Master of ceremonies Donna Meredith shares her insights ahead of annual event, 6 November.
Master of ceremonies Donna Meredith shares her insights ahead of annual event, 6 November.

Conference to focus on inclusive leadership

The 27th Annual Women, Management and Work Conference (WMWC) hosted by Macquarie is shaping up to be yet another successful event. This year’s conference will be held on 6 November at the Four Seasons Hotel in the CBD and is open to anyone wanting to learn more about ‘The Power of Inclusive Leadership through Collaboration’.

Program highlights include interactive masterclasses, networking opportunities and engaging speakers, including Master of Ceremonies Donna Meredith, MD, Keystone Corporate Positioning and Principal, Interaction Associates Australasia.

Since co-founding Keystone in 1997 Donna Meredith and her team have designed and managed strategic brand, marketing and cultural change projects for more than 300 organisations both within Australia and overseas, and also provided specialist consultancy services to airlines and tourism organisations nationally and internationally on aviation, digital and distribution issues. In 2011 she became Principal of global leadership company Interaction Associates’ operations in Australasia.

We asked Donna about her life as a corporate leader, what advice she has for others, and how she continues to grow and learn.

What characteristics do you believe every leader should possess?
Today’s challenges and opportunities call for an expanded model of leadership – leaders must tap into the power of participation! Facilitative leaders empower people to work together to achieve a common goal by making it easier for their people to share responsibility for success, contribute their ideas and expertise, speak up when they have problems, take the initiative, work with others and make decisions.

What is your advice to someone looking to become a better leader?
Being a better leader is all about behaviour. While people can’t always tell what you are thinking, they can see what you are doing. Invest in your own development so that you are able to model three critical and related behavioural attributes consistently: being strategic, being collaborative, and being receptive and flexible.

What motto guides or motivates you in your career?
I’ve had a number of thoughts, sayings and ideas that have motivated me throughout my career, and I find they often involve themes of optimism and hope. It’s my belief that being positive, hopeful and optimistic (coupled with hard work, great colleagues, and yes, a little luck) have been the driving forces of my career.

What are you doing to ensure you continue to grow and develop as a leader?
In the same way that you must innovate in business, you need to innovate within yourself. I try to constantly be aware of how much I can learn from others. I am fortunate to have colleagues, mentors, friends and most of all, family, who challenge and support me in equal measure. That allows me to never get too comfortable and to always want to be ‘more’.

Event details
When: Friday 6 November
Time: 8am – 5.45pm (followed by cocktails and Gala Conference Dinner hosted by Professor S Bruce Dowton, Vice-Chancellor)
Where: Four Seasons Hotel Sydney

The conference is most relevant to mid to senior level academic and professional staff. University staff will receive a special registration rate of $852 excl. GST (a 25% discount) by selecting the Registration Type – “Macquarie University Staff”. Registration closes 26 October.

Tickets are available now. See the full list of speakers.