Women in Leadership Q&A with Tracey Spicer
We were lucky enough to speak to Tracey Spicer before our milestone 25th Women in Leadership & Management Summit. Take a look!
By Jack Nodding, 31 July, 2019
Real-life leadership insights. Practical advice for career progression. A room full of aspiring professional women and accomplished leaders, sharing their stories and making new connections.
These are the ingredients that made our milestone 25th Women in Leadership & Management Summit extra special - and we’re still glowing after an incredible experience!
We were lucky enough to have Tracey Spicer AM join us as our VIP keynote speaker, whose empowering message stands as one of the summit highlights.
Tracey has been working for the past 30 years as a journalist, author and broadcaster, having anchored programs for ABC TV, Network Ten, Channel 9, Sky News and Radio 2UE, and written hundreds of columns for Fairfax and News Corp.
Renowned for the courage of her convictions, passion for social justice, and commitment to equality, Tracey’s refreshing outlook on life and leadership will leave you feeling inspired and empowered.
In addition to an incredible presentation, we were also lucky enough to chat with Tracey before the summit, where she offered a few pearls of wisdom for women on the hunt for inspiration.
So if you need an encouraging boost or want to learn a little more about Tracey - take a look at our interview below!
Do you have any personal achievement stories/campaigns that you feel most proud to have been involved with?
The greatest highlights of my career have been the documentaries on the rights of women and girls in India, Uganda, Kenya and Bangladesh. I had the privilege of both producing and presenting stories in conjunction with ActionAid and World Vision. These experiences opened my eyes to the spectrum of inequality and informed much of the work I've done on the #metoo movement, spearheading this campaign in Australia from October 2017 to June last year.
What are some of the significant turning points and memorable moments of your career?
Funnily enough, one of my biggest roadblocks became a breakthrough moment in my career. When I was sacked by email weeks after returning from maternity leave back in 2006, I had a choice: either sign a press release that said I'd left for 'family reasons', or take action against the network. I chose to fight. This experience taught me great resilience and allowed me to broaden my skill set to create a portfolio career across all mediums, which thrives to this day.
What pieces of work/achievements do you feel most reflect you?
My book, The Good Girl Stripped Bare, and TEDx Talk, The Lady Stripped Bare, reveal the real me, warts and all!
Do you have any mentors or personal heroes? What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
My greatest hero is my Mum, Marcia. She was quite the workplace trailblazer, as the first female courier driver in Queensland. The newspaper greeted this achievement with the headline: "Who would have thought? Women can drive after all!"
What gets you out of bed in the morning? (Besides coffee!)
My beautiful family. Hubby and the kids - 13-year-old Grace and 14-year-old Taj - are the lights of my life.
Which topics get too much and too little attention in the media?
Violence and sexual assault affecting women and girls in Indigenous communities. The #metoo movement has shone a light on many stories, but marginalised communities are too often forgotten by the mainstream media.
Which women inspire you and why?
All women! We each have our own challenges and joys, but our shared experiences bind us together. I find immense happiness in the sisterhood.
What's the most career-changing advice you've ever received?
Ask for what you're worth. For too long, I undervalued my abilities.
What is the main advice that you would give to the next generation of female leaders?
Call out inappropriate behaviour and find allies to tear down the structures holding women back.
If you had to start from scratch knowing what you do now, what (if anything) would you do differently?
I would have stood up for myself earlier!
What does true gender equality look like to you?
I prefer to talk about equity rather than equality. That means some people need a helping hand, because they are beginning from behind. More broadly, true equality means women having equal power to men in the home, workplace, and society.
If you could write one new law that everyone had to obey, what would it be?
Show respect to each other. All problematic workplace cultures flourish because of a basic lack of respect.
What is your next goal?
I'd like to write a book about the intersection of gender and AI.
What is the key takeaway that you want people to get from the WIL event?
To fight the good fight, while caring for themselves.
What are your top 5 book recommendations?
The Hate Race - Maxine Beneba Clarke.
Accidental Feminists - Jane Caro
Bossy Pants - Tina Fey
Breaking Badly - Georgina Dent
Boy Swallows Universe - Trent Dalton
Do you have a mantra?
Go hard or go home.
What does leadership mean to you?
Following your heart, being your authentic self, and embracing your courage.
What strategies do you use to achieve work-life balance?
Lots of walking the dog, pilates and paddle boarding!