Proud Zulu WOB member's Pearls of wisdom

“Don’t wait at the door for someone to let you in - every space is open to you.” As a mentor, Pearl Proud’s advice to anyone wanting a seat at the table is simple: Don’t wait for permission. “The world is for all of us - I’m in the world, therefore it’s for me.” 

Speaking in an interview with WOB’s Cultural Diversity Committee member Bernadette Masbay as part of WOB's Spotlight on Cultural Diversity series Perth psychologist Pearl Proud shared her experiences and many "pearls of wisdom" on her board and leadership journey.

In this enlightening conversation, Pearl discusses her perspective on the double jeopardy of culturally diverse women being under-represented, her mindset approach to leadership, the reasons she joined a board in the first place, her thirst for knowledge and her sage advice to non Anglo-Celtic women looking to join a board. 

Here are her six 'Pearls of Wisdom' on how to succeed in your leadership journey:

  • Be curious: We can go about the world and not be curious enough about things and situations and people. So being curious is a really fantastic approach to take. In the governance space, we might want to be curious about spaces where decisions are made about our lives, and boards are places where decisions about lives are made.
  • Be interested: Curiosity is a really healthy thing to have, but also be interested, generally speaking, in life. We need to be reading things, listening to programs, debates and opinion. We also want to be noting when things are being said or are happening. If there's a policy decision being made, let's be interested about what it's for and why it's being put together. If an announcement has been made, let's take a closer look and  lean in to work out if it's going to affect us and affect people in our lives and how we might relate to it.
  • Reflect: A lot of the time we hear things and we don't pause to reflect on them. When you’re driving, for example, just reflect on things you've heard or that you've read, that you've noted in recent times.
  • Share: Be willing to share. Not because you want to be opinionated, but you want to be sharing perspectives, you want to be sharing things that you come across, because you can generate conversation that way.
  • Get a mentor:  A mentor is a good choice to make every time, every stage of our lives. Please get a mentor. I've been mentor to others, but I also engage in a core mentorship, meaning that I find value for somebody else and I receive value from somebody else.
  • Be active locally: Start closer to home and be active in the sphere of your own life and where you engage daily or weekly, and that might be a community organisation or committee such as as a school P&C. 

About Pearl

Perth-based Pearl, MAICD, is Clinical Services Manager and lead of the Cultural Diversity Psychological Service at Life Without Barriers. A proud Zulu woman who originally hails from Durban in South Africa Pearl sits on a range of boards, including Chair of Community Arts Network (CAN). She is also  on the advisory board for ECU SChool of Business & Law’s Centre for Work and Wellbeing, a member of the Research Steering Group for Curtin University’s Journey to Home project and an advisory group member of Partners In Culturally Appropriate Care (PICAC)  for the aged care sector and a founding patron of Perth Writer’s Festival.


  • For more Spotlight on Cultural Diversity stories click HERE
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