1. Tell us a little about yourself?
I am an international lawyer that assists companies to go global. I am also an author, presenter and advocate on issues impacting women in the workplace. I am also a director of a number of companies and I am writing a book on women’s health issues and the workplace (Milk and Margaritas) which is going to be released later this year.
2. Who are the women who have inspired you the most in your life?
My grandmother first and foremost. She was an incredibly wise, incredibly strong and incredibly kindhearted woman. She put others before her own needs, even strangers. She saw the beauty in ever aspect of life despite adversity and she taught me to work hard but to be grateful for the opportunities that come my way and to continue to find ways to pay my blessing forward. I am also incredibly inspired by other strong women such as Hilary Clinton, Meghan Markle and Sheryl Sandberg who continue to speak out about important issues despite challenges and public criticisms at times.
3. Why do you think it’s important to increase the number of women in business, particularly in leadership roles?
It is not just important. It is absolutely critical. To improve the gender equality stats we simply must find better ways to support women to enter, remain and succeed in the workforce. As women leaders, we have a crucial role to play because we not only need to lead by example but we also need to speak up for other women, find better ways to support other women, use our influence to implement better policies and practices and we must mentor and support others coming up through the ranks as well. Men also have an important role to play as well. Without men, we will never achieve the type of progress that we are seeking. Men too need to step up and support and mentor women, publicly and privately. Additionally, this is an issue that every single company should care about and not just because it is the right thing to do – but because there are good business reasons. There are numerous studies that clearly demonstrate the financial strength and performance of companies that prioritize diversity. Companies with a better gender and diversity balance generally outperform competitors that are less diverse. Companies with female board members generally experience lower share price volatile and diverse teams often show reduce turnover and higher productivity. It literally makes business sense to care.
4. How would you describe your current thinking about diversity and inclusion?
Diversity and inclusion should not be a tick-the-box issue. It is something that every single company should prioritize and that means creating a workable strategy with tangible outcomes that the organization can hold itself and its management team accountable for. The research doesn’t lie. There are good reasons why every company should be making plans to improve diversity within their own organizations and both job candidates and clients are starting to demand more of organization in this area as well.
5. Would you like to tell us a bit more about your thoughts/ comments?
I believe that there are things that every single company, no matter the size, can do to better support women and minority workers. To do this, we need to start thinking about the workplace, and more importantly the people within the workplace, a little differently. Every single one of us is different and when an employer finds ways to better cater for the individual needs of their employees, that is when we finally start to see a more equal playing field. Ultimately, that is what diversity is really about.