In episode 105 Leadership Mojo© I talk with Alison Flemming, (General Manager of Finance for Scentre Group) about bro code from a woman’s perspective.
As a GM in a highly commercial landscape we chat about how:
- diversity comes from within.
- to navigate your way through a male dominated domain.
- to deal with finding your space at work with accountability, integrity, honesty and confidence.
FCA, Advisory Board Member, CAANZ Regional Councillor, NSW Telstra Business Womens Award Finalist 2015 and Executive of the Year 2014, Alison is a proven leader with a passion for delivering results in a collaborative fashion.
With a technical background in accounting and commercial skills Alison’s passion lies in creating organisational value and developing people.
Before her current career in finance, she’s had many finance and management accounting roles, primarily in mining and manufacturing, before coming to Scentre Group almost 11 years ago.
Alison is actively involved in many areas of the corporate diversity policy and I co-ordinate a development group for female leaders.
I firmly believe leaders have a huge ripple-effect on people. I wanted to find out from Alison is how she approaches diversity, empowerment and engagement for females in a male-dominated world.
First up the Lifeaholic – the woman behind the title?
I try and do a lot outside of work, because I’m a big believer in you’ve got to be interested and interesting, and I always worry that I’m going to be that person at a party that’s got nothing to talk about except work”.
I’m often confused as a workaholic, but a “lifeaholic” is a far better description.
I squeeze as much into my life as possible, both personally and professionally. Alongside my job, I enjoy keeping fit, mediation, cooking and I’m a passionate traveller.Alison Flemming
Navigating Brocode – being female in a male dominated sector of finance
Passionate about mentoring and helping people to realise their full potential – Alison has a straight forward approach to leadership that is drive by people and performance combined.
In a perfect world there would be no need to focus on gender.
We don’t have parity in the workplace, and the pace of change is far too slow. But the reality is if you don’t focus on your gender, other people won’t.
- Focus on being the best candidate rather than being the best female candidate. That’s far less important than what you bring to the role.
Be the best person for the job – let your talents shineAlison Flemming
Developing people? What are Alison’s three values she applies at work?
- Lead your team in a way that will generate respect, although she admits she might be difficult to work for because of her extremely high standards.
At the same time, this requires an approach of inclusiveness – to create a fun and learning environment.
- Speak Up: Alison checks in on Role Enjoyment but that requires equal accountability:
“If you’re not enjoying your role, and you don’t like it, please don’t complain to your friends. Come and tell your manager, because they are the best placed person to do something about that, which might be either change your current working environment, or can help change your complete job”.
- High Performance and Shared Intent: Because of headcount restrictions, it may requires a lot from your team.
This requires everybody on the team thinking about all aspects of the work and asking questions, such as:
– does this need to be done
– who is doing it
– what is the real benefit
– is it the best thing to be working on?
As leaders – hire well and with equality.
Choose the best PERSON for the job – to ensure real success and collaboration.
Embrace Learning and development
As adults we responsible for driving our own learning and development, yet many people leave that up to the organisation to drive and then do not get actively involved.
Be Proactive: Depending on corporate training programmes is a lazy approach. Leaving your learning and development in the hands of anybody else is letting yourself down. Research and ask for what is available or what will add skills, value and real growth for your professional and personal development.
Beside formal and professional education, there is a wealth of amazing podcasts, blogs, and journals. We need soundbites to keep us intellectually stimulated.
It’s Tough But Get Out Of Your Own Way…Step Up
I asked Alison if women should say ‘yes’ more often, and if we are more hesitant to accept challenges:
“If you are given an opportunity, say ‘yes’ and figure it out later. Say yes to everything and figure it out later”.
Men will apply for a role if they’ve got two out of the 10 qualifications, and a female will still be doubting herself if she’s got nine out of 10.
We should be much more supportive and encouraging our sisterhood, and say, “Go for it.”
If you’re a female and believe you have these skills and value to add then you also need to put your hand up – don’t just sit and wait for things to happen.
Alison’s final message to sum up the bro code talk is about raising the bar.
Raising the standard, raises your standard.
The standard you walk past is the standard you accept. If more people see things that they don’t like, raise it and talk about it, rather than observing it without doing anything about it.
That’s how small changes that will add up to a large snowball effect.
Key take-aways on the female bro code Leadership Mojo© with Alison:
- Don’t be the person at the party who just talks about work.
- Don’t focus on gender – be the best candidate for the job.
- Be proactive and carve out your career.
- Support your sisters to say ‘Yes!’
- The standard you walk past is the standard you accept.
As always we encourage you to be aware of the hurdles you may face and to come up with a game plan, a program and a big dose of courage to ask yourself what if you couldn’t fail. What would you do?
Sometimes all you need to do is take that first step. Is not to get caught up in the past but to be the beacon of change you would like to see.
- If you need help at all navigating asking for training, how to back yourself or just change your perspective to get the courage to find the right support at work then please reach out.
- If you also feel you are constantly being knocked back and have repeatedly tried to go for a role that you absolutely professionally deserve and can commit to then we’d love to hear from you. How can we help with some tips to ensure you have done the work, know your skills, always say yes and are willing to give something new a go.
Yours in Mojo and please reach out if this subject resonates and you feel you need a boost of confidence and tips to get into the drivers seat at work and at life.
For more on Alison and to connect hop onto her LinkedIn Profile.
For Nikki’s corporate Leadership and Management Mojo© programs on blending personal and commercial success. Designed for high performing teams that connect and contribute. Please contact us or email firstname.lastname@example.org.