In celebration of International Women’s Day, a collective of trailblazing PwC women share their advice to the younger female generation entering the workforce.
Celebrating International Women’s Day (IWD) is something that’s important to our community. It’s not just because we’re passionate about moving the dial on women entering professional services, which we are. Or that we want to maintain an inclusive firm environment, which we do. To us, it’s about something bigger. It’s about doing our part to progress global gender equality. But achieving this relies on the empowerment of women, which can only happen if we systemically address laws, policies and attitudes. Our opportunity as a global firm? To further this empowerment in all aspects of our organisation – our client work, the community we create and our own public voice.
The UN Women’s IWD theme for 2018 is: Leave no woman behind. It communicates the resounding message that ‘together we can empower women across the globe’. This very sentiment is echoed by PwC’s own social impact priority on empowerment through education, as we too are believers that women’s knowledge and expertise as leaders has the ability to carve a new path for women worldwide.
So with this in mind, we’ve asked some of the incredible women trailblazing in all areas of our work:
What advice would you offer your younger self and young women of today?
Kim Challenor, Partner (Assurance) – “I would tell myself to have a go at everything you can, as every experience is a learning – even the bad ones! I’d tell myself not to let imposter syndrome (a feeling that you don’t belong in the room and that you are accidentally there due to no doing of your own) to stop you from putting up you hand and sharing your thoughts. I’d also remind myself that how you feel about a situation is a choice, one that you are in control of (most of the time!). And finally – I’d remind myself to have a good laugh at myself a bit more. A good sense of humour and an ability to laugh at yourself is a critical part of being successful in professional services!”
Alice Peterson, Manager (Consulting) – “Embrace your super power and wear your cape with pride. Your career will be one crazy adventure, but keep having fun and laugh often. Always stand tall, be strong and enjoy the ride.”
Carly Scudamore-Smith, Director (Financial Advisory) – “Don’t wait for change to happen. Be brave and empower yourself to be the change you want to see.”
Kathryn Smith, Executive Assistant (Assurance) – “Dream big – you can make a bigger impact, do more and go further than your dreams can imagine. Always strive for excellence, be true to yourself, act with integrity, be kind to others, stay humble, grounded and celebrate your achievements.”
Olympia Newman, Manager (Technology Consulting) – “It’s important to be yourself. Don’t try and change to fit an ideal that you think is accepted. In reality, it’s your difference and uniqueness that make you stand out and add value at work.”
Gabi Donovan, Human Capital Team Lead (Financial Advisory) – “Get into healthy habits early and set regular life goals for your mind, body and career – balancing what is important to you, setting your boundaries and reviewing your plan every few months. Think about your network and who is going to give you the energy and drive to move forward with your various goals? Get used to making mistakes and find way to move on quickly. Most of all, have fun! We spend a lot of time at work – keep things in perspective.”
Georgina Richters, Director (PwC’s Indigenous Consulting) – “Don’t take life too seriously, enjoy a good laugh as often as you can. With the right kind of coaching and determination you can accomplish anything!”
Mandy Ruhle, Resource Planner (Assurance) – “The best advice I would offer is say yes to every opportunity that comes your way. Even if it takes you out of your comfort zone, you never know who you’ll meet or what doors will be opened by taking a chance.”
Christina Lopez, Senior Consultant (Assurance) – “Be yourself! I always had a perception that to be an effective leader and successful in professional services you had to be loud, very competitive and aggressive in delivery. However, I’ve realised there are few female leaders who take a more ‘care’ and soft’ approach to leadership, which is something I resonate with and hope to be.”
Dilani Gunawardena, Trainee (Assurance) – “Never be afraid in taking a step forward because you have nothing to lose and all it will do is shape and influence you as a person. Never doubt yourself as a woman because that is an asset that works towards your strength and brings so much value to all firms.”
Stay tuned as we continue to profile some of the exceptional women (and men supporting women #HeForShe) making up the PwC community.
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