An open letter to men from a difficult woman-Her story

Firstly, many of you are lovely. And I thank those of you who leave supportive comments on my Facebook page, or who engage in respectful and thoughtful debate. I very much enjoy interacting with you all. Please keep hanging around. Maybe you can share my site with your followers & others on facebook.?

But to the rest of you contemplating writing to me, I have a few simple guidelines. If your message falls into one of the below categories, please refrain from pressing send:

Personal attacks

It is fine to disagree with my point of view. My kids do it all the time! But if you wish to voice your disagreement, you will need to use words that convey your thesis in a logical methodical manner, and provide compelling supporting arguments.

Words such as “Your article contains factual errors A, B, and C,” or “You stated X but I can demonstrate with Y and Z that X is invalid,” do exactly that.

Writer Kerri Sackville.

Photo: Nic Walker


To mansplain is to comment on or explain something to a woman in a condescending way. It is predicated on the belief that a man knows more than a woman, even about her own lived experience.

If you are a genuine expert on a topic about which I have written (and, if I am writing about women’s lived experience, being an expert includes ‘being a woman’), please feel free to comment. If not, refrain.

Speculation about my credibility

“No-one is interested.”

This is factually incorrect. Clearly you are interested, or you wouldn’t have read the article and taken the time to respond.

“Who the f–k cares what you think?”

Well, clearly you do. I know this because you are writing to me.

“Are you even a real journo?”

Well, the people responsible for the content of this publication (the “editors”) have paid me to write, so technically, yes, I am a real journo.

“Women do bad things too!”

Sometimes I write about certain poor behaviors exhibited by men. This does not mean I believe that women are perfect, or that women don’t do bad things too. It just means that I am writing about certain poor behaviors exhibited by men. If you want to write your own article about women’s bad behaviors, please do. Just do not send it to me. It’s irrelevant to my article.


Just because I write about certain poor behaviors exhibited by men, doesn’t mean I believe that all men exhibit these poor behaviors. You do not need to inform me. #Notallmen, I know.


Some of my articles run alongside a nice photo of me. I could have chosen a photo in which I look terrible (for example, one taken first thing in the morning, or whilst wearing a mud mask) but I prefer a pleasant photo.

Having said that, I do not need you to tell me how ‘sexy’ or ‘hot’ or ‘f—able’ I am in that pleasant photo. I am aware that it is a pleasant photo. Furthermore, I am a writer. I am trying to engage people with my words. When you flatter my appearance, you demean my work. Perhaps that is your intention. See point number 1.


When I was married I wrote about marriage. When I was anxious I wrote about anxiety. Now that I am single and dating, I write about being single and dating.

This does not mean that I accept propositions from random strangers on the internet. And if I did accept propositions from random strangers on the internet, they would have to be a hell of a lot better than,

“Hey I think you’re really hot so you should date me.”

Threats of violence

Most go straight to trash. The rest go to the police.

Thanking you in advance for your consideration.

With very best wishes,

Kerri (Nutty Left Feminist and Difficult Woman)

Kerri Sackville is appearing on a panel about ‘Difficult Women’ at Melbourne Jewish Book Week on Monday 7 May.

Just love your style Kerri. I love mentally strong, intelligent beautiful women.

This site is devoted to women like you.Keep up the great work Kerri Sackville

Henry Sapiecha

I’m a 28-year veteran of the global healthcare company Abbott, where I’m responsible for the company’s engineering, regulatory, and quality assurance functions in over 150 countries

I started my career at Abbott in 1989 and have held a number of senior positions, including senior manufacturing engineer, production manager, and engineering manager.

In 2012, I began the Abbott’s high school STEM internship program, targeting underrepresented students. A high school engineering internship changed the trajectory of my life when I was 17, and I am passionate about helping young people, especially girls and minorities, realize their STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) dreams. To date, almost 90 young people have taken part and 97 percent are pursuing a STEM degree or have a STEM job.

This is as personal as it gets.

The fact that only one in seven engineers is a woman. That only one in 50 is an African-American female. The fact that I, as an African-American female engineer am 10 times rarer than a woman in Congress.

As a young woman, my mom and my grandfather encouraged me to study math and science, and today I work at Abbott’s as its top engineer. My granddad only made it formally through eighth grade, but he and my family valued education. My mom went to school herself whilst raising five kids.

That’s what made the difference when an opportunity of a lifetime came my way. I was 17, working for $1.76-an-hour at Jack in the Box to cover expenses for extra-curricular programs at school, when IBM came to my inner-city Dallas school, looking for a student who could intern there for the summer.

The support of a few key teachers, a guidance counselor, and my family made the decision to work for IBM that summer a reality. What followed was another internship and eventually a degree – and a career. That internship changed the direction of my life.

