Doctor, Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Lifemum Medical Ambassador, Businesswoman
I’d name my autobiography: ‘Women, Vaginas and Success’! It’s the working title of a book I started writing a couple of years ago. It’s semi-autobiographical and focuses on the stories of the women and families I’ve cared for. I figured it would fly off the shelves with that title!
To me success means: Achieving a goal. I’m very goal driven, if I have a goal and reach it, that to me is success. The trick is to ensure I have the right goal in the first place.
My most treasured possession: My two gorgeous daughters, of course, although I realise they are now independent young women and definitely not possessed by anyone. So, I would say a beautiful ruby and diamond ring given to me by my Mum. She was going to leave it to me in her will, but I was going through a tough time and she gave it to me during a visit to New Zealand.
The gender stereotype I can’t stand: Assuming that women are ditzy. As a short blonde, I have had a fair bit of that in the past.
Best advice I’ve been given was: I have two! 1) From my Mum: Treat everyone the way that you would want to be treated. This has stood me in great stead over the years and really allows me to always check I am being compassionate. 2) Always keep your cool, even when others around you are panicking, which is important if you are ‘the boss’. As soon as the boss panics, everyone’s performance suffers – and that’s not good in an operating theatre.
Biggest ‘pinch me’ moment: When I got accepted to medical school.
I made my first dollar: Working as a waitress in my local coffee shop, age 14.
Biggest frustration for women in the business world: Women who have children are still treated badly. On maternity leave they are forgotten, and on their return there is often a perception they will have changed and won’t want the opportunities they would have previously been offered.
In five years’ time, I see myself: Still busy in medicine and business. I’m passionate about helping all women access quality maternity care, which is why I developed the Lifemum range. So I’m aiming to continue that mission – and hopefully I’ll have finished writing that book by then, too!
Life motto: Grab every opportunity life throws at you if it excites you. Also, ignore the doubters.
Favourite book: The Bone People by Keri Hulme.
Signature scent: J’adore by Christian Dior.
Movie with the best ending: Some Like It Hot, starring Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis. I was introduced to this film as a teenager and it’s still one of my all-time faves – I can watch it over and over.
The women who inspire me: My Mum, Nobel Laureate Malala Yousafzai, and the #MeToo whistleblowers.
I believe we can make a change to gender diversity: By ensuring gender diversity in business at C-Suite level and on boards. It’s right and also good for business – it’s been shown to increase a company’s profitability.
The biggest change I would like to see in the world in 2018: Peace, though I realise it’s not likely. Wouldn’t it be amazing though if all the conflicts in the world were resolved? Women usually suffer the most in conflict.
I believe pay equity is important: Because people should be paid the same for doing the same job, regardless of gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation or disability. This allows society to see that everyone is valued.