Real Life

Be a woman on top!

Monday March 8 is International Women's Day, when leading females from all over the world can celebrate their achievements in life. Here, Woman’s Day chats to two of Australia’s most victorious career women, who tell you how you can be just as successful as them...
A. “I am responsible for the revenue and business results, customer and partner satisfaction, as well as looking after over 800 employees and 14,000 partners.”
Q. What advice do you have for wannabe working women?
A.“Prioritize what matters to you and be true to yourself. Women suffer from ‘work guilt’ more than most but don’t torture yourself, just manage time at home and work carefully. Being the only female at the table can be uncomfortable and isolating, but the ups outweigh the downs. I feel fortunate every day that I was given this opportunity – it is a responsibility and an honour. I love my job and jump out of bed every morning, so it’s important to do something you really get a buzz out of. I also had great family support.”
Q. What qualities do you think a successful businesswoman needs to have?
A.“I think a great female leader is one who is absolutely authentic, someone who people will go the extra mile for. People need to see the real you and trust you. I would say I am perhaps a little more comfortable showing my emotional side than male colleagues – I am not sure if that is positive or negative, but it is reflective of who I am and has made me comfortable in my skin.”
Q. What do you think Australia’s general attitude is to working women?
A.“I feel encouragement mostly from other women. I am not saying that men don’t champion women, but I have found great support on multiple levels from other women. I am not sure if supportive for career women is better or worse than other countries but the stats show that Australia is not world-leading. Microsoft is a great company – I was hired when I was six months pregnant and the HR person said: ‘We are hiring you for the next 10 years, not nine months.’ That said a lot to me about them.”
A.“Every day I talk with businesses about how we can create better places to work – work that makes the most of their skills and experience, regardless of background or gender, or that fits in with family commitments.”
Q. What makes a successful woman in leadership?
A.“Authenticity, integrity and consistency are crucial. I got where I am today due to hard work, sheer determination and a few exemplary mentors who displayed the qualities I think are important.”
Q. What are your tips for women who want to get to the top?
A.“Be consistent, act with integrity and be true to your values and yourself. Don't ever be scared to put your family first, as your role as a parent enhances your skills and productivity at work and vice versa. Also, try not to do the wrong thing by other people in business, as you won't be respected in the long run. I've seen many 'flavours of the month' crash and burn in an industry because they didn't do the right thing in their desperation to be noticed.”
Q. How does Australia cater for working women?
A.“There's enthusiasm for change now and we need to grab it with both hands. Last year I was Chair of the Judging and Accreditation Panel for the National Work-Life Balance Awards, which acknowledge organisations that succeed in creating flexible work environments – Australia needs more workplaces like this.”
  1. Women account for 10.7% of executive management positions.
  2. The numbers of working women in this country has been on a steady rise since 1999, jumping from 3.8 million to 4.9 million last year.
  3. Young women can expect to earn about $1 million less than men during their working life.
  4. There are few numbers of women at child-bearing age recorded as working compared with other countries.
  5. The Australian workforce is currently made up of 54% males and 46% females.Visitwww.internationalwomansday.com
Visit www.internationalwomansday.com

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