This coming weekend, I’m sharing this story and taking this issue head on with thousands of students at the USA Science & Engineering Festival in Washington D.C., along with my colleague, Abbott neuroscientist Beth McQuiston. I know the power of words, and of stories, and hope these girls walk away knowing that no matter their ZIP code, no matter the color of the skin or their gender or their socioeconomic status – they, too, can be an engineer one day.

As much as I am thankful for the opportunity to share this vision, I also know I am just one person. As one of very few African-American female engineers, I have an obligation to do something to help close a real gap of women and minorities in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. It’s good for our company and its future, but it’s also just the right thing to do for society and the future of innovation.

A shortage of diverse perspectives means the teams creating the next life-changing technologies in our societies are not as equipped as they otherwise would be. How can we innovate for a diverse world if we don’t have diverse innovators?

The reason STEM recruitment and retention is broken when it comes to attracting and holding on to women and minorities, I think, is they don’t see enough people who look like them in their fields, a signal to them that maybe this field isn’t for them – maybe they weren’t meant to succeed here.

To be sure, the fix to that is not straight forward as it may seem. But one thing parents, schools and companies need to do is invest in these young people early, so they see STEM as a viable career option.

Only 10 percent of girls say their parents encourage them to pursue engineering, for instance. That is way too low.

STEM is not hard and boring – it can be intuitive and exciting. Abbott invests in a high school STEM internship program that reaches students as young as 15, empowering them to work on real business problems and giving them a taste of what it’s really like to work in the field, transforming abstract concepts into tangible career options. Outside of the high school internship, since 2006, Abbott has worked with more than 700 schools and community organizations to inspire more than 285,000 students interested in STEM.

We also need to be quick to speak up for good STEM work and education policy. Like I wrote in The Hill, we need Ph.Ds. and inventors, yes – but we also need people with technical skills to work in labs, build prototypes, write code and fill the many, many other STEM-related jobs of the future.

If you work at another company and you’re still with me, I am here for you. I know it isn’t easy to get something like a high school STEM internship off the ground, but I’ve done it. I am willing to share my blueprints. This is bigger than me, and bigger than Abbott. This is about someday, living in a world where diversity of people, ideas and thoughts are equally balanced in creating life-changing technologies that will further advance innovation, technology – and life as we know it.

Henry Sapiecha

Female CEOs Reveal Their Secrets to Success in Business

If you want to be the best, you need to learn from the best.

That’s why it’s so valuable to take the time to find out what advice the people who are already in your field of work might say about how to make your life easier. And, to be honest, many of these pieces of advice are helpful no matter what line of work you’re in. High-ranking women have all had to figure out how to become and stay successful over the years. In doing so, they’ve learned quite a few helpful tidbits for those following in their footsteps.

From business executives to entrepreneurs to multi-million dollar for-profit business execs or world-changing non-profits leaders, all of these impressive women have shared their helpful guidance so we all can learn from their personal ups and downs. Prepare your notebooks, young business leaders. There is plenty of learning to be had.

1…Kat Cole

Do you have what it takes to go from waitressing at a Hooters to running a multi-million dollar company like Kat Cole?

President of Focus Company, the parent company of Cinnabon – she’s willing to hustle and do whatever it takes to learn the job. Her advice is to keep your ego in check when you’re getting feedback on the job.

As she told Business Insider,“A piece of career advice I received when I was incredibly young was that anytime you get criticized, take a moment and assume the criticism is accurate. Assume the person criticizing you is right, just for a moment.”

Cole’s reasoning for assuming the other party’s accurateness has everything to do with keeping your own power. She explained that if you assume they’re correct, you get to consider the criticism with deliberateness like you would any other feedback

A Favorite Kat Cole Quote:

“When we get our sense of self from only one place, when something goes wrong and the inevitable happens, it can crush you emotionally, spiritually and physically. So it’s important not to believe you are defined by one place, one relationship or one thing, and to find ways to keep your sense of self strong.”

2…Jean Brownhill Lauer

Jill Brownhill Lauer is the CEO of the contractor planning and support tech company, Sweeten. Her experience with both traditional and modern business styles means she’s mastered social and business skills on the physical and digital fronts. Her advice focuses on balancing the natural masculine and feminine energies within all of us.

She told Forbes, “My advice to women in tech, and women who want to start their own companies, is to be joyful and passionate – maybe some people will call these ‘feminine’ traits – but don’t allow people to convince you that you are on the wrong path.”

She adds that in order to be successful, especially for women, you need to be willing to embrace and balance natural gender stereotypes. “You need to tap into what might be conventionally perceived as a strong masculine drive but hold on to and highlight what might be conventionally perceived as feminine enthusiasm,” she added.

A Favorite Jean Brownhill Lauer Quote:

“The phrase ‘I can’t’ usually isn’t an option for dealing with tough life situations, at any age, and that was a lesson that I internalized so early on. It’s been the big differentiator for me.”

