As we continue to push towards an equal future, more and more women are becoming leading figures for those around them, as well as younger women just starting their careers. And B&T thinks it’s time we shone a light on these industry power women.
So, in the lead up to our annual Women in Media Awards this August, we’ve created a Women in Media Series!
Our last inspiring women in media was Jocelyn Hunter from BENCH PR, and now it’s time for you to meet Sarah Connelly, who is the brain behind the Product of the Year Australia (POY) awards!
What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Always try and take the time to weigh up the effort that needs to go in versus the reward. I aim to apply this to everything in my life, business, relationships, parenting and exercise!
What women do you find inspiring?
My mum was the most inspiring woman to me.
She worked from home as a computer programmer in the 70’s and 80’s which was unheard of in those days. She earnt lots but was also there for us growing up. She inspired me to aim to always be self-sufficient, never rely on a man to pay the bills, have kids later in life and travel.
I am also inspired by my business manager Rosanna who has the most extraordinary work ethic and persistence I have ever seen. She is of a generation of people who really value their role and take real pride in their work.
What annoys you about the industry?
I get frustrated when I hear of good products failing due to the inability to make a profit with the retailer margins. It’s so hard for many brands to remain on shelf and this is limiting our choices as consumers.
What’s the hardest lesson you’ve learnt in or out of the workforce?
You only ever have control over yourself.
What’s your proudest professional moment?
Walking off stage in 2009 at our first award night after speaking to a crowd of people I was absolutely terrified of.
What’s the most exciting thing about women working in senior leadership roles?
For me it’s two things, firstly the connections and the camaraderie that comes from knowing we are all in similar boats facing similar challenges.
I also find it exciting that young girls planning their careers see more and more women in these roles and it will seem completely achievable to them when they look to the future.
What advice would you give to young aspiring women?
Stay connected to what is important to you and be as authentic as you can be. Like attracts like, so try to be very clear on who you are and who you want to be (meditation has been a great help to me).
Surround yourself with supporters and give freely of your time to help others. Everything comes back to you.
Most importantly have fun, it’s a cliché, but life is short!
Why are women vital to your industry?
I think women are vital in all industries. I don’t think a business can reach its full potential without having both male and female influences.
In terms of my industry it is generally women who we focus on as they are most often the key decision makers on most household purchases, so awareness of how we think and empathy for our challenges definitely helps.