1. Tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Dene Menzel, and I am the Founder and Creative Director of Branthem, a multi-award-winning brand engagement agency that creates anthems for brands. Music and connection have been a common thread in everything that I have been inspired to create, from being a wedding organist at the age of 13 to a 10-year career running a successful performing arts company and three reputable pop choirs in Melbourne to publishing my first book, The Voice Factor, in 2013 a ‘how to sing’ book compressed in 5 easy steps. which became a #1 Best Seller in 4 categories on Amazon in the US and Australia. Since my book success in 2013, I have been inspired to use technology to pioneer music connection through smartphone and the internet. One of my giveback projects brought together people from 24 different countries to sing virtually via smartphone for International Peace Day 2016. The song – which was my rewrite of Waltzing Matilda, revamped for a global message was led by multi-award-winning artist Kate Ceberano, and the video was shared across social media hundreds of times and received beautiful comments from all around the world. What I loved about this project was experiencing first-hand how music can cross barriers of race, age, gender, and culture Today, Branthem is a product of 45 years of experience in both music and business. It is a culmination of my vision for innovation, my commitment to excellence and my belief in the ‘magic’ of music to connect deeply and authentically with the beauty in the human spirit.
2. Who are the women who have inspired you the most in your life?
Professionally, I have been inspired by stories of women who have pioneered in their industry such as Katherine Johnson (NASA), and Hedy Lamar, who although was more known as an actress, was also a gifted mathematician and engineer, who invented a technology which has become the foundation of the portable devices we use today and inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2014. More personally, I look up to the strength, humility and resilience of my mother, which I continue to pass on to my daughter today.
3. Why do you think it’s important to increase the number of women in business, particularly in leadership roles?
I believe it is important for girls to know and acknowledge in themselves that they can be anything they aspire to be – be that in business, leadership, or otherwise – not to be defined with a pre-labelled gender badge, but of what they as people can bring to the table.
4. How would you describe your current thinking about diversity and inclusion?
I believe when it comes to diversity and inclusion, we also need to include in this a focus of what connects us. So, diversity and inclusion, looking from a place of connectedness, similarity and synergy rather than from a place of separation.