3…Jessica Alba

Jessica Alba, the actress-turned-businesswoman, founded The Honest Company in 2011. Since then, the company has grown into a net worth of over a billion dollars. For Alba, it’s all about being willing and able to withstand rejection. No matter what is thrown at you, you’ve got to learn from it and move on.

She said, “You’ll never know that something is going to succeed if you don’t try and put yourself out there.

A Favorite Jessica Alba Quote:

“The only way you can measure your success is by reflecting and seeing what you want out of the experience. And the journey is just as much a part of the success you seek out.”

4…Meg Whitman

Meg Whitman of Hewlett-Packard has a name that is practically synonymous with powerful women in the business world. While she’s given some really wonderful advice on all sorts of subjects over the years, her most helpful is applicable to both business and life. She thinks it’s more valuable to focus on the positive and enhance that rather than obsessing over the negative things that may be going wrong.

Whitman said, “My advice, having done this a number of times, is to go into an organization and figure out what that company’s doing right, and do more of it. You’ll eventually get to your to-do list and to your fix-it list, but if you come in and just talk about what’s going wrong, you will lose hearts and minds.”

A Favorite Meg Whitman Quote:

“Problems are good, as long as you solve them quickly.”

5…Sheryl Sandberg

Facebook’s CEO Sheryl Sandberg has no problem giving all sorts of sage advice, especially for women in the business world. In fact, she wrote the book on it. Or, at least, she wrote a book on it.

Her best advice also centers around the ability to hear and accept feedback. She explained that she looks for that specific quality in an employee, hoping to find, “Someone who takes feedback well. Because people who can take feedback well are people who can learn and grow quickly.”

A Favorite Sheryl Sandberg Quote:

“Being confident and believing in your own self-worth is necessary to achieving your potential.”

6…Marissa Mayer

The former-Yahoo tech executive Marissa Mayer advocates for getting out of your comfort zone since that’s where real growth can happen. Especially in the constantly changing world of technology and the fast pace it requires new businesses to take, it’d be impossible to prepare for every little bump in the road.

So Mayer says do it before you think you’re ready. “I always did something I was not ready to do. I think that’s how you grow. When there’s that moment of ‘Wow, I’m not really sure I can do this,’ and you push through those moments, that’s when you have a breakthrough.”

A Favorite Marissa Mayer Quote:

“Work for someone who believes in you, because when they believe in you they’ll invest in you.”

7…Ida Tin

Ida Tin is not only breaking ground for women in the technology and business spheres. She’s also changing the way women approach family planning thanks to her popular menstruation-calculating app, Clue. The Danish entrepreneur and author advises women to be aware of the risks and rewards involved in finding the time and energy to really be successful at business.

And she believes that you can create your own reality, saying, “Know what you want to build, but also about what price you’re willing to pay personally. And know what price you don’t want to pay. I want to see my kids every day, and sometimes it feels like a choice women have to make – start a business or have kids. I don’t accept that.”

It’s appropriate to hear a reminder about taking control of your circumstances from a woman whose app educates and empowers other women to do just that.

A Favorite Ida Tin Quote:

“I don’t want to accept that you can only build big companies out of Silicon Valley.”

8…Safra Catz

Safra Catz is CEO of Oracle, the computer software giant. She, too, straddles the line between emerging technology and being a woman in the business world. Interestingly, she also believes that you need to be open to feedback. In fact, you need to make sure that you’re not just hearing it, but actively listening.

She said, “Listen, think and don’t be afraid to change your position based on new facts.”

A Favorite Safra Catz Quote:

“The most significant barrier to female leadership is the actual lack of females in leadership. The best advice I can give to women is to go out and start something, ideally their own businesses. If you can’t see a path for leadership within your own company, go blaze a trail of your own.”

9…Jacqueline Novogratz

The non-profit Acumen’s founder Jacqueline Novogratz believes that inspiring hope in others is the best way to be successful in this world. Her company’s goal of creating a global community requires an ongoing commitment to seeing and hoping for the best in others.

So her optimistic approach to business is no surprise. She said, “Inspiring hope in a cynical world might be the most radical thing you can possibly do.”

A Favorite Jacqueline Novogratz Quote:

“May each of you live lives of immersion. They won’t necessarily be easy lives. But in the end, it is all that will sustain us.”

10…Lori Greiner

As a Shark Tank investor, Lori Greiner knows a thing or two about what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur. For her, it’s important to separate your personal and professional worlds. And if she could go back and advise her younger self? She’d encourage herself to go for it.

Greiner said, “Go for your dreams. Go to do whatever you want. There’s nothing stopping you. I believe that if there is any goal that you have for your career, for your life, all you have to do is put your mind to it, and then do all the smart things in which to make it happen. I don’t know the word ‘no.’ So I would say be fearless, be driven, be confident and don’t worry about what happens, make it happen.

