Emma Papantoniou

ASPL #WeLead Campaign  |  Vol.

23
Emma Papantoniou
I am an Executive Assistant & Project Support Officer within Government. I am a passionate Track and Field athlete, having been selected to represent Australia last year in the Asia Pacific Deaf Games as well as a gaming enthusiast and have recently started my own YouTube channel dedicated to gaming!
“I think the more women hear of other women speaking out and up, the more motivated we become!” — Emma Papantoniou

Tell us a little about yourself?

I am an Executive Assistant & Project Support Officer within Government. I assist with both the Executive performance of the office, also procurement and recruitment. Outside of the office, I am a passionate Track and Field athlete, having been selected to represent Australia last year in the Asia Pacific Deaf Games as well as a gaming enthusiast and have recently started my own YouTube channel dedicated to gaming!

Who are the women who have inspired you the most in your life?

There are two women who have inspired me, the first being my mother. While growing up, without my mum’s guidance, I wouldn’t be the confident woman that I am today. The next woman who has inspired me is Olympic champion Sally Pearson. Watching her grow as an athlete during the years she competed in Athletics was crucial for my own athletic and personal endeavours. Sally has a never give up & an onwards and upwards attitude which is a mindset I have embraced and lived by for nearly 13 years.

Why do you think it’s important to increase the number of women in business, particularly in leadership roles?

Businesses thrive off diverse leadership and a balanced workforce. Decisions in leadership are best made with a collaborative workforce made of both male and female counterparts, not just one or the other. Women are just as innovative as Men and we do need to continue to break the cycle that man knows best especially in male dominated workforce sectors such as IT.

What more can be done to support women in male-dominated industries?

More opportunities given to the younger generation to revitalise that male & females can do the same work. An example of this could be in the school room where the teacher could ask for 2 strong students to put away some chairs rather than “2 strong boys”. The preventing of bias in the workplace starts with education and the more we continue to educate our younger audiences, I believe gender bias will gradually and eventually fade out.

What further steps can be implemented to encourage women supporting women?

I think some women fall into a cycle of comparing themselves to other women. This needs to stop! We need to continue to break the cycle and focus on continuing to build each other up and provide unconditional support. We are all successful regardless of our titles or jobs in and out of the workplace. The superiority mindset should have been eradicated long ago. Our grandmothers & great grandmothers fought for us to have equal opportunity and with that, we need to continue to empower each other.

How would you motivate women to “lean in”?

As a woman, I sometimes find myself not sharing as much information as I see my male counterparts do, this is out of worry that I may not be taken as seriously with my approach or be seen as a  ‘typical emotional woman’ rather than a passionate employee. This is something I personally am still working on and always reminding myself that I am just an equal to my male counterparts and have absolutely nothing to lose stating my opinion or showcasing my work. I think the more women hear of other women speaking out and up, the more motivated we become!

How would you describe your current thinking about diversity and inclusion?

I believe women need to be able to speak up and speak their mind without worrying about ‘repercussions’ of doing so. Older generations may be familiar with an approach of ‘the man of the house’ making all decisions. We are in a new generation where we are all equal and should have equal opportunity. I think there is still room to improve on this aspect in various career paths, but I am thankful for being in a period personally where I have just as much of an equal opportunity in the workplace as any of my male colleagues.

Would you like to tell us a bit more about your thoughts/ comments?

We are on the right path to True Equality but more work still needs to be actioned! I am looking forward to seeing how we shape up as a society in the next 5-10 years and hope my future children can look back on society today and appreciate and feel inspired by how we have all fought for an Equal Future.

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