In the fourth part of our blog series on women in leadership we spoke to 100 Women member, Katie Voss, the Community Development Manager for WA at Beyond Bank.
Can you please give us a brief overview of your background, current role/business?
I am originally from California and started my professional career as a teacher. After returning to school to study International Relations at the London School of Economics, I met my now-husband who was born and raised in Perth. For the first three years in Perth, I worked in the not-for-profit sector and moved to the private sector and Beyond Bank just over a year ago. I am now the Community Development Manager for WA, managing Beyond Bank’s partnerships with not-for-profits across the state.
What do you think is the most significant barrier to female leadership?
Unfortunately, I think this can often be ourselves. For instance, we are the first ones to take our proverbial foot off the career gas pedal when we’re considering starting a family, failing to ‘lean in’ when it matters most, and taking ourselves away from the leadership table too early.
What leadership skills do you think all women should learn?
I think one of the most impressive skills I’ve observed in women leaders whom I admire is informed assertiveness—knowing when to stand your ground, and when to admit you might be wrong or need more information. It’s a skill that’s useful in everything from people leadership to negotiating and strategic planning, and I will be the first to admit I don’t use it enough. Call me a work in progress!
What company/area of government etc would you like to see a female leading?
Well another female PM is an achievable goal I think! Aside from the top job, I would personally love to see more women leading financial institutions across the country. Mostly, I feel the stories of our current female leaders need to be told more often and with a bit more urgency. We should be celebrating these women trailblazers while also encouraging and inspiring the next generation of female leaders.
What do you think would change if more women were leaders?
It might sound a bit simplistic but I think our world would be more compassionate. Women have been proven to be more empathetic and to more readily engage their EQ in personal and professional situations. In a world that is currently filled with a lot of hate and fear, having more female leaders could go a long way in increasing our care for and about our world as a whole.