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International women's day 2022; Two women sitting at laptops working together

International Women's Day 2022: Forging work cultures where women's careers thrive

International Women's Day (IWD) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women's equality.

At Ambition we strive to forge inclusive work cultures where women's careers thrive and their achievements are celebrated, everyday. This year we sat down with 4 women across our Australian business to discuss their careers with Ambition/AccountAbility, what the workplace culture is truly like and what advice they had for the next generation of women looking to forge their own path.

Yseult d’Estelle Roe - Director of AccountAbility and Ambition Finance, Sydney

How have you progressed your career at Ambition/AccountAbility? Or How has Ambition/AccountAbility supported your career?

I’ve been very fortunate in my career with AccountAbility/Ambition. Starting out as a Junior Consultant and now in the role of Director, I have found many mentors and leaders along the way who have been incredibly supportive of my career goals. I find it’s the kind of business that you get out what you put in.

What’s one thing you enjoy about working at Ambition/AccountAbility?

The diversity in both leadership and the team. We have working dads, LGBTQI, women and people from various cultures and backgrounds in leadership positions and that diversity of thought has been a great thing for our business. To say everyone accepts each other would be reductive, we celebrate each other.

How would you describe the workplace culture at Ambition/AccountAbility?

Collegiate, supportive, and really fun. Hasn’t always been that way but it is now.

What’s your main learning OR what advice would you give to other women looking to progress their careers?

Don’t talk yourself out of doing things that you want to do, whether that’s going for a promotion or achieving something big outside of work, other people will try and do that for you, just go for it.

Kylie Blackwell, Director of Melbourne

How have you progressed your career at Ambition/AccountAbility? Or How has Ambition/AccountAbility supported your career?

Since joining Ambition/AccountAbility I can honestly say that for the first time as a leader, my voice is heard, and I have ownership of my business. Having come from a large corporate, it is challenging to influence positive change. I have the ability to run my Melbourne business the way I feel would be the best and also have fantastic support and trust from the Managing Director. I also feel like I work for someone who is 100% on the same page as me regarding putting people first.

What’s one thing you enjoy about working at Ambition/AccountAbility?

The people, this is hands down the most collaborative business I have been a part of.

How would you describe the workplace culture at Ambition/AccountAbility?

Our fantastic culture, I feel that this is something that a lot of people claim to have but we genuinely encourage everyone to bring their authentic self. It is amazing how well everyone gets on and are all so respectful of each other.

Describe the 3 characteristics about yourself that you believe have led to your success and why.

Transparency, Openness and Empathy. I have always been in a leadership role, even in my early years. I think this is due to having become a mum at an early age. I developed an ability to be able to get the best out of people by ensuring they felt supported and valued. I am very transparent, honest and approachable and I never ask anyone to do something I wouldn’t do myself.

What’s your main learning OR what advice would you give to other women looking to progress their careers?

I would encourage every woman who is looking to progress their career to work hard and be themselves, focus on the areas of your job that make you happy. I am motivated by others’ success, and I identified this early in my life. I knew that I was going to be a strong leader, so I went after leadership opportunities. Go after what you want, don’t be afraid to be yourself and the worst that can happen is you get a “no”, so try and try again.

Sophie Hirst, Operations Manager

How have you progressed your career at Ambition/AccountAbility? Or How has Ambition/AccountAbility supported your career?

I first started in 2019 as an Employee Experience Manager primarily looking after the contractor care space. After a year and half in that position I was keen to take on more responsibilities and I am very grateful that I have a very supportive Manager who jumped right in and supported me in becoming the Operations Manager. Both Ambition and my manager have been really supportive in both my career and personal development.

What’s one thing you enjoy about working at Ambition/AccountAbility?

One day is never the same. I have a wide scope of responsibilities so I’m always keeping busy with different tasks and learning something new pretty much every day. Since coming into the operations role I have worked on multiple projects and processes which is allowing me to grow within my role and have continuous learning curves.

How would you describe the workplace culture at Ambition/AccountAbility?

We have a very collaborative and supportive culture. Over the last couple of years, since having to go digital, I have felt that there was a shift where our offices worked quite separately to now working as one. We are all tight knit and it has created a lovely, fun work environment.

Describe the 3 characteristics about yourself that you believe have led to your success and why.

I can remain quite calm under pressure. Working in a sales environment where it’s all go a lot of the time, being able to remain calm and just go with it has helped immensely in my position in a supporting role.

Patience is key. Every day I come across all sorts of queries or issues and it has helped me become very solutions focused.

Being a yes (wo)man. I’m the go-to for everything and anything and this has helped me understand all aspects of the business whether it be from the finance/admin/back-office side to the consulting/front-office side.

What’s your main learning OR what advice would you give to other women looking to progress their careers?

Even if it’s potentially not in your job scope, be open to taking it on and learn something new. It helps you gain more knowledge of the business and furthering your development within your role.

Gemma Burke, Marketing Executive

How have you progressed your career at Ambition/AccountAbility? Or How has Ambition/AccountAbility supported your career?

I have been lucky to work across the business in various roles and locations. I started in the London office as a Consultant, then relocated to the Sydney office where I progressed to Senior Consultant. In 2018, I made a career change and moved from the sales team into a back-office role supporting the Consultants across Australia with marketing.

I’ve been supported no-end by Ambition over the years. Firstly my relocation from the UK to Australia and then again when I decided to make the career change from and front-office sales role into marketing.

What’s one thing you enjoy about working at Ambition/AccountAbility?

I enjoy so much about working for Ambition, but one thing I think Ambition does particularly well is career development. In my experience Ambition has taken my unique and transferable skills, listened to what brings me enjoyment and purpose in my role and has incorporated that into value for the business. It’s bigger picture thinking that has definitely helped my career development over the years and has kept me engaged.

How would you describe the workplace culture at Ambition/AccountAbility?

Collaborative, innovative and supportive. We really do respect and appreciate each other in a way that I haven’t really known in other organisations of this size. We all get along very well and have fostered this sense of belonging and ‘we are all in this together’ attitude. We work hard, celebrate each other’s successes and have a great time doing it!

Describe the 3 characteristics about yourself that you believe have led to your success and why.

Being open minded to new ideas and learning new things – there is always so much more to learn, and it often leads to new opportunities.

Working hard – probably cliche but if you want something, be prepared to put the work in.

Caring about the people I work with and the work that I do – we all care in this business so it’s really nice to work alongside like-minded people.

What’s your main learning OR what advice would you give to other women looking to progress their careers?

I think, especially in the earlier days of my career, I suffered from impostor syndrome a lot. If I could give other women advice on progressing their careers it would be don’t doubt yourself so much because if you want something, you can do it. If you are prepared to put the effort in and you are open to learn, then there is no reason why you can’t achieve it.

If you would like to find out more about the initiatives Ambition/AccountAbility are implementing to forge inclusive work cultures where women's careers thrive and their achievements are celebrated, please contact the team here. For more information on International Women's Day, you can visit their website at www.internationalwomensday.com.

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