Inspirational women are all around us, leading the way for others. And B&T doesn’t think it’s right that some of these women aren’t recognised for their achievements. Which is why we’ve created a Women in Media series!
This series is to celebrate the launch of our annual Women in Media Awards which, come August, will champion some well-deserving women from our industry.
Earlier this week, we spoke to Lauren Nicole from Lauren Nicole PR – so it’s only fitting that our next profile was another female founder! Susannah George is the founder and CEO of The Urban List, and is pretty damn inspiring.
What was the best advice you were ever given?
“Hire the talent for where you’re going; not where you are today.”
This has been one of the scariest and most rewarding pieces of advice I’ve been given, and it has definitely put me in some tough spots at times. (We’re independently owned, so extending yourself to the financial limits is quite high risk!)
That said, our commitment to finding and developing top talent has been the biggest contributor to both our culture and our growth.
“We bring the best. Always, in all ways.” is one of our company values and it’s just so evident in our people. We have a culture that is equal parts passion and performance, and this combo has empowered our people to build The Urban List into one of Australia’s most influential lifestyle brands in just 6 years.
What’s your proudest professional moment?
Welcoming a room of incredible women to lunch with The Urban List at the Opera House for International Women’s Day.
It was a total goose bumps moment, greeting our guests, recognising that power of such an outstanding room of women (well, mostly women!), and recognising that this little dream of mine – started from my bedroom – had actually become the country’s second largest independent media brand. (And, for the record the largest is also female-founded: Mamamia. Go girls!)
More importantly, though, it took this moment for me to take a step back and realise that in fulfilling some of my dreams, I’d actually delivered on something much bigger.
The Urban List was always intended “to empower people to create a life they love” – that’s our mission – and seeing that come to life was a total career highlight.
It took the congratulatory words and hugs of other women in order for me to recognise that The Urban List has truly become a platform that empowers millions of others to realise their own hopes, dreams and goals – whether it be as simple as brightening weekends with a list of things that make them love their city; or as big as providing the travel inspo that leads them to take the leap, and travel solo for the trip of a lifetime.
And the best part of the day was being able to donate the proceeds to an organisation that’s very close to many team members’ hearts – Dress For Success – dedicated to ensuring the financial independence of all Australian women.
Oh lord. Ask my wife?
What women do you find inspiring?
Women who are extremely passionate about what they do; who commit to their fullest; and who are willing to share their time and experiences to support others’ success.
I’m a big fan of storytelling over advice, and I will be forever grateful to those people – male and female – who have shared stories of their own journeys and saved me from some serious mistakes along the way.
When I was pregnant with our second child, I had an addiction to left-over Easter chocolate which was being consumed before nine am on the daily. (Not particularly on-brand chocolate, might I add. The really sugary, coats-the-roof-of-your-mouth kind!)
What would be your ultimate role?
To be honest with you, I’m doing it. I spend my days collaborating with all-stars who challenge and push me to be at my best. And by challenge, I mean it in the greatest sense. I am always running at a sprint to keep up with these guys and make sure that I am the leader that they need me to be!
I’m also working toward a dream that is intended to move others to live a life they love; a life that inspires them. And every time I hear from our audience, or from a local business owner, or from a team member that we’ve made a difference in their journey, it confirms that all the late nights, and early flights, and time away from my family will be worth it in the long run.
What advice would you give to young aspiring women?
Authenticity is a word often thrown around in our industry, but it’s an ethos that has been with The Urban List from the beginning. Be authentic, be brave and don’t get in your own way.
And when it comes to launching new ventures, don’t get caught up building the shiniest, most perfect version of your idea. As the poster in Sheryl Sandberg’s office reads: “Done is better than perfect.” Amen.
Why are women vital to your industry?
I think women are vital to every industry, bringing diversity of perspective, enabling new solutions and ideas and empowering new leaders to shine.