International Women’s Day: What advice would you give your younger self?

Observed since the early 1900’s, the theme for the 2018 International Women’s Day is #PressforProgress, no doubt due to the release of the World Economic Forums’ Global Gender Gap Report showing that it will take 217 years to close the gender parity gap.

To celebrate this important day, we sought advice from our network of female business leaders and previous podcast guests asking What advice would you give your younger self?” Spoiler alert – their advice is a must-read for all current/aspiring executives of all genders.

Get out of your comfort zone

Episode 91 – Fiona Berkin – CEO, Morris Corporation

Fiona Berkin, CEO of Morris Corporation on delegating, having a vision, being driven, integrity and the three Bs.

“There are no shortcuts, it takes hard work, and eventually you will reap the rewards. It’s not so important how you get the results as long as there is integrity; the processes aren’t so important it’s the results that count,” Fiona Berkin, CEO Morris Corporation.

Fiona Berkin is the CEO of Morris Corporation, Australia’s leading privately owned remote village and asset management specialist. Fiona shares her  fascinating story of cutting her teeth in the hospitality industry before joining Morris Corporation in 1997 as a marketing assistant. Just a year after  joining the company, Fiona was promoted to the role of Group Business Development Manager and in 2004 was appointed CEO. Under Fiona’s stewardship, the company experienced vast growth, in some years experiencing triple digit growth percentages, in revenue, profit and employee numbers. Between 2005 and 2011, Morris Corporation skyrocket to number seven on the Q400 (Queensland’s Top 400 Privately Owned Businesses) list. 

Episode 85 – Tracey Vieira – CEO, Screen Queensland & Non Executive Director

Tracey Vieira, CEO of Screen Queensland, talks film and television, business acumen, building a personal brand, living with passion, sticking your hand up, and having self-belief.

Tracey Vieira is the CEO of Screen Queensland, a government organisation which works to grow the screen industry and contribute to the economic and cultural well being of Queensland. Screen Queensland’s role is to develop, fund and support the local screen industry, attract production to Queensland, and celebrate an active screen culture across the State. Tracey assumed the role of CEO in 2014 after spending ten years working for AusFilm in Los Angeles in the United States, where she attended the USC Marshall School of Business.

Marina Vit – CEO & NED

Marina Vit: CEO & NED talks building communities, being on a mission, spotting road blocks, following your dreams and exploring new things.

Marina Vit is the former CEO of the Queensland division of the Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA). UDIA is the peak body representing the property development industry nation wide, and is a membership based organisation which assists the industry build quality and liveable communities  through knowledge based events, research, professional development and advocacy. Marina is also the Director of Seqwater and has previously been the Deputy Chair of the Queensland Museum Board, the CEO of Young Care and the Board Director of Jupiters Casino Community Benefit Fund. She earned a Bachelor of Business in Communications with Distinction from Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and later studied a Strategic Perspectives of Non Profit Management at Harvard Business School.

Prof. Donna Pendergast – Education Executive & Chair

Professor Donna Pendergast, Dean and Head of the School of Education and Professional Studies at Griffith University, talks: Hearing others and shaping ideas, being a lifelong learner, growth mindset, collaboration over competition and diving into different worlds.

First and foremost Donna Pendergast is a born teacher, an education leader who is passionate about the possibilities and transformational qualities of learning.

Teachers and education have such a vital role to play in so many ways and I am focused on giving students capabilities to carry through life… education as a field is so crucial to the success of business and social enterprises,” she said.

Julia Davison – CEO – Goodstart Early Learning

headshotJulia Davison, CEO Goodstart Early Learning, talks: Early education, taking sabbaticals, learning through failure, being authentic and jumping ship.

Julia Davison is the CEO of Goodstart Early Learning, one of Australia’s largest social enterprises. She drives the strategic direction of Goodstart, which has over 615 early learning centres across the country in each state and territory, with more than 15, 000 staff educating over 70, 000 children. Goodstart is committed to working with children, families, communities, governments, and sector stakeholders to lift the quality of early learning in Australia, as international evidence proves the first five years are pivotal to how a child develops into adulthood.  Julia became CEO of Goodstart at a critical time.

Raynuha Sinnathamby – Managing Director – Springfield Land Corporation

Raynuha_webRaynuha Sinnathamby Managing Director Greater Springfield talks: building cities, keeping it in the family, adapting, taking every opportunity, seeing what’s possible and embracing change.

Raynuha Sinnathamby is the Managing Director of Springfield Land Corporation, recognised globally for what it has achieved with its award winning satellite city project, Greater Springfield. Now in its 24th year, Greater Springfield is Australia’s fastest emerging city. Encompassing six suburbs over almost 3000 hectares, it is home to 32, 000 people. When Springfield began the land mostly consisted of forestry, had a community of about 600 people, and a small shopping centre was the only retail space.

Nina Chen – Founder and Director – Harvest Education Technical College

Nina-196x300The power of one: Nina Chen, Founder and Director of HETC, talks education, grabbing opportunity and transforming one country at a time.

Nina Chen is an entrepreneur and the Founder and Director of Harvest Education Technical College (HETC), an educational institute with two Brisbane campuses and over 3000 international and domestic students. HETC offers courses in business, hospitality and technology among a range of  other study areas. Energetic and boundlessly passionate about her work, Nina is a young woman who has achieved incredible things in her career and she has a personal, fascinating story. Nina strives to help others less fortunate and as well as operating HETC she is constantly working on ventures overseas to improve third world countries. She is also a mum to three young boys.

What’s sex got to do with it?

man woman image

A couple of weeks ago I went to an event at the Brisbane Club hosted by Sonia McDonald, called the “Diversity Debate”.  Sonia arranged a panel discussion with three Brisbane based CEOs, to debate issues around diversity (predominantly gender diversity) in the modern corporate workforce.  Representing the blokes was Peter Birtles (CEO – Super Retail Group) and Martin Moore (CEO – CS Energy), and representing the ladies was Megan Houghton (CEO – CitySmart) and of course Sonia herself.  In the audience was about 50 women and a few men (including yours truly).