A Favorite Lori Greiner Quote:

“A brilliant idea doesn’t guarantee a successful invention. Real magic comes from a brilliant idea combined with willpower, tenacity, and a willingness to make mistakes.”

11…Anne Wojcicki

Anne Wojcicki is the co-founder and CEO of one of the hot companies changing the tech and the health industries, 23andMe. Since she and her company are embarking on exciting new biotech waters, they’ve encountered their fair share of challenges along the way. But her advice is to stay true and focused on what you want no matter what may be happening around you.

She shared, “Stick to your vision…If you know where you’re going, the challenges are minimal.”

A Favorite Anne Wojcicki  Quote:

“The challenge in a startup is you hit a lot of turbulence, and you want people who understand that it’s just turbulence and not a crisis.”

12…Susan Wojcicki

Success is a family affair in amongst the Wojcicki sisters. While Anne is at the forefront of the research and biotech world, her sister Susan is the CEO of Google’s YouTube. Susan believes in being blunt and up front about what you think you deserve.

“Whether it’s salary or a promotion or a job, I think it’s important for women to ask for what they think they deserve,” she said.

She also advocates for creating a good work/life balance no matter what you do. “I don’t want to say that you don’t have to work hard; you have to work hard but you need to have balance as well,” Wojcicki explains, adding, “If I’m there at midnight by myself in the office I’m not really having so many great ideas anymore.”

A Favorite Susan Wojcicki Quote:

“Rarely are opportunities presented to you in a perfect way. In a nice little box with a yellow bow on top. ‘Here, open it, it’s perfect. You’ll love it.’ Opportunities — the good ones — are messy, confusing and hard to recognize. They’re risky. They challenge you.”

13…Elle Kaplan

As the founder and CEO of a money management firm that manages over $100 million in assets, Elle Kaplan knows a thing or two about risk. She also has an intuitive understanding of how you can use money to grow more money. She even joked with Marie Claire about the first time she watched Mary Poppins, and how she was confused at financial strategy for feeding the birds.

She said, “The children want their tuppence to feed the birds. But I thought they should have left their tuppence in a bank earning interest. They could have bought a ton more birdseed that way.”

Her best advice about becoming a business success is specifically geared towards women. She believes they should learn everything they can about their finances and how to invest. And, they should change their perspective on what it means to save money.

She said, “I don’t want women looking for spare change or not buying the latte. I want them thinking like moguls and investing. It’s not about clipping coupons, it’s not a mentality of deprivation, it’s redefining luxury. And the only way you get an investment account is by starting.”

Her own money savvy combined with her incredible work ethic helped her become the business success she is today. She even launched an inspiring lifestyle brand called Love the Hustle to help like-minded women find, educate, and support each other.

A Favorite Elle Kaplan Quote:

“Who you surround yourself with can have a major impact on your life trajectory.”

Henry Sapiecha


Empowering women in advertising – ‘SheSays’ launches awards

SheSays-Jane-Steph-Kara image www.goodgirlsgo.com6

Global networking group SheSays is launching a new awards program in Australia to recognise the best female talent in the advertising industry.

The SheSays Awards are open from now until 13 October aimed at women across Australia. They will be judged by a panel of male and female industry figures including Isobar CEO Konrad Spilva, Venus founder Bec Brideson, Isobar creative director Carmela Soares, Reactive creative director Prue Jones and BWM creative directors Jon Foye, Denny Handlin and Amy Hollier.

Other judges include Hardhat Digital creative director Beth Walsh, MASS founder Tim Kotsiakos and Charles Grenfell group creative director Emma Hill, and AdNews editor Rosie Baker.

SheSays Melbourne director Kara Jenkins says the awards aim to challenge and inspire women in the industry.

“Through the SheSays Awards we want to empower women in the creative marketing industries to be more confident and therefore more ambitious,” Jenkins says.

“We’re challenging women to think about their current position in the industry, and where they want it to be in the future. We’re publicly recognising the future and current female leaders who we hope will be role models for all women within the industry to aspire to.”

The inaugural awards have three categories including an Industry Award which recognises a female creative that has shown to have played a key role in producing an idea which has no limits.

One is a Woman of the Year Award which recognises a woman who has made an outstanding contribution to the creative industries.

To shine a light on the next generation of creative women, the program also includes a Student Award for a female creative or creative team (which includes at least one female) who produces an idea in response to a student brief, which involves creating a campaign for SheSays.

Melbourne’s RMIT University has partnered with SheSays for the Student Award, providing a venue for the awards night and exhibiting student work.

Winners will receive an awards trophy and a hand crafted necklace created especially for SheSays by London-based jewellery designer Clarice Rice Thomas.

