1. Tell us a little about yourself?
I am 30 years old, grew up in Cloncurry – North West Queensland, and moved to Townsville when I was 16 years old. I have been working in the real estate industry ever since I was 17 years old. In 2017, I started a company called Excellence Property Management. Influenced by my earlier experience in the industry and as a shareholder, I started Excellence to create an agency where young people (such as myself) could learn property management in a safe environment. They would be held accountable for their standard of work but, in turn, would have the support, encouragement, and systems to succeed within the industry. Our office is very female-dominated, and so is the property management industry and empowering women in business is truly a passion of mine.
2. Who are the women who have inspired you the most in your life?
My mother was the first person to inspire me and continues to do so every day! From a very early age, she instilled in me that if you are going to do something, do it to the best of your ability. The greatest part about this lesson was not just that it set me up to succeed in life but that it extended beyond that to my overall character. It shaped how I treat people and how I allow others to treat me. Sadly, I lost her to cancer eight years ago but, I will never lose what she has taught me. Another incredibly inspirational woman I have worked with is my account and financial advisor, Dianna Weir. We met eight years ago in a previous business I co-owned, and she has taught me an incredible amount about business and finance. She also started her company, Intelligent Business Solutions, from scratch and has completed a massive merger with a local accounting firm and now manages more than 20 staff. Even though she is busy, she always has time to answer questions and mentor me in the business world.
3. Why do you think it’s important to increase the number of women in business, particularly in leadership roles?
I can only speak from my own experience. However, whilst being a female business leader, I feel there is an unsaid social expectation that I should act in a certain way. For example, I shouldn’t be assertive, have more empathy, or ask hard questions. I don’t feel that men suffer the same social expectation, so it is so important to increase the number of women in business. By increasing the number of women in business, we can eventually remove this gender-biased social expectation so that females can be successful and become leaders without feeling uncomfortable about their qualities and who they are.
4. How would you describe your current thinking about diversity and inclusion?
I think we have come a long way, particularly since the ’80s and ’90s, and it is great to see how far we have come. I can see that University courses and different areas of study are teaching future leaders how to be more diverse and inclusive; however, the subtle nuances that we experience day to day still need to change. I will admit that I don’t know how to make this happen. Still, if this awareness were top of mind for every employee in every workplace, we would see ourselves evolve into much more inclusive and diverse environments.