8 Talent hunters share which female leaders inspire them most

8 March is International Women’s Day – a global day for celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.
Here at ATC, we thought we would shine a light on the women who have inspired some of your peers – who are they and what were the lessons learnt?
How about you? Is there a female leader you look to for inspiration? Use the comment section to share your thoughts!

Tim Stevens
Talent Acquisition Advisor at Jemena

I’m a passionate animal lover and Lyn White from Animals Australia has been a great inspiration to me for all the work she is doing in animal advocacy.
A former police officer, Lyn now investigates, uncovers and exposes the inhumane treatment of animals. It’s pleasing for me to know there are kind and compassionate people who are willing to use their voice and speak up for the voiceless. This inspires me to speak up for what you believe in, educate others with awareness and never give up hope. Big changes start with small steps.

Alana Bennett
Head of Talent at oOH! Media

“Sometimes the bravest and most important thing you can do is just show up.” – Dr Brené Brown
I think today, more than ever, we live in this world where we’re expected to have it together all the time, but to be honest, I don’t think I’m alone when I say I’m done with feeling like that.
It’s time to break free from this “idea of perfect” and this is where Dr Brené Brown comes in for me. One of her key messages is to embrace the imperfect, and I think we’ve forgotten to tap into this. Leaders often struggle with being real, especially to the people who follow them, because they don’t want to come across as imperfect. But good leadership is made up of beautiful imperfections.
None of us are perfect, we make mistakes and imperfection is a part of who we are. This is what makes us human! When we take that step of courage, we open ourselves up to connect with others on a deeper level and to express compassion to ourselves and those around us. Brené believes that courage, compassion, and connection can be cultivated in our lives, and I believe she is 100 percent right.

Nathan Anderson
Recruitment Services Manager at The University of Queensland

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.” – Helen Keller
The world has seen so many inspirational women throughout history, but one of the most remarkable I have come across is none other than Helen Keller.
As an infant she suffered from a medical episode that left her deaf and blind leaving her destined for a life silent and in the dark. However due to the determination of her mother, the skills of her teacher Anne Sullivan and Helen’s dedication to learn, she was able to overcome her adversities and escape her bonds to become the first deaf-blind person to graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree. She would go on to be a successful author, activist and lecturer.
Her story is nothing short of amazing and reminds me that no matter what challenges or adversity we all may face, we are only limited by what we choose to accept. We all have a choice on how we react to any situation we find ourselves in.

Simon Townsend
Director at KloudPPL

The person who arguably had the biggest impact on my professional life was Maureen Thurston.
Champion storyteller, Post-It note savant, and doyenne of the white board, Maureen led the Design Thinking programme at Deloitte and taught me so many tricks of the trade I can never say thank you enough. She also taught me lesson after lesson about how to deal with people in multiple situations, how to extract information from someone who didn’t want to share (in workshops rather than in a spy fashion), and how to let it go and return to it later when we couldn’t come up with a creative enough solution.
With a story for every occasion she makes me laugh every time I see her; usually while teaching me something.

Denise Pereira
Strategic Talent Sourcing Specialist at Coles

“I think we need more love in the world. We need more kindness, more compassion, more joy, more laughter. I definitely want to contribute to that.” – Ellen Degeneres
And that is exactly what she has done for thousands of people, that’s what Ellen does for me, unknowingly. Her passion and generosity to help us see the world through everyone else’s eyes is phenomenal.
Privileged with all the luxuries in life but that does not mean life has always been kind to her. She is one of the many women I am inspired by and admire for the simple fact that she stands up for what she believes in and does right by others. These are the principles I try to apply when I connect with others.

Mark Mansour
National Talent Acquisition Lead at Servian

JK Rowling. Her professional skills are amazing. What an author.
However her Twitter skills are even better. From trolling trollers, to verbal backhands to the Prez of the USA, she is a beast. She is a leader. She is funny. She is intelligent. She is an advocate for women and the youth of tomorrow. She is a true leader.

Will Milnes-James
HR Services Manager at Jemena

Margaret Thatcher. A controversial figure who somehow rose through the ranks of an utterly male dominated environment, no doubt receiving huge amounts of negative comments and slurs to persevere and become Britain’s first female prime minister.
She showed great tenacity, unwavering focus and doggedness to not be talked out of her goal and no doubt inspired many women who had their own personal self-doubts. In a ruthless and very public environment, she managed to defy the odds and ignore the nay-sayers to reach her personal Everest.

Emily Alexander
Recruitment Manager at DXC Technology

So many Aussie woman have inspired me in different ways.
Writers, like Helen Garner, who inspires a genuine interest in people, and her lessons on dignity, respect and honesty. Food educators like Stephanie Alexander and Maggie Beer, who continue to push for positive change through a passion for good food into schools and aged care.
And to the change influencers on equality like Ita Buttrose, Gillian Triggs, Anne Summer and Julia Gillard. To name only a few.
How can I pick one woman. Takes a village as they say.

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