In addition, the winner of the Student Award will be offered a two-week placement at Isobar.

Spilva says Isobar is excited to be part of the first awards program.

“We’ve been a supporter of SheSays since it’s launch in Melbourne and we’re excited to be one of the official partners of the upcoming SheSays Awards,” Spilva says. “These awards can make a genuine difference through encouraging women in our industry to share their great work.”

The Award Night will be held in Melbourne on Thursday 17 November from 6pm, with tickets on sale closer to the event.


Henry Sapiecha

HSC Results 2015: Girls outperform boys in traditionally male subjects

HSC 2015: Top of the state

Students from 81 public and independent schools have shared the honours at the HSC First in Course awards.

Grace Parker was sick of her family car breaking down – so she took matters into her own hands and enrolled in automotive studies as part of her HSC.

Self-confessed city girl Mala Rigby’s love of animals drew her to agriculture and Claudia Nielsen, a rising hockey star who hopes for a career in science, was attracted to the practical side of primary industries

Sophia Henning, Caitlin Semsarian and Pola Cohen topped the three history coursesm image

Sophia Henning, Caitlin Semsarian and Pola Cohen topped the three history courses. Photo: Janie Barrett

The trio helped girls increase their reign over boys in this year’s HSC results, with females blitzing subjects traditionally dominated by males as well as making a clean sweep of the history and English courses.

At the prestigious First in Course ceremony on Tuesday, 82 girls, including Grace, Mala and Claudia, and 34 boys were recognised for topping the state in at least one of their subjects.

This year, 116 students from 81 schools received First in Course awards, including six students who topped two courses.

Sophia Henning, from Presbyterian Ladies’ College Sydney, was first in ancient history, while Pola Cohen, from Sydney Girls’ High, topped history extension and Caitlin Semsarian, from St George Girls High, came first in modern history.

Girls from Cherrybrook Technology High, St Francis De Sales Regional College, North Sydney Girls and Northern Beaches Secondary College Freshwater Senior Campus topped the five English courses.

“Yet again, the girls have well and truly outperformed the boys, it is about a 70/30 split in terms of girls who have topped courses as opposed to boys,” said NSW Education Minister Adrian Piccoli.

“Girls have done very well in languages, as they have done over the past years, and we have girls topping what would be historically, but fortunately no longer, male-dominated courses including subjects like agriculture.”

The president of the NSW Board of Studies, Tom Alegounarias, said boys were still strong performers in maths and science.

“I can say that broadly in STEM males still dominate, but the gap is closing and the margin is one now that you cannot say there is a subject that is inherently better suited to females or males,” Mr Alegounarias said

The top students recognised on Tuesday will be joined by about 70,000 students who will receive their HSC results online or via SMS from 6am on Wednesday. The Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) is released on Thursday at 9am.

Mala, 18, from Pymble Ladies’ College, fell in love with agriculture after spending some time working on her north shore school’s small farming plot.

“As a Sydney girl, studying agriculture really made me see the skill involved and showed me just how important agriculture is,” Mala said.

For Claudia, the top student in primary industries, the subject is a family affair. Her dad, Geoff, was her primary industries teacher at Calrossy Anglican School in Tamworth while her mother, Bronwyn, was her agriculture teacher at the school.

A talented hockey player, Claudia, 18, hopes to spend next year at the Australian Institute of Sport before studying science at the University of Western Australia the following year.

Grace, who already has an offer to study international studies at Wollongong University, said she would love to continue her passion for repairing cars.

“I’d love to be a mechanic, I see so many females get ripped off by mechanics because the men think they don’t know what they are talking about,” Grace, 18, from Dubbo, said. “If females knew what mechanics were up to, it would be a whole different game.

“It’s not about a woman’s revolution, it’s about giving women the same opportunities.”


Henry Sapiecha

Science Week: UNSW moves to strengthen women’s role in science.Read more for video.

Here’s a paradox. How does science move beyond the gender stereotypes holding women back even as it celebrates the particular qualities they bring to scientific endeavour?

As National Science Week started, it was such matters that some of Australia’s finest minds pondered at a University of NSW symposium celebrating women’s leadership in science.



scientists (from left) Professor Veena Sahajwalla, Dr Rebecca Johnson, Professor Emma Johnston and Professor Angela Moles. image

Stereotype-busting scientists (from left) Professor Veena Sahajwalla, Dr Rebecca Johnson, Professor Emma Johnston and Professor Angela Moles. Photo: Brendan Esposito

“There is a paradox,” Professor Emma Johnston said. Professor Johnston is head of the applied marine and estuarine ecology lab at UNSW and runs the Sydney Harbour Research Program at the Sydney Institute of Marine Science.

“On the one hand we want to let more women into the system and we know that we need to change the system for that to happen. On the other hand we want the system itself to be accepting of women who are not necessarily ‘super high caring’. We want them to be able to succeed in science as well.

