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International Women’s Day: Interview with the Women of Pattern Australia

By Kate Ryan / Australia

With International Women’s Day just around the corner, it’s an important time to celebrate the achievements of the women around us and the path that was forged by the women before us. It’s about challenging the status quo within the industry and bringing awareness to important issues faced by women around the world.

In this article, we’re shedding some light on a few of the amazing, #GameChanger women here at Pattern Australia, who strive for greatness every day and whose stories continue to build the foundation for the next generation of women in the workplace.

Tania Knight

Tania Knight | Principal Consultant

Fun Fact: I’m a new gardener, learning a lot about growing food at home and at the local community garden.

What Does International Women’s Day Mean to You?

It’s a wonderful opportunity to celebrate and shine a light on the achievements of women and the bravery of those who give women a voice when they don’t have one and demand change.

Why Do You Think Diversity in The Workplace is So Important?

Everyone has something to offer, and diversity inspires us to think and approach things in different ways which is what innovation is all about.

What is the Most Important Piece of Advice You Have Been Given?

This advice has been given to me in one way or another via several mentors and teachers and can be applied to anything, “The only difference between you and the people who are doing it is that they are doing it.”

Joanna Slater

Joanna Slater | Senior Consultant

Fun Fact: During lockdown I cleared out my shoe collection - donated 34 pairs to charity, now I only have enough to wear a different pair each day for 15 weeks

What Does International Women’s Day Mean to You?

It’s a day where we can take some time to acknowledge and celebrate the incredible role that women play in the world today – their contribution to the social, economic and cultural strength of our society. It’s also a time when the plight of women in many parts of the world, where they are treated as second class citizens simply based on their gender, can be highlighted internationally.

Why Do You Think Diversity in The Workplace is So Important?

Diversity can produce a wider range of skills, competencies and new ways to approach a problem. It increases a company’s skill set and base of knowledge while fostering creativity and innovation.

What is the Most Important Piece of Advice You Have Been Given?

The absolute importance of women having economic independence. Never, ever lose your ability to earn an income and provide for yourself and your family. Giving away your economic power means losing your freedoms. A man is not a financial plan!

Stefanie Carniato

Stefanie Carniato | Client Partner

Fun Fact: When I was turning 30, I embarked on a little adventure where I travelled the world knocking on 30 doors, that were the number 30 before I turned 30. I collected stories of the people behind each door, from Bali to my family’s village in Italy, Turkey, Ireland and more.

I was blown away by people’s kindness and trust in me, a stranger, being welcomed into their homes and hearing about their life. One of the greatest adventures I’ve ever been on, and there’s certainly been a few!

What Does International Women’s Day Mean to You?

IWD to me is an amazing time to celebrate the strong women that have paved the way for our growth, allowing us the space to step up and lead, and do so courageously whilst also understanding there is a way to go in building the future for the women who follow in our footsteps.

I come from a family of strong, remarkable women and have been mentored by incredible female leaders. I dedicate my success to them and hope that I too can inspire future generations of female leaders.

Why Do You Think Diversity in The Workplace is So Important?

Everyone has a special something to add to every workplace and every occasion. Diversity in the workplace allows for the curiosity of thought and innovation to continue moving forward in all aspects.

What is the Most Important Piece of Advice You Have Been Given?

I’ve received so much incredible advice over the years. I think one that really stands out is “Trust your gut, believe in yourself and go for it.” To believe in yourself and trust your instincts is so important in both a professional and personal sense. It doesn’t always come easy, but I think reminding yourself that you are more capable than you will ever know helps to remove those little niggles of fear that we can often feel and just keep moving forward. It doesn’t have to be perfect; it just has to be progress.

Kathryn Coleman

Kathryn Coleman | Head of Customer Marketing

Fun Fact: I’m real estate obsessed! Reading the Domain Magazine in the Saturday paper with a coffee in hand is my favourite thing to do.

What Does International Women’s Day Mean to You?

Taking a moment to stop and think about the women in your life, and the impact they make or have made on who you are as a person. This might involve mother figures, siblings and family members who support you through the hard times, your girlfriends who are always wine ready or the inspirational women in your workplace who motivate and encourage you to celebrate your successes, fight for your voice or develop you into better professionals.

IWD shows us how important it is to support women in everything they want to/need to do these days. Pattern (and Merline) are phenomenal at supporting working mums and trying to be flexible to allow us to ‘have it all.’ I never understood, until I had kids, how difficult it is, and that there is never downtime and you’re constantly trying to keep your family and career afloat and your mental health in check – it’s a lot - and I think International Women’s Day is a reflection on what we’re all trying to do these days.

Why Do You Think Diversity in The Workplace is So Important?

I’ve always worked in retail and fashion lead businesses and so have been fortunate enough to work with some incredible women along the way who make up gender-diverse workplaces. Diversity in a workplace looks like a lot of different things – but having women sitting at the top table brings a different perspective across all areas of business.

Although I have experienced gender discrimination in the past, I cannot recall ever feeling like this in a workplace which I’m thankful for. I believe we’ve come a long way in society where this is happening less and less, but also, women are feeling more empowered to stand up for what they believe in and are passionate about – and they’re being heard. We’re not 100% of the way there, but I do like to think it’s improving.

What is the Most Important Piece of Advice You Have Been Given?

I’m sure I’ve received a lot of advice over the years, and I cannot recall one line that stands out. Instead, I’ve learned from those around me by observing, being managed and mentored which has shaped the professional person I am today. My advice would be around taking the time to be interested, learn about everything you can and learn about people – how to get the most out of them both personally and professionally and adapt your approach to everyone.

Simran Kaur

Simran Kaur | Social Media Department Manager

Fun Fact: When the weather forecast says 30% rain, it doesn’t mean that there is a 30% chance of rain, but that 30% of the area will see rain. So technically it will 100% rain.

What Does International Women’s Day Mean to You?

It’s a step in the right direction to recognise equality and bring forward change. I don’t think we’re 100% there yet, but we’ve made leaps and bounds. Slow and steady wins the race!

Why Do You Think Diversity in The Workplace is So Important?

The world is a diverse place, and we live in it, so the workplace shouldn’t be an exception to that. The more exposure you get to diversity the more you learn, grow, and develop as a person.

What is the Most Important Piece of Advice You Have Been Given?

One piece of advice someone gave me was “have confidence in my worth and my work”. That completely changed my outlook at work and made a huge difference in my development and progression.

Katie Mckelvie

Katie Mckelvie | SEO & Analytics Department Director

Fun Fact: I play competitive dodgeball!

What Does International Women’s Day Mean to You?

It’s a day to celebrate the women in our lives as well as take stock of where we are culturally. Looking at issues, like how we can better support women in the workplace and make it easier for working parents to get that work-life balance.

Why Do You Think Diversity in The Workplace is So Important?

Diversity brings new perspectives and experiences to the table that can help make our insights more nuanced. Diversity is also broader than gender alone, encompassing other aspects, like ability, race and class. As Australia continues to become a more diverse place, we can benefit from all these different lived experiences.

What is the Most Important Piece of Advice You Have Been Given?

I always remember someone telling me the Maya Angelou quote “people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”. It resonated with me and it’s something I try to keep in mind when I’m interacting with people in the workplace and beyond!

Discover more about what we do here at Pattern Australia or contact us to find out how we can assist your business.

More Resources
Australian Ecommerce Benchmark Report January 2022