In 2021, Hotwire celebrates 21 years of delivering strategic marketing solutions to tech-enabled companies. In a happy coincidence, it also marks my 21 years in the industry.
Although International Women’s Day celebrations are now officially over, we mustn’t ever pause on our #ChooseToChallenge moments. Every day is cause for celebration for the strong and powerful women who have influenced and taught us all over the years.
As a leader, it’s my top priority to create an environment where everyone – especially women – feel empowered to step outside their comfort zone.
They say life’s a journey, not a destination, and that’s certainly true of my own path to Managing Director of Hotwire Australia. There’s been so many people, particularly women, who have shaped that path, and continue to empower everyone in our fabulous company.
Lean into your identity and strengths
Over the past 21 years, I’ve seen people second-guess themselves due to their gender time and time again – myself included. When I stepped into the role of MD of Hotwire Australia last year, I felt both compelled and challenged to push myself outside of my comfort zone.
This led to a welcome, but sometimes painful realisation, that perfection isn’t always possible. It’s in those vulnerable moments that you need to lean on others strengths to learn and grow.
Striving for absolute perfection is an admirable but slippery path, and one that women are particularly susceptible to. Countless times, I have seen fellow women in this industry hesitate when committing to a role or project they don’t fulfil 100% of the criteria for.
As relatable as this is – my hope is that professionally, women can welcome such challenges as opportunity for growth. Dismantling gender stereotypes in the industry more broadly is key to this, as is actively encouraging women to lean into their discomfort and take a chance on themselves.
Keeping ourselves accountable
A great source of pride for me is that every single MD globally at Hotwire identifies as a woman. This shouldn’t be rare, but it is. Hotwire is an organisation led by women, both globally and locally. Global CEO Barbara Bates is at the helm, coupled with a range of inspiring women leading every one of the many countries Hotwire operates in around the world.
Speaking frankly, when looking at the current state of play, diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) is still a work in progress in the Australian marketing and advertising industry, as well as at Hotwire. We are working consciously to change this. In Australia, our strong female representation at every level of the business, including Jen Dobbie, our Creative Director, encourages female opportunities every day.
I’m thrilled to be kickstarting Hotwire Australia’s participation in our global DEI initiative in 2021. We’ll be supporting marginalised groups with a share of $1 million in services to advance DEI in the technology and innovation sector.
Every day is a new opportunity to prioritise equality. Pay, board and leadership positions, and rights must never be influenced by gender or perception of gender. The industry has a long way to go, but positive and proactive steps will contribute to a brighter future for all.
We’ll continue to update everyone on our progress to equality, and our wins along the way.
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