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Why do we need International Women's Day?

Ciao bella!

Today is International Women’s Day, a global celebration of women’s achievements and progress. It is a day to a recognise how far we’ve come towards gender equality, and how far we have left to go.

We are all about celebrating the unique, strong women in our lives. In light of International Women’s Day, we have sat down with five diverse and successful women. They are business women, psychologists and all-round legends making an impact in their respective industries. Read below to find out what it means to be a woman in the modern day. 

First of all, some statistics. 

Sally Capp

Sally is the first directly-elected female Lord Mayor of the City of Melbourne. She was also the first woman to hold the post of Agent-General for Victoria in the UK, Europe and Israel. She has also served as the CEO for the Committee for Melbourne.

Sally began her career as a Solicitor, after completing Law (Hons) and Commerce degrees at the University of Melbourne and has since held senior roles at both KPMG and ANZ.

What makes Sally so special is not her accolades or positions, but her incredible warmth, humility and integrity. Her focus on people and purpose, not politics, makes her a force to be reckoned with. Sally is supported by her husband Andrew, and their boys Will and Nic.

What business advice would you give your younger self?

“Don’t over analyse, be alive to the risks but don’t let fear of failure stop you from having a go anyway.”

Who is your role model and why?

“I have so many role models it’s hard to choose because I have surrounded myself with people I admire and to whom I aspire from other mums, to business women, to community leaders, to politicians. The great news is, if you look around now, there are lots of female role models to inspire you.”

What's your vision for women in your industry moving forward?

“More women in political roles because the voice of women in policy making and program delivery, in addressing the issues of today and setting visions for tomorrow for our society is vital.”

Check out Sally via her WebsiteFacebookLinkedinInstagram

Sabina Read

Sabina is a sought-after psychologist, presenter, broadcaster, facilitator and writer specialising in relationship and couple challenges, life transitions, career change and workplace issues, parenting, as well as mental health, stress and well-being across the lifespan. Sabina's passion is creating discussion and facilitating story telling around the universality of the human experience with warmth, humour and insight, and has appeared on both Channel 7 and Channel 9 for various engagements.

What business advice would you give your younger self?

“You are the chef in your own career kitchen. Don't wait for others to place their orders. Instead use ingredients you love or would like to try and create your own career path and success. Act from a place of curiosity, compassion and open-mindedness not fear. Instead of asking why me, ask why not me? And always help and nurture others along the way. Paying it forward makes the world go round.”

Who is your role model and why?

“My mum for challenging career norms, being compassionate towards humanity, questioning social expectations, and not caring what others think. My grandmother for living by the beat of her own drum for more than a century. And Oprah for finding ways to reach millions with a potent combination of meaningful and entertaining content.”

What's your vision for women in your industry moving forward?

“I'd love women to find ways to carve out careers in psychology that move beyond societal expectations of psychology equating with clinical diagnoses and working with people to "fix" what's broken. Psychology is the study and practice of the ways we think, feel and behave which means psychological knowledge can be applied in every facet of life with wisdom and humour. I question the notion that women (or men) can have it all, but I like the idea of women gaining more clarity about what they want, and what they don't want, and then finding ways to make choices to move towards these goals and aspirations with a sense of pride, confidence, passion and purpose. Boundaries with compassion would be a wonderful mix moving forward for women in psychology.”

Check out Sabina via her WebsiteFacebookLinkedInInstagram

Katherine Kyriakou

A respected industry representative, Katherine is the trust principal of Property Management at McGrath Blackburn and Box Hill. Working with husband Harry, Katherine has staunchly protected their landlords’ investments for more than 24 years. A licensed estate agent, and holding a Bachelor in Education, Katherine has excelled in real estate as she shares her insight with dedicated colleagues and loves to see the growth, maturity and excellence that many have achieved.

What business advice would you give your younger self?

“If I could talk to my younger self, I would tell her to stop making herself small. Believe in yourself. Follow your talents. Put yourself out there no matter what. Trust that every life experience, good or bad, will not be wasted and can help propel you to what God has destined you to be. I spent a lot of my young adulthood thinking that everyone knew more than me, was smarter than me and had everything figured out.

After all, Success is a journey and not a destination.”

Who is your role model and why?

“My boss in another life (ha ha teaching life) was a great role model for me. A strong articulate woman,a visionary in her own right who turned a small school community into an amazing entity. The ultimate speech maker, the penultimate PR Queen who worked a room. An honest business woman,one with integrity who valued and respected her people.

