2020 Vision for International Women’s Day

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For International Women’s Day this year, the Interchange team asked 10 of our most personally inspiring career women, “what advice would you give a young woman embarking on her career journey”.

Aaaand go!




“Forge your own path. It doesn’t matter what others think of your title, your industry or job – if it brings you joy and purpose you’re on the right path. Starting out I didn’t realise that I had complete autonomy over my career choices and made some choices due to others pressure or because of what I thought I ‘should’ do. Then I realised I am the only one who has to really live with those choices. 

Being true to yourself is the most important part. Also, have fun! Work is better when it’s fun.”


Grace Palos
Chief Marketing Officer
Future Super 




“I am a firm believer that everything you want is just outside your comfort zone. Push yourself and believe that you are capable and deserving of what you want. This is where we can sometimes get stuck, particularly in our careers.
It is easy to think when you are starting out that everyone else has it all “together’. That they are smarter, more qualified, more confident etc. The day that you can truly accept that no one is actually perfect, is the day that your life will change. The weight on your shoulders will lift and you can focus no longer on perfection, but just on being the BEST that you can be.”


Claire Seeber
Claire Seeber Consulting & Eating your Cake too.





“There is a pay gap. It’s real. On average, women get paid between 14-19% less than men for doing the same work. And research shows that many women don’t negotiate salary at all. So when you start work, or are going for promotion, my practical advice would be:

Be prepared – research salaries so that you can understand what employers will pay for your skills and abilities. If you are unsure, and can’t find information, add 20% and get rid of the gap

In the conversation (also known as a negotiation), let your employer know that you take the role seriously. Reiterate what they have told you they need, and match it with what you can offer

If the employer is concerned about the salary amount, focus on the total package: can they support further study, study leave, a 9 day fortnight, relocation costs etc.

It takes practice to feel comfortable asking for what you deserve. If you do feel uncomfortable, pretend you are negotiating for your amazingly talented, under-recognised, underpaid best friend. Do it for her.”


Jane Hunt
Chief Executive Officer
The Front





“The world is wondrous and full of amazing creatures and places. We need to choose career paths that help to heal harms and reduce threats. If you use your skills and talents well, you will secure both your own happiness and help to protect our beautiful home.”


Jenny Gray
Chief Executive Officer
Zoos Victoria





“Try to be open-minded to any opportunity (even if it isn’t your ideal) and push yourself outside of your comfort zone, as this seems to be where all of the amazing opportunities exist. When I have chosen a path that I was a little uncomfortable with initially, it always proved to be the most rewarding career decision.  Always follow your heart and have the courage to go after what you truly want, even if it takes you 10 years to get there.”


Samantha Hurst
Click Start Digital





“Don’t listen to your parents, don’t listen to your teachers, define your own reality. You need to be yourself, and you need to be authentic. If you aren’t, the world can smell it from a mile off. But before you can be authentic, you need to know what it is that is important to you and know what differentiates you from everyone else. So, my advice is to figure that out, before trying to label yourself as a lawyer or a real estate agent or anything else.”


Annie Handmer
Phd Student
Space Junk Podcast Host and Creator





“Volunteering and networking with like-minded people are both very underrated. I encourage you to make conscious decisions about who you want in your circle and how you spend your time. Early on, I struggled with finding suitable job opportunities, so I decided to volunteer. 12 years on, I am still volunteering and meeting the best humans ever. On top of this, volunteering has helped me gain opportunities to grow my career too. I’m happy to say that I work in a space that I am passionate about and with people I admire and learn from every day. The thrill of meeting challenges and growing, I see as huge blessing.”


Lizzy Kuoth
Inclusion Capability Officer
Major Transport Infrastructure





“Bring joy to your work and see the big picture in what you do.  Look out for the opportunities that lie along the path and do what feels right.  The status quo is broken, be courageous in doing what is right for yourself, community and the environment.  Take the widest possible view of success.”


Abigail Forsyth
Co-founder and Managing Director
Keep Cup





“You are going to want to give up. When you get told you are too emotional, or too aggressive, or too opinionated…You are going to want to stay small and not put yourself in a position to be judged. Just remember the judgments you will receive are not about you, they are a reflection of others. Play big, say your piece, don’t filter yourself for anyone.”


Rochene Hawley
Owner & Founder
Barbell Babes Brigade




“My advice to a young woman starting her career is to first and foremost be yourself, look for employers that align with your values and purpose.  I would also advise some patience, if you are someone who is keen to climb the corporate or professional ladder, don’t be embarrassed or ashamed of your ambition, but at the same time, balance it with the fact that you are early in a long working life. There are many around you who have extensive skills and experience.

Humility is paramount, as are courage and empathy. Having a combination of those traits, along with finely honed communication skills, the world is your oyster.”


Rebekah Donaldson
Chief People Officer
Australian Broadcasting Corporation




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