It’s International Women’s Day 2014 (IWD) tomorrow so we thought that we would do a bit of a tour around the Servcorp offices in Australia and New Zealand and talk to a few of the amazing women that drive business in these two countries. Of course this is but the tip of the iceberg, and we would be here all week just counting the incredible and successful women running businesses globally who make up our client base. Anyway, enough from us, here’s a snapshot of what they had to say…
Laurel Grey, Director, Happily Organised
“The face of business is changing and Australia is seeing an influx of female business owners. There has never been a better time to be a woman in business – my top advice is to put your stake in the ground, get clear about why you do what you do and who you want to serve – and go for it!”
Nicky Thomas, CEO & Founder, Mums Can FLY
“I specialise in helping mothers cut through the ‘noise’ of the world to make the best decision for them and their family and feel great about it! From being a mother myself, to helping my clients move from overwhelm to clarity and direction, I believe that a day for women is not only important, it is essential!”
Tracy Aslam, Director, Jordan Media Group
“Having a day for women is a great idea – it’s another opportunity to celebrate success and achievement. This brings us back to one of my ‘secrets to success’ – encourage others, and don’t underestimate the power of motivation – we must give others the confidence and impetus to strike out and succeed. Success comes in cans! … Rather than cannots … positive mental attitude and determination will always pay dividends. Look for the positives, the solutions and work around so that barriers can be negotiated (rather than knocked down). Sense check the objectives and objections to make a valued judgement. Relish the opportunity to influence the behaviour of others – I delight in turning around the views of people/organisations that appear to lack vision and entrepreneurial spirit. Nothing saps enterprise and innovation more than ‘paralysis by analysis’. Employ clear blue sky thinking at every opportunity.”
Narelle Bailey, Director of Events, Verve Events International
“If the glass ceiling still exists, we look beyond it with intention and purpose, taking charge of our own reality and giving the ceiling no substance. My advice to women in business : whatever you do, do it with verve.”
Virginia Rigoni, Managing Director, Virginia Rigoni Consulting Pty Ltd.
“Owning and operating a small business and being a Mum of young children has been challenging, yet very rewarding. If I can offer some advice to other budding female business owners it would be to say “Yes I can do it”, “front up’, believe in your unique set of skills and experiences and to keep reading and building your own network. Next Friday is a day to celebrate our uniqueness and achievements.”
Rebecca Dunn, Senior Project Engineer, SolarReserve
“I’m an engineer working in concentrating solar power and PV. This is me during testing of the heliostats (large mirrors) at our 110 MW Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Plant in Nevada. I’ve had a positive experience as a female engineer, and I’m thankful for the trail-blazing female engineers before me.
Lauren Pearson, Director, Ilume Australia Pty Ltd.
“It is always important to celebrate success and a day for women encourages us to do this, however, the glass ceiling only exists if we believe it does. It is easy to get swayed by people’s opinions and beliefs, but if you have self belief, determination and perseverance you become unstoppable.”
Erin O’Sullivan, NZ Manager, Travel Beyond NZ LTD.
“With a career of over 20 years in the industry I am passionate about inspiring change in the travel industry and personal service to clients through leadership and management within the Travel Beyond Group. The Corporate travel arena offers women in Business a platform to work in partnership with Clients from all types of Industry opening itself up to a challenging and ever evolving Career.”
Debra Bryan, SAI Global Property Leader, Hobart.
“Asked if I think a day to celebrate women is important to me I would say yes, women face many roadblocks not only in the workplace but in general as life likes to keep us on our toes from time to time. It’s also important to celebrate what is important to us as women whether that is our network of friends, family or other women who we may consider our role models.”
Rochelle Ben-Simon, Managing Director, Financier Pty Ltd.
“My one suggestion to other budding female business owners is to take at least one small step towards your goals every day. Before you know it, you will have climbed a mountain and you will see the beautiful view around you.”
Christine Bear, Managing Director, CBA Group
“I have been in business for over 21 years now and it has been an empowering and exhilarating experience. I have lead highly successful projects around the world; I know first-hand that respect and ethics and being ‘real’ are key. And yes, I have experienced challenges which have tested me hugely! I am however grateful for the challenges because these have reinforced my inner strength and determination! One of the tenets I live by and which I urge other women to embrace, is that no matter what happens in life, stay positive, persevere – beyond expectations, try to give as much or more than you get, and recognise that there is abundant opportunity everywhere!”
Bridget Gray, Managing Director APAC, Harvey Nash PLC
“I think International Women’s Day is a very important day. The 2014 theme of Inspiring Change is particularly thought provoking as it means different things to each of us. Personally, for me it’s about appreciating how far we have come, and thinking about how far we can go, and what each one of us can contribute. It’s about reflecting on the hard work and persistence of many others before us and on the opportunities for the future that their hard work gives us today. It is also about creating a world where my daughter can grow up as an equal and know that she can speak up and stand up for issues she believes in.”
Maud Lindley, Serendis, Founding Director
“The glass ceiling unfortunately very much still exists but I am very encouraged by the growing realisation across the corporate world that gender diversity at senior leadership levels is not only a fair ambition but a business imperative. Beyond the presence of women at the executive table, organisations need to continue to influence a new generation of leadership … one that can appreciate and value a diversity of styles, approaches and opinions … More than ever, women should feel confident that achieving their ambitions does not require compromising their values and personality.”
Jessie Macgregor, Project Manager, DonRiver, Inc.
“The most important thing for me has always been to enjoy my job, and the company of those I work with. I’ve been a professional for almost 15 years and know I am being true to those goals more than ever right now. Funnily enough I am writing this from Rio de Janeiro, in town to experience the amazing Carnaval celebrations, serving my secondary passion, Travel.”