“So it’s about increasing diversity. We don’t want to constrain everybody to work within the stereotypes that already exist.”

Scientists pondered the question of gender stereotypes at a symposium supporting more women achieving in science image

Scientists pondered the question of gender stereotypes at a symposium supporting more women achieving in science. Photo: Brendan Esposito

More than 200 women and men gathered on Friday at UNSW to celebrate women’s leadership in science. As well as an abundance of people who simply loved their jobs, the overwhelming theme was about supporting more women achieving in science.

A look at the figures is sobering.

More than 50 per cent of science PhDs and early career graduates are women. Yet, according to the Office of the Chief Scientist, only 17 per cent of senior science academics in Australian universities and research institutes are women.

Louise McSorley, acting head of the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, told the conference that there is a 26 per cent pay gap between men and women in the sciences. And while women make up 61.4 per cent of science employment, just 27.6 per cent of key management jobs are held by women.

UNSW’s Professor Johnston said that alongside broader social pressures, “these add up to cause real bottle necks in the system. We have a very low number of women in higher levels of academia.”

Professor Angela Moles, head of the Big Ecology Lab at UNSW, said: “If you don’t have women [involved in science] then you’re really wasting a lot of amazing talent.”

The call for diversity is backed by Dr Rebecca Johnson, director of the Australian Museum Research Institute. She said: “An ecosystem is nothing without its diversity, and the same could be applied to science.”

Gender disparity in the natural and physical sciences at the higher academic levels (B to E) chart image

Gender disparity in the natural and physical sciences at the higher academic levels (B to E). Photo: Higher Education Research Data Collection 2012, Department of Education

UNSW Scientia Professor Veena Sahajwalla agreed. She said: “Women bring along a whole diversity of thinking – that lateral ability to bring across a whole range of ideas.”

Professor Johnston said that by including more women in science “you’re tapping into a different set of cultural values and different ways of working that can be beneficial. We know that diversity in the workplace actually increases productivity: it increases the rate at which problems get solved and science is all about solving problems.”

​So how can the current situation change?

Professor Moles said that a cultural shift in the roles of fathers “would have benefits for women, for men and for children”. “I’d like to see dads get more involved” in parenting.

She said it’s also about having role models: “It’s important that the women coming up through the ranks have good, positive role models.”

Professor Johnston agrees: “Unless you can see someone in front of you that you can identify with … you lose confidence, you lose the willingness to try. So if we don’t have women in science in leadership positions as role models, we won’t get the next generation of women through.”

And it seems there are changes afoot.

At the symposium UNSW Vice-Chancellor Ian Jacobs announced that his university had set itself the goal of appointing 100 female professors over the next 10 years. He also committed the university to involvement in the pilot Athena SWAN Charter program to promote women in science leadership roles.

This month the Australian Academy of Science is launching a two-year pilot involving up to 20 Australian universities, research institutes and government science organisations based on the British program, launched in 2005. The pilot will be overseen by the Science in Australia Gender Equity initiative, SAGE.

The program will require participants to collect, analyse and present data on gender equity policies and practices in science, technology, engineering and mathematics departments. Participants will also need to identify gaps and opportunities for improvement.

Those involved in the pilot will work towards an Athena SWAN Award at the Institutional Bronze level, which is a mandatory requirement for future Silver and Gold awards at the institutional and departmental levels.

In Britain, medical research institutes must hold a silver Athena SWAN award in order to receive research funds. (8)

Henry Sapiecha

AUSTRALIAN 2015 Women In Industry Awards finalists

WII_LOGO image

2015 Women In Industry Awards

The 2nd annual Women in Industry Awards recognises and rewards the achievements of women working within the mining, engineering, and manufacturing industries, and aims to raise the profile of women within industry, as well as promote and encourage excellence.

Australian Mining, PACE and Manufacturers’ Monthly are partnering to acknowledge the exceptional women who have achieved success through their invaluable leadership, innovation and commitment to their sector.

This is your opportunity to have Australia’s leading publications recognise the women who are driving change in your industry and – in doing so –breaking down barriers and creating new possibilities for the next generation.

These may be women you work with, women whose achievements are inspiring you from afar, or women who are providing you with invaluable guidance and support. Their achievements may not be creating headlines, but we believe their dedication and exceptionalism should be celebrated.

The accomplishments of these women will be recognised at an exclusive evening event to be held in at the Ivy Ballroom on Thursdays 25 June 2015. More than just recognition, the Awards also provide an opportunity for new business opportunities and network expansion.

WII_successful women pic image

Australian Mining, Manufacturers’ Monthly and Pace are proud to announce finalists for the 2015 Women in Industry Awards have been selected from a list of impressive candidates.

