The Next Frontier of Women’s Leadership

July 14th, 2019

The fields of medicine, engineering, sport and politics have traditionally been male-dominated – especially in senior roles – but more women are breaking through those glass ceilings.

For our latest event, Spence Club brought together four trailblazing South Australian female leaders to share their insights on surviving and thriving in industries where women at the top can be rare.

Surgeon Jan Tomlinson, engineering firm manager Van Tang and sporting boss Bronwyn Klei joined our MC, Labor MP Katrine Hildyard, for a panel discussion at Adelaide’s chic Electra House on a chilly winter evening.

Their main takeaway? We need more women visible in professional roles and succeeding at all levels. If you’re good, you deserve to be there and your voice should be heard – so speak up!

L-R: Spence Club Chair Genevieve Lewis, Deputy Chair Megan Down, MC Katrine Hildyard and panel members Jan Tomlinson, Bronwyn Klei and Van Tang.

Dr Jan Tomlinson was one of the first female orthopaedic surgeons in South Australia.  Her advice to medical students was to “find your own path and work at your own pace” in an industry known for its demanding workloads.

Van Tang, manager at engineering firm GHD SA, urged us to recognise the power of learning from others, by seeking out mentors or coaches. She also reminded Spence Ladies to take the time to analyse things that might go wrong to see how we can improve.

Bronwyn Klei is the current CEO of Netball SA, arriving after 8 years as general manager of the Adelaide Strikers. She encouraged attendees to surround themselves with people who won’t be threatened by your success but will, instead, celebrate it. “If you’re in the room you’re good enough to be there,” she said.

Thanks to sponsorship by recruitment firm EGM Partners, Spence members and their plus-ones shared drinks and nibbles as they networked before hearing from the panel.

Keep an eye on our website, FacebookTwitterLinkedIn and Instagram for details about upcoming events in August, October and November. If you’re not already in the Club, join us now to access discounted ticket prices.

-Lauren Novak