Heather Disher

Director

Director, General, Operational, Transitional and Growth Manager that creates, oversees and develops sustainable operations, superior customer communication, cultural engagement and high growth while offering valuable solutions to the complexities of how businesses can thrive in a changing world.
My career is fantastically varied across multiple sectors and all business sizes from start-ups to corporates and everything in between; the focus has always been on creating strategic growth coupled with operational systems and processes that support staff and the business as it grows along with customer programs that result in meaningful relationships.  My skills continue to be transferrable across multiple industries and this breadth of experiences allows me to deliver unique insights and valuable benefits to all organisations I work with.

What boards do you sit on?

Pony Club Australia and Geelong Animal Welfare Society (GAWS)

When and why did you decide to become a director?

I have been a Director for commercial businesses for more than 13 years. It was while advising global boards in 2001 that I took a closer look at the role of a board and my interest in being part of a board begin.

touch on the challenges and hurdles that have presented themselves, either being on or getting onto a board, and how you overcame them.

My first board role was by invitation for a foundation that was just starting; it offered lots of opportunity to contribute and learn. Before my current two roles I looked at a number of available positions and sent off applications with no success. My challenge (thanks to feedback) was translating my professional experience into a message understood by prospective boards. To overcome this I completed “Realising Your Board Potential” with WOB and with the right document and application to boards that were open to my commercial skills set and contribution, I was successful twice.

Have you had mentors and sponsors and how have they helped you in your career?

My friends have provided me with that extra lift and positive push when needed in particular Babette Bensoussan who is an inspiration and an experienced Director. I have been a mentor to a few people over the years and I hope to one day have a mentor and a sponsor to help guide me through the next phase of my career.

How did WOB help you in your journey to the boardroom?

WOB gave me access to programs that created skills to translate my working experience. It also provides me with opportunities to meet other women, to hear other stories, to learn, share, inspire and be inspired.  

Any tips for women starting out in their career?

Patience and Perseverance being board ready then finding the right role takes time. Apply to boards in organisations that speak to your personal passions then translate your skills into contributions. Get advice, talk to other women on a board.