What I've learned as a female leader
Working in an environment with diverse cultures and backgrounds is always a challenge.
I consider myself very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work for Pacnet for more than 14 years and just as much now to work in the Telstra family.
I joined Pacnet when it was a start-up. It had since grown to a global company with employees in various countries with a combination of different languages and cultures.
Most of us had known each other for a long time and while we’re all different, I find keeping people engaged always works to get things done.
Telstra is even more diverse than Pacnet was, we have people from even more different cultural origins making Telstra a thriving place to work.
While from a cultural perspective such diversity is great to see, it also means that everyone working at Telstra brings their own histories with different behaviours and mindsets.
As a people leader, I have learned that to bring people together we need to spend time with them, listen and make the effort to understand them, before making changes.
In the earlier days of my career I had challenging but memorable opportunities to manage teams whose work and skills I was not an expert in. It took a lot of diligence, listening and sharing to build the trust needed to achieve as a team. This is at the heart of being an inclusive leader – valuing everyone’s unique contributions and creating the conditions for everyone to be successful.
I have learned it is easier to build trust with some people, and not so easy with others for many different reasons. I firmly believe dedication, persistence, and sincerity will open peoples’ minds – it just takes time and courage. It’s at this point that I’d like to share my favourite quote:
“The leaders who work most effectively, it seems to me, never say ‘I’. And that's not because they have trained themselves not to say ‘I’. They don't think ‘I’. They think ‘we’; they think ‘team’. They understand their job to be to make the team function. They accept responsibility and don't sidestep it, but ‘we’ gets the credit. This is what creates trust, what enables you to get the task done.” ― Peter F. Drucker
Telstra has a focus on being an inclusive and welcoming place to work no matter your background, culture, or gender. We work hard toward gender equality and all types of diversity, to make Telstra an environment where anyone can achieve great things.
Find out what else Telstra people are doing to contribute to a gender-equal workforce and community.