Where are you in your career and what are you working on at the moment?

I’m currently the Consumer Interaction Manager at Beiersdorf Australia (think NIVEA). I manage a team who looks after our consumers in Australia and New Zealand. I’ve been with the company for ten years and have really enjoyed the opportunities I’ve had until now and which I continue to have. I also help people make the right decisions with their skincare regime, like a NIVEA Skin Care Expert. Outside work, I’m a dancer and enjoy sharing my knowledge and skills to help others. Seeing someone achieve something they didn’t think was possible is such a wonderful thing.

I’m at a life stage where I wanted to give back to the community. Through NIVEA’s partnership with SISTER2Sister I’ve known about the program for a long time – this year was the right year to get involved on a more personal level.

What are some of the challenges in your industry?

The ever-changing face of the digital sphere and social media is a challenge and also an opportunity for business today. When used in the right way love and kindness can be shared, but, unfortunately, its often used for hate. Social media has also increased the number of potential avenues people can use to reach out to businesses.

Have you had any experience with mentoring women or being mentored by women? What was that experience like for you? How did you feel that it benefited you?

My first experience with mentoring was as a mentee. I learned a lot through that experience, even though it wasn’t always positive. Maybe it was the choice of person but, over time, I found the mentor was intimidated by my potential and didn’t give me opportunities to grow. I can see that now I am away from the situation, but it was hard at the time.

As a mentor, I’ve been fortunate enough to be a part of the SISTER2Sister program and I currently mentor a wonderful teenage girl. I’ve learned that, unless the purpose of the mentorship is specific to a career, you really don’t need to have much experience at all. An open heart and an open mind go a long way. I have gained and been inspired by so much through this experience and learnt a lot about myself too. I hope my Little Sister would say the same. My tips for how to be an effective mentor include:

  • Keeping an open mind
  • Staying non-judgemental
  • Nurturing and role modeling resilience and determination
  • Be there. Sometimes a mentee just needs to know someone is there for them, no matter what
  • Being genuine
  • Its powerful
  • Understanding that support for another person is more than giving advice
How important do you think it is to have a strong female role model in your life?

Having a strong female role model is extremely important, especially when girls lack a positive female role model. Through mentoring you have the ability to be a trusted person outside someone’s bubble that can help them with their truth. Helping girls make decisions about the women they want to be for no one else but for themselves is a special place to be. Mentoring is also not just about giving. As a mentor you also have great opportunities to learn yourself.

How important do you think it is to have a strong female role model in your life?

I believe its powerful and helpful to have a strong female role model. The strongest female role model I had in my life was my mum. I love her and owe her so much. I also believe role models can come in different shapes and forms and for different reasons. For example, aspects of my friends inspire me. Part of the challenge in finding a strong female role model is finding what speaks to you. I think back to one of the outings we had with the SISTER2Sister program where a past Little Sister made a huge impact on me. She showed me that role modeling has nothing to do with age. This young woman had taken her life in both hands and forged a path for herself out of difficult circumstances. It was inspiring to see her talk about that.

“Women should be helping the next generation to get ahead. I always thought that if women could help other women without ego and competition then the world would be a better place.”