1. Tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Clare Jones, and I am the Marketing Director at OfficeSpace.com.au, an online brokerage that connects businesses and freelancers with various serviced offices and coworking spaces across Australia. As a veteran in the traditionally male-dominated fields of digital marketing and commercial real estate, I have worked hard to champion and teach my small team of headstrong women about the best ways to navigate being a woman in tech. Outside of the office, I enjoy spending most of my time exploring the great outdoors. Having grown up in the UK, I try to take full advantage of the great weather and sights on offer across Australia.
2. Who are the women who have inspired you the most in your life?
My mother. Her strength of character is inspiring. After a troubling childhood, she left home and her country of origin in the hope of forging a better life. Soon after, she met my dad, and after having 4 children, she began working in a car manufacturing plant. She worked tirelessly, instigating new initiatives that saw her bypass male counterparts to a senior management position and pave the way for other women in the company. In addition, she ensures that my siblings and I all grew up knowing that gender should never be a barrier to success and that we could achieve great things if we put in the necessary work.
3. Why do you think it’s important to increase the number of women in business, particularly in leadership roles?
From my own experience, women business leaders boast a different set of skills, experiences, and perspectives that create diversity in any organisation. Women in leadership roles are often better at leading diverse teams because they understand what it means to be overlooked and the challenges associated with overcoming preconceptions. In my experience, women in leadership roles are often extremely empathetic, diplomatic, and understanding, allowing them to thrive in roles that require advanced interpersonal skills or management of delicate situations. Increasing the number of women in business will also create additional mentors and role models for the next generation of leaders. Furthermore, the increased number of women in senior positions will see the gender pay gap continue to decrease, which I believe is sorely needed.
4. How would you describe your current thinking about diversity and inclusion?
Over the past decade, there have been remarkable strides made surrounding diversity and inclusion. Powerful female leaders such as Jacinda Ahern and Kamala Harris have further solidified that gender is no baseline for determining a person’s capabilities, serving as shining examples of our current societal trajectory. With that being said, when it comes to gender diversity, there are still industries (such as tech) that have a way to go. However, the open dialogue currently surrounding discrimination gives people the confidence to speak out and highlight these discrepancies. In addition, the promotion of STEM education in schools across the globe has opened up a whole generation of young girls to the possibilities of a job in science, tech, engineering, and mathematics.
5. Would you like to tell us a bit more about your thoughts/ comments?
I believe that mentoring and cultivating the next generation of women in tech is extremely important. Ensuring that our current leaders pass on their skills and knowledge to young professionals will lead to greater representation for women and pave the path for future generations. Publicly questioning outdated stereotypes and championing the successes of local women in your given field are two ways that I would encourage all women to help the cause and promote a more diverse and inclusive future. You can find me at https://officespace.com.au/