The only awards program of its kind to encompass mining, manufacturing and engineering, the 2015 Women in Industry Awards aims to recognise and reward the achievements of women working in the industrial sectors.

The awards are all about celebrating women who are leading change in their chosen field and breaking down the barriers in what can often be male-dominated industries.

The program seeks to single out and reward women who have created innovations, driven productivity, spearheaded change, and provided social and economic benefits through their fields.

With over 100 entries, it’s clear industry sectors were keen to have its women recognised.

We congratulate each and every finalist and look forward to seeing you all on Thursday the 25th of June at the awards dinner.

BDM of the Year

Carly Bradshaw – Business Development and Operations Manager, Australian Dust Control

Emma Cook – Business Development Manager, Agility Project Logistics

Sandra Taylor – Tender Manager I&R East, Lend Lease

Employer of the Year

Independent Racking Inspections & Audits


Excellence in Engineering

Cara Ryan – Office Manager, Building Performance Centre, Schneider Electric

Christine Charles – Head of Space Plasma, Power and Propulsion Division, The Australian National University

Claire Bianco – Engineering Supervisor, Cecil Park Plant, CSR Limited

Hayley McIver – Senior Process Engineer, Ausenco

Excellence in Manufacturing

Christine Morris – HR Director, Joy Global Australia

Michelle Vince – Group Range Development Manager, Blundstone Group

Svetlana Zatsepin – Managing Director, Coolon LED Lighting

Colly Galbiati – Managing Director, Soma Organics

Kamini Wijekulasuriya – Manufacturing Manager, Western Sydney Service Centre, Bluescope

Excellence in Mining

Kathy Zunica – Senior Geologist, AMC Consultants

Maria Joyce – General Manager, MEC Mining

Stephanie Hardy – Environmental Advisor, Monadelphous KT Pipelines

Gail Clamp – Specialist Mine Management, Rio Tinto Coal Australia

Industry Advocacy

Irina Lindquist – Healthcare Solution Architect, Schneider Electric

Carli Hobbs – General Manager, Gladstone Engineering Alliance

Christine Katic – Operations Manager, BOC Limited

Elizabeth Lewis-Gray – Chairman, Austmine

Jill Follington – Executive (founding) Director, Industry Mid North Coast

Kym Clarke – Founder and Director, She’s Empowered

Suzanne Daubney – Managing Director, Bannister Downs Dairy

Mentor of the Year

Ashlea Walley – VTEC Mentor/ DSG Program Coordinator, Wirrpanda Foundation

Christine Cotton – Regional General Manager, Tcyo Fire & Security

Simon Bradwell – Managing Director, ebm-papst A&NZ Pty Ltd

Vanessa Sewell-Rosenberg – Talent & Organisation Development Manager, BOC

Rising Star Award

Kate Francis – Civil Engineer, Hyder Consulting

Kate Macfarlane – Product Manager, BOC Limited

Sally Mayberry – Environmental Advisor, Origin Energy

Rachel Hogan – ABB Graduate Program, ABB Australia

Social Leader

Teagan Dowler – Founder, The Blue Collared Woman

Sue Webster – Executive Officer, Agribusiness Gippsland

Jill Follington – Executive Director, Industry Mid North Coast

Samantha Kerr – SCADA, COMMS & Protection Implementation Engineer, Energex

Nicole Borkowsky – Associate Director, CDIF Group

For more information regarding the Women in Industry Awards, including to purchase tickets, please click here.


Henry Sapiecha

Marissa Mayer Of Yahoo Is Highest Paid Female CEO

Here below is a chart showing which women earn how much in big numbers

Marissa Mayer of Yahoo image www.goodgirlsgo (1)

Marissa Mayer of Yahoo was the America’s highest-paid female CEO in 2014. But at $42 million, her total earnings were just a fraction of the highest paid male CEO’s.

Mayer’s total compensation was less than 15 percent of Nick Woodman’s, 2014’s highest-paid male U.S. CEO. Woodman, founder of GoPro, the company that makes those little cameras people attach to their dogs when they leave them home alone, was granted stock units valued at $284.5 million at the end of 2014, according to Bloomberg.

Mayer, 39, was paid $1 million in salary, but if you pair that with her stock and option awards of $11.7 million and $28.2 million, $1.1 million in an incentive pay plan and $28,065 in additional perks, she made a total of $42 million last year, USA Today reported. That’s an increase of 69 percent from her total earnings in 2013, which were $28.6 million. Still, she’d need a raise of $242 million to match Woodman.

