Leigh Zimmerlie is fond of a quote by former prime minister Julia Gillard: always believe you are an equal and that you can have equal aspirations to men.
Leigh Zimmerlie is fond of a quote by former prime minister Julia Gillard: always believe you are an equal and that you can have equal aspirations to men.

Q&A with some of Gladstone's women leaders

WITH International Women's Day just around the corner, we thought it was high time to catch up with some of Gladstone's female leaders to get their take on where women are at, in today's workforce.

LEIGH ZIMMERLIE is chief executive officer of Gladstone Area Group Apprentices and Trainees, she's also chair of Gladstone Area Promotion and Development Ltd and was previously a retail banking executive.

How have times changed since you began your career?

Back then I never thought I'd get to where I am. (As a woman) you were the tea and tidy person.

(Nowadays) young women are smashing glass ceilings. We've got young women fitter and turners and boiler makers, these girls are winning awards it's fantastic.

We were always the secretaries never the bosses.

ADRIENNE WARD has been chair of Gladstone Airport Corporation since September, 2016, She's also ambassador for the Women in Business award, which will become open to Gladstone women later this year.

To what extent do you feel gender has been a factor in your career?

I don't actually think it's about male or female. For me it's about your ability and hard work.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's recent trip to Australia sparked a debate in the media about whether media questions about Ardern's fertility cycle were appropriate. Was this a storm in a teacup?

In my mind, elected representatives put themselves out there to have something printed about them. It's what the media does.

I think I'm more like (Ardern) you take it all with a grain of salt. It happens on both sides.

I'd like to see the media be a little more circumspect about what they write though.

CARLI HOMANN is chief executive officer of Gladstone Engineering Alliance.

How have you navigated the fine line between assertiveness and aggressiveness that women are said to walk?

It's a very difficult one. If we're tough we definitely get branded a specific name.

Sometimes decisions come with a brand or name attached to it because you have to be assertive.

Are men the bad guys here?

For me, it's not the other gender that's the issue, it's women not supporting women.

How do we expect others to take us seriously if sometimes we don't take each other seriously?

You don't see the men carrying on like pork chops. Why are we like that? Why don't we just support each other?

Don't miss Women's Day Zonta breakfast Sunday February 11 at Yaralla Events Centre @ 8.30am

Emilia Dauway, Gladstone based surgeon will be guest speaker.



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