Among all the excitement for next weeks 'Striving for Gender Parity' breakfast, Jacinta Carboon took some time to share with us her journey as an entrepreneur and innovator.
1. Can you identify someone who has impacted you as a leader? Why and how did this particular person inspire you?
There are two people I would like to mention.
Firstly, from my childhood, a woman called Judith, a peer of my mother’s and a family friend in the small country town I grew up in. Judith was from a well-educated and ‘financially comfortable’ family in contrast to my family which consisted of my parents and 11 children where finances were often stretched. Judith was a very warm, open, non-judgemental person who went out of her way to engage with everyone in the community. She was one of those magical people who made you feel important and valued. She had a very soft but firm manner and encouraged you to be the best you could be, to put mistakes behind you and to look positively towards the future.
Secondly, in my adult life it has been Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany. Her leadership, presence, capacity to bring others on the journey with her and her poise under pressure makes Angela an inspiration for me.
2. What do you see are the challenges for business women?
- Breaking new ground
- Tapping into/embracing well established male networks
- Self doubt
- Guilt about not being able to give everything to everyone you would like to
- Underestimating your skills and capabilities
- Promoting your skills and capabilities
- Fear of the unknown
- Fear of failure
- Lack of time to do everything you want to do
- Seeking out and securing people who will be your sponsors and advocates
- Enough energy to stay the distance
3. To what do you owe your success?
Curiosity, determination, persistence, a sense of fairness, self-belief and being clear on what I want to achieve.
4. What do you hope will be the biggest advance for gender parity in the next 5 years?
- Acknowledgement from those in management positions, that the gender pay equity gap in this country is unacceptable and a genuine commitment to rectify it.
- Understanding that men and women present and negotiate at performance/pay reviews differently and that as a manager you have a responsibility to be fair and equitable in the outcomes of these reviews.
- Substantial increase in the number of women in senior leadership (profit & loss parts of business), board positions, government representation and other positions of influence.
- Substantial increase in constructive media coverage of senior women in business, government and other positions of influence.
5. What accomplishment are you proudest of?
From a career perspective, managing the Telstra Business Women’s and Business Awards nationally for over five years and working with some of the most talented people in business across Australia. Also, at NAB as Project Director- Women and Money, leading a team to create an innovative program focusing on women being wise and confident with their life and money choices.
From a personal perspective, as a sole parent developing a close relationship with my son and setting him on a path to lead a fulfilling and rewarding life.
From a lifestyle perspective, running a half marathon after having a knee reconstruction.
6. Being a busy business woman, how do you balance your work and home life?
Does it every really happen? There are times in your life when everything seems totally out of control and there are times when they are a little more relaxed. The important thing is to be clear on what is most important in your life and ensuring you keep that in focus at all times as life can slip by very quickly.
7. How would you describe your personal style?
Creative, inclusive, professional, engaging, empathetic, focused, passionate and supportive.
8. Do you have any inspiring words of wisdom for women looking to reach their career goals?
What are you waiting for? Go for it! You are in control of your destination – you cannot leave it up to someone else to make it happen for you. Enjoy the journey as this is not a practice run. Stretch yourself outside of your comfort zone and you may be pleasantly surprised with what you can achieve. Ask yourself ‘what is the worst that could happen?’. Feel the fear and do it anyway. You may never know unless you have a go!
9. How do you define success?
Knowing that I have given it, whatever it is, my best shot.
10. In one word, characterise your life as an entrepreneur.
Registrations close at 11:59pm on Thursday 25 February. For more information and to register, please click here.