Acknowledged C-suite executive with a track record of building start-ups and multi-national businesses in the digital and technology space, including News Limited, Westpac and Southcorp. Broad industry experience leading business transformation through to developing e-commerce and marketplace businesses across sectors, including banking, media, education, sport and global FMCG food & beverage. Worked as a digital industry specialist and consultant with boards and executive committees to frame and deliver customer-focused strategies, innovative change and transform company culture. Skilled in the oversight of ICT governance including data, privacy, security, risk management and deployment of enterprise systems. Experienced chair and member of industry and executive leadership committees and Non Executive Director of family life and member of the C31 (Melbourne Community Television) Advisory Board, assisting in its transition to digital broadcasting. Interested in directorships in private, government, sport or start-ups that leverage her digital and technology expertise.
What boards do you currently sit on?
I’m a Non Executive Director of Family Life, a member of the Advisory Board of C31 (Melbourne Community Television Consortium Ltd) and a Board Guild member, AusTTA (Australian Transformation and Turnaround Association).
When and why did you decide to become a director?
I decided three years ago that I wanted to step out of corporate roles and build my board career. I’d always enjoyed executive director and industry association board roles and thought it would be a rewarding new challenge, and a chance for me to apply my skills and passion for digital and strategy development from a different perspective. I also wanted to “put my money where my mouth was” to help address the lack of gender diversity on boards.
What are your short and medium-term board aspirations?
I’m interested in taking up new directorships in companies or government boards that have a digital and business transformational change agenda.
Outline your career background.
I’m a digital and technology specialist with commercial experience across a range of sectors – banking, health, government, sport, media, FMCG food & beverage, publishing and education.
My executive career included C-suite positions in multi-national businesses and startups including News Corporation (CareerOne, Truelocal, HarperCollins), Westpac, Southcorp Wines, Golf Link and Winepros.
Touch on the challenges and hurdles that have presented themselves, either being on or getting onto a board, and how you overcame them?
To be honest I thought it would be easier to find board positions. You need to dedicate time to apply (and keep applying) and research and network.
Are there any directors/leaders you look up to? Why?
Wow, it’s hard to narrow it down to just a few. I admire international women leaders like Angela Merkell and Jacinda Ardern to Australian board directors, Ita Buttrose and Sam Mostyn. I appreciate them all for their trail blazing, inspirational ability to lead people and organisations.
Have you had mentors and sponsors and how have they helped you in your career?
I’ve had a number of “unofficial” mentors who I seek advice from. They’ve helped me in my career by enabling me to bounce ideas off them and work through the decision making and prioritisation process.
What is the diversity (gender & other) like on your boards? If you sit on a mix of diverse and non-diverse boards, what differences have you noticed?
The boards I sit on have about one-third women directors. Even though it’s hard to quantify (and prove) I do believe diversity is very important to good decision making.
How did WOB help you in your journey to the boardroom?
WOB has been very helpful. I’ve attended a number of workshops and networking events and have found them to be insightful but also very practical. The board CV masterclass was particularly helpful in shaping my CV at the beginning. I also regularly review the new position alerts and newsletters. I’ve also found Ruth, Claire and the WOB team supportive and approachable (very much appreciated).
Any tips for women starting out in their career?
My tips - network, network and network; work on your brand and profile and be patient. You need to be prepared to put in the time, but it’s very rewarding!