Acting CEO of Western Metropolitan Regional Council
WMRR WA Vice President

What does International Women's Day (IWD) mean to you?

To my cynical self: just a tiny token acknowledgement of the fact that women are under-represented, under-paid, under-acknowledged globally. To my hopeful self: a stepping stone towards equity and equality and a celebration of the fact that women are extraordinary and do extraordinary things. 

What challenges (if any) did you face as a woman entering the industry? How did you address them?

I have come from the Local Government waste education area where the (usually male) management referred to us as ‘pixies who spread pixiedust’ for the first few years (that was up until 2017 or so - not that long ago). I have addressed that by continuing to show the importance of the work we do, showing ongoing professionalism and hard-headedness and by putting a visual ‘no pixie’ sign up in the office (humour and visuals help!)

How can we encourage future female leaders both generally and within WARR? 

That’s a big question; PhD thesis and many books have been written on this.  But if you are asking ‘what can WMRR do?’, then showcasing existing women leaders modelling a variety of leadership styles is obvious. And I find online interactions help; somehow women seem to feel more enabled to communicate via online than via in person meetings for example.

What advice would you offer a young woman considering a career in WARR?  

The WARR industry is one of those areas which everyone interacts with but often doesn’t think about. The industry (and the biosphere) need a variety of genders, outlooks, and backgrounds of people involved in it so we can make headway on the wicked problems we are dealing with.

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