You are the CEO of Harcourts Victoria. Tell us more about yourself.
I am also the founder of not for profit Links Fiji, mum to two teenagers, and someone who loves life, am driven, ambitious, and have no fear. I work hard at being a role model for my children, and believe in giving back.
We now look after over 2000 women providing regular pap smears for them in rural Fiji. Over 80% of these women had never had a pap smear before. I am also passionate about diversity in the work place around gender and race. I started the Walk a Mile project within the Harcourts Group. Now it’s a national walk we do on the Friday before Father’s Day highlighting the issue of violence against women. I was also the 2013 Victoria Telstra Business Woman of the year.
Why did you decide to get into the industry you’re in?
I started as a receptionist in real estate. I wasn’t very good at it and got moved into admin very quickly. I have worked my way up to the CEO position from there.
What’s the hardest skill you have learnt and or developed about yourself?
That it is ok to be vulnerable and to bring my most authentic self to the table, however to do this I need to be OK with who I am.
What’s one thing you love about what you do?
I love the fact the my role provides me with the ability to influence, lead conversations and discussions on areas such as diversity, gender, equality, and violence against women. I also lead one of the largest franchise groups in Victoria in a sector that underpins the economy – so it’s fun, exciting, vibrant, challenging, diverse, and changes all the time
Why do you think gender diversification is important in the workplace?
In terms of women and women of colour – it must be the most important discussion we should be having as leaders, in a global business world,. In a country that is full of migrants what we currently see at leadership levels is in no way a reflection of our communities. Diverse gender equality will allow us to better understand our business partners, appreciate cultural differences, bring broader thoughts and ideas to the table all of which will have a positive impact on the bottom line.
What does an average day look like?
I am up at 5.45am, at my desk just after 7am, and my day is full of meetings, phone calls, catching up with my team and stakeholders. Two days a week I finish early as I pick my son up from tennis and take him to footy training. I go to the gym every day, watch a TV show to relax, and am in bed by 10.30pm.
Where is your favorite place to holiday?
Ahh so many places but I have to say Fiji first because it is home so it has to be one my favourites on the list. The water is blue and warm, the people are friendly, the food is yummy, and it has a warm tropical climate.
If you weren’t doing your job, what would you be doing?
Great question….. I always wanted to go to uni to be a lawyer or a journalist. I didn’t end up going to Uni, but if I had I would have done law or accounting.
Why are you passionate about being involved in the Australian Women’s Network?
The Australian Women’s Network provides a platform to network with other leading business owners, learn from their inspirational success stories and learn valuable tactics that you can apply in the running of your own business to bring about your dream outcome.
A global network of intelligent, successful and interesting women, we campaign for lasting change by bringing together the best brains and the most dynamic and visionary thinkers across a diverse range of industries.
Our mission is to help women develop their leadership qualities, and empower them through wide-lens leadership development.
For more information please contact Sarah – Customer Service Director on [email protected]