I have not been in the teaching space for 22 years, but I will never forget Genia Janover who I salute and thank for instilling so many wonderful qualities that I have taken with me in my business life and use every day.”

What's your vision for women in your industry moving forward?

“Traditionally a male dominated industry until the most recent two decades,there is nothing better than seeing women in real estate do great things. I look at strong women in real estate in the sales space like our very own Ripple Wu who with a young family has an unequivocal ‘can do’ style in providing her clients with the ultimate client experience.

I look at our PM team most of whom, bar one, are women and are proud of each and every one of them and their accomplishments. I would like to see property management up there in lights more often and with this celebrate their milestones with gusto as we tend to be the forgotten heroes sometimes in what is a sales focused industry. Thankfully this is changing.

I would like also to see more women in real estate sales in the top 50 in Australia.”

Join her community in FacebookInstagram

Sabrina Kushnir

Sabrina is founder and director of Kush Diamonds, Australia’s only one-stop business that is both a diamond wholesaler and jewellery designer. Her father is the master jeweller who has been in the business for over 40 years in Melbourne.

What business advice would you give your younger self?

"Be resilient and embrace the setbacks, bumps and hurdles along the journey. As opposed to looking at every challenge as a negative experience use it to learn and move forward in the right direction.This is business advice which is vital today and was vital back when I was entering the corporate workforce post university. It does not change to this day, it just takes time and years to truly understand to accept and learn that negatives can be turned into positives and it also all about mindset. Mindset and mindfulness were not focused upon when I was younger, like it is today, but it is amazing to see how mindset is crucial in dealing with becoming resilient and dealing with the bumps on everyone’s unique journey."

Who is your role model and why?

"The eccentric and electric Iris Apfel. Iris is unique, original and one of a kind. She believes from within and she exemplifies that in who she is, how she dresses and how she acts.Despite her age she has an attitude that is contagious.I could have attached so many quotes here; there really are too many to give, they all resonate, and she really is a role model for myself and I hope many other women. Two powerful quotes of hers which resonates immensely with me are:

"There is really no substitute for experience. You must have experience and be open to experience — that helps. That helps a lot. Most importantly, you have to be yourself, be who you are and take time to be open and honest with yourself. That is what it's all about. If you don't know yourself, you'll never have great style. You'll never really live. To me, the worst fashion faux pas is to look in the mirror, and not see yourself.”

“It's very tiring to make things happen, to learn how to master a skill, to push fears aside. Most people would rather just go with the flow; it’s much easier. But it’s not very interesting.”

What's your vision for women in your industry moving forward?

"Keeping the honesty and integrity of the industry alive. Preserve and respect the industry. In this fast pace and every evolving world, we regularly question where this industry is moving and what it is becoming.I whole heartedly hope that the core of the industry does not change, and we can continue to keep its core alive.The luxury market is unique and rare, it deserves respect and genuine love for all of us women (and men!!) in the trade."

Check out Kush Diamonds via her WebsiteFacebook Instagram

Stephanie Waters

Stephanie is a communications practitioner with over 12 years' experience in the corporate, government, community, fashion and lifestyle sectors and owner and founder of digital marketing agency Content Smith and online Italian shoe retailer, Ballettonet. She is also a loving wife and mother of two, and mentor to her growing team at Content Smith.

What business advice would you give your younger self?

"Surround yourself with positive, self-aware people who are smarter than you and have a‘why not' attitude. Take more risks in your career and know how to manage the risks."

Who is your role model and why?

"There are too many to name! I’m inspired by women from all backgrounds and communities. They are the ones who stand up for what they believe in, who are proactive in being the change needed in their community and are generous with their skills and time to help others reach their potential. They are the women who keep their heads high during times of adversity and they do it with grace."

What's your vision for women in your industry moving forward?

"I work in an industry that’s quickly evolving in a good way. Many of us with that entrepreneurial spirit are saying no to going back to a big marketing agency or in-house role, and saying yes to creating their own small consulting business or agency. This is because we’re mums who want to be there for our little humans during their childhood years.

I firmly believe in #communityovercompetition. There is enough work going around for all of us to enjoy the lifestyle we want. My hope is that we maintain a collective mindset and support each other on the journey."

Join her Linkedin and Instagram community.