport, attend social gatherings as this lets her listen to people and know their insights. She likes to observe people and also share her opinion. She believes in this way she can help lessen the prejudices encircling media.

Zinat suggests young people to come up with original ideas and to never be afraid of sharing them. Even though there are risks for the ideas to be rejected, she thinks there is absolutely no harm in voicing out ideas and opinions. She also emphasizes that these ideas should entail how we see and experience the world around us, as this creates more relevance along with surprise elements.

She also urges young people to get out o their comfort zone as that will help them be more creative and resilient. She also wants them to push boundaries of our existing cultures and norms to create new directions for the society. This will help to break the cycle of prejudice. Since young people is the future of our society and country, their persistence and actions towards paving a path towards a more open-minded society is crucial.

Maisha Zaman

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