CEO Training Day #2

I’m going to preface this by saying I had just written a huge post about today when WordPress crashed. So this version isn’t the best one because now I’m exhausted and it’s time to get some good sleep, as advised by the lovely Thea O’Connor in today’s well being session!

Anyhow, after a cocktail in the Shangri-La Blu Bar and a lovely meal out to celebrate a great first day of conference, an early night was had in preparation for a jam packed day 2!

The day began with an address from Helen Conway, head of the Workplace Gender and Equality Agency, and I have to admit this was an eye opening session for me. Having the stats, facts and figures thrown at me actually highlighted the under representation of women in executive senior leadership roles in the Australian workforce. I think this surprised me because I have grown up in a house where I was never told I couldn’t achieve something if I worked hard, and so as that matured into a vision to see myself in an executive role I have always been encouraged to pursue that, never ever told that because I was a woman it was unlikely. Nonetheless thankfully we are in a period of change, and hopefully by the time I start applying for these roles it won’t be a tooth and nail fight!

Hands down however my favourite session, possibly of the entire symposium, was hearing Julie McKay, Executive Director for the Australian Committee for UN women, give an address on Australia’s part in the global gender equality debate. There was a number of reasons that I found Julie the most inspiring for me, 1) she was young, after hearing so many women speak (who were all amazing) but who weren’t reaching these positions until they were 40+, it was amazing to her from this woman who had at 23 been appointed ED of the committee and is now actively liaising between Australia and the world on gender equality. 2) she was genuine, spoke with passion and certainty that she was operating within her strengths and love! 3) she was totally working a job I would love! Unfortunately she was unable to stick around but maybe with universe can align us to meet some day!

After lunch, and some workshopping and well being teaching on resilience, time came for the awarding of the Women’s Leadership Australia awards for excellence, two of which were The Hon Ms. Julia Gillard, and Ita Buttrose.

Now I’m not opening my blog up for political or personal scrutiny, but I have to say that my respect for Ms Gillard increased astronomically after hearing her speak today. She spoke eloquently, warmly and openly about her time in office, and what an amazing trailblazer she is for women in Australia with leadership ambitions! She was followed by Ita Buttrose, another amazing role model, who I hadn’t actually heard speak, or even interviewed before. As a comms student I was more than thankfully that such women had a part in the Australian media industry!

So after all of this inspiring, networking and learning we finished off the symposium, as true women, with a glass of champagne and a macaron, handed out the last of our business cards and shook the last of hands and headed home, ready to conquer the world.

Am I ready to be a CEO? Not yet, but am I even more assured that I have a vision for my life, absolutely, look out world!