There is some silver lining. Though there are still far more male CEOs at S&P 500 companies than female, the average female CEO of an S&P 500 company is paid more than her male counterparts. Mayer is the seventh-highest paid S&P 500 CEO overall.

women ceo wages earnt chart image


Henry Sapiecha


Why women create great places to work

MECCA Brands CEO Jo Horgan image

MECCA Brands CEO Jo Horgan … When it comes to orchestrating a great place to work, women are punching well above their weight. Photo: Scott Barbour

Jo Horgan turns to a sporting analogy to describe her role as founder and chief executive of cosmetics company MECCA Brands. “I seriously consider myself the slave of everybody else in the organisation,” Horgan says. “And my job? You know in curling [there’s] the person who madly shines the ice, to make sure the puck glides straight through? I literally think my job is to do that all the time.”

As a female chief executive, Horgan is in the small minority – only 5 per cent of companies in the ASX 100 have a female CEO. But when it comes to orchestrating a great place to work, women are punching well above their weight. It seems it pays to have a female boss.

Seven of this year’s top 22 places to work are run by management teams dominated by women executives. That include companies with a female-dominated workforces, such as cosmetics brands Estée Lauder and MECCA, and stationery retail chain kikki.K, but also media companies OMD and Mindshare as well as charity Starlight Children’s Foundation.

Anyone looking for big differences between the management style of men and women could be disappointed: the companies with a higher proportion of female executives did not score consistently better on any one aspect of the Best Places to Work survey.

In Horgan’s case, it was her path as an entrepreneur, rather than her gender, which has defined her management style, she insists.

She founded MECCA in her 20s after working for L’Oréal and has always taken a long-term view of the company. Horgan says there have been times in the history of the business where this has led to counter-intuitive choices.

“In 1999 the dollar really plummeted . . . the knee-jerk reaction was to cut staffing,” Horgan says. “Our model is we invest more in staff than any other retailer, any other cosmetic house, any other concept.

“We invest nearly 3 per cent of our entire turnover just on education, which is unheard of. I said [at the time] I do not care if I do not eat, we will not reduce staffing.”

Gender balance affects company culture

But if gender in the executive ranks makes little difference, gender in the staff ranks has a bigger impact. The survey suggests gender balance affects company culture at a deep level, with men and women perceiving the company differently.

Female employees tended to agree more than men that management hires people who fit in well, management has a clear view of where the organisation is going and how to get there, management would lay people off only as a last resort and that people avoid politics and backstabbing as ways to get things done.

Male employees agree more than females that they receive a fair share of the profits made by the organisation and people are paid fairly for the work they do.

Gender also affects the more superficial side of being a great place to work – the perks of the job. For example, while IT companies are famous for office foosball tables and free beer, Estée Lauder offers free monthly massages.

Magda Lategan, the vice-president of human resources for Australia, New Zealand and South Africa at Estée Lauder, says the company is female-dominated and in Australia it is 87 per cent women, in headquarters as well as on the retail floor.

“We don’t go out looking for females but more females would respond to ads because of what it is,” Lategan says. “We see people as equal. We are more female and so some of our practices are biased towards females but if a male came along and asked for [comparable] things, he would receive it as well.”

For example, Estée Lauder offers six weeks of paid parental leave on top of government legislated leave, and both men and women have taken this up.

Flexible working hours

Lategan says the company does not publish flexible hours but in reality, they exist – for example, one of her team members works from home one day a week because of the cost of childcare.

It is a similar story at stationery chain kikki.K. Chief executive Russell Parker says the company is 85 per cent female, with an average age of 25, but that is not planned.

Kikki.K offers flexible hours for working parents who need to drop off and pick up kids, and allows people to work remotely. He believes both the male and female employees want similar things.

Kikki.K does not have a long list of perks – though the company does offer a paid day of leave on the employee’s birthday – and relies more on intrinsic motivation and the culture set by co-founder Kristina Karlsson.

“They want to do something they’re passionate about, they want to do something fulfilling, they want personal growth, they want to be surrounded by a great team that are equally as passionate about their job, they want to be challenged, and they want to have their contributions recognised fairly,” he says.

“Kikki.K was founded on Kristina’s dream of wanting to do something that made her happy to drive to work on a Monday morning – this is really part of our cultural DNA now.”

An example of that culture in practice is the “Above and Beyond” concept. At the end of each day, the retail stores email a report to the general manager of retail to summarise their day. Part of the report requires them to provide an example of when a team member has gone above and beyond for a customer or a colleague. The best examples are published and shared internally.

Women suffer most when things are lacking

While practices like paid parental leave and flexible working hours may be offered to both men and women, there is ample evidence that women suffer most when these things are lacking.

Retail brands tend to have a young workforce, but gender balance is important at senior management level as well. MECCA has a female chief executive and five out of seven senior manager positions are filled by women. Young women may not have families yet, but Leah Mahon, talent acquisition specialist at MECCA, says they are looking for role models who do.

“If you’re a young woman, it’s really inspiring to see other women achieving, having children and returning to work and having fulfilling careers that are influential and make a real difference to the business,” Mahon says.


Henry Sapiecha