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News & Insights

Bouncing Back as a Woman in Leadership


In today's evolving workplace environment, women face unique challenges on their path to leadership and building genuine self-confidence.

A recent event held by our Melbourne Sales & Marketing and HR teams for women in retail & consumer goods centered on bouncing back as a woman in leadership and surfaced several unique and interesting insights. Leading the discussion was a panel of three incredible women who have made significant strides in their retail careers: Deborah Donehue, Career Coach & Head of Planning at Kathmandu; Georgegina Poulos, Chief People Officer; and Sally King, Chief Operating Officer here at Sharp & Carter.

6 Key Themes of the Event:

Personal anecdotes and stories were shared, creating relatable and inspiring human truths for all attendees. Our panellists delved deep into their past experiences in various workplaces and provided tips on how to navigate self-doubt and workplace challenges. From their stories, a set of common themes came to life:

  1. Women in Leadership: The unique and shared challenges associated with being a female leader.

  2. Self-Discovery and Confidence:The difficulties of being self-assured and authentic in a male-dominated space.

  3. Career-Control: Ways to take purposeful ownership of your career path, choices, and journey.

  4. Work-Life Balance: Strategies to maintain a healthy balance between your demanding career and personal life.

  5. Resilience:How to bounce back from setbacks, discrimination, and challenges.

  6. Loneliness: Feeling alone in a male-driven industry.

Women can often feel alone in their careers. Feelings of isolation, lacking allies and mentors in a male-driven industry can become overwhelming. Some issues are more quantifiable, such as pregnancy, maternity leave, and being the primary caregiver. Other, less tangible issues include feeling unheard in the workplace, struggling to find empathy in leadership styles, or not knowing how to ask for promotions or pay raises without coming across as assertive or aggressive.

Women are strong and powerful individuals, and our panellists directly embody this, serving as inspiring role models with insightful advice for all women in the workplace. These main themes harmonise to guide women on a journey to becoming confident leaders who believe in their contribution and value to a workplace.

Vulnerability invites connection, and through the female perspectives shared, we can find comfort in this like-minded community by recognising our inner power and applying it to both our personal and professional lives.

In the coming weeks, we will release a content series featuring Q&A-style blogs dedicated to each panellist. These pieces will dive into their personal journeys and stories as women in leadership, showcasing how these experiences have shaped them into the powerful leaders they are today. These series of events are designed to support discussing these issues that females regularly face, building a network, and finding the support you need when your workplace can’t provide it.

Here at Sharp & Carter Recruitment Agency, we are dedicated to fostering a people-first, values-driven culture of uncommon care. The key themes of this event embody this promise and complement our five cultural pillars; care, generosity, trust, humility, and excellence. Visit this page to read more about who we are at Sharp & Carter and what we prioritise as an organisation every day.

We would love to connect with you, so please do not hesitate to reach out to us, Lyndsay from Retail, or Lauren from HR, to discuss these themes and how you can evolve in your career.

We look forward to see you at our next event!