Hi there! So what's your name?
Which city do you call home?
What do you do?
I run a business called One Roof which is a digital membership for female leaders and entrepreneurs. I am also on the board of the Victorian Women's Trust, I am a regular public speaker on topics including women in business, entrepreneurship and leadership and I mentor many women in their businesses and careers
Tell us your story
I started my career as a corporate lawyer working at a top tier law firm but I felt like a fish out of water from the very first day. And I felt the message I kept receiving was that as a young, career-driven, nice, humble, short and kind woman, my chances of success are diminished simply because I am a woman and because I am not masculine enough to be considered a leader. I also suffered from anxiety and immense self doubt until I finally took the leap and did something outside of society's expectations. I left a stable, corporate and well paying job to pursue my passion for removing the barriers that exist for women to succeed in business.
I started One Roof and it quickly became Australia's leading co-working operator for women-led businesses. We supported hundreds of businesses and hosted hundreds of events for women every year. I had big plans to build a co-working operator with spaces for women across Australia and raised capital to grow the business but then Covid hit. I made the very difficult decision to return all capital to my investors and pivot the business complete to a digital membership for female leaders and entrepreneurs. In one year we have onboarded over 700 members across Australia. One of my strongest values is "sharing courageously" I believe that in order to support women and close the gender gap we need to share our stories very honestly and publicly.
I share all my failures and darkest moments in the hope that it will support other women through their own journeys. Women are conditioned to be perfect in every aspect of our lives. It's overwhelming and damaging and we need to tell a new story for women. I have received many awards for my work including being an Australian Financial Review 100 Women of Influence and a Telstra Business Women's Award Finalist. I believe that in order to solve some of the world's most pressing problems we need equal representation of women in leadership and we desperately need women to lead in a feminine way. The masculine, patriarchal, hierarchal and capitalist approach is not serving us or the planet. This is my life's work and passion.
If you could go back in time, what would you tell your younger self?
I would explain to myself what anxiety is and why I am experiencing it and that it's OK to feel anxious, in fact so many people do. I would sit down and have an open and honest conversation with myself and explain where my anxiety is coming from and the beliefs and narratives I am holding on to that isn't serving me. I would also talk to myself about "success" what this means and how to best define it and that success isn't about fast growth, making lots of money, and having well known impact by the age of 25. I would explain to myself that success is about having a well rounded life of family, leisure, work, purpose, impact and giving back, health and wellbeing. To make money, to be well known, to run a big business is all just a by product and isn't important nor a measure of success (even though our society and the media continuously tell us that it is) I would explain that the hustle culture is bullshit and that often in order to go far we need to slow down. And I would tell myself that as we get older our focus shifts from ourselves to others and to the collective. The quicker I can put my focus and energy on the collective and diversity of people and voices, the better I will be as a human and a leader.
What does "living freely" mean to you?
To live freely is to have an awareness of where our decisions come from and what has been conditioned by our surroundings, upbringing, government, media etc. To live freely is to have that awareness and then be able to make a choice about whether we want to follow the "norm" or pave our own path. To live freely is to have our basic needs met and then to be able to choose what kind of life we want to live including having children or now, how we spend out time, whether we work and what work we do and having financial independence.
Where can we follow and support your work?