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

Kate Ryan

February 15, 2023

International Women’s Day- Interview with the Women of Pattern 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.

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Merline McGregor | General Manager

1. What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

To me, IWD gives us a moment to reflect on how far women have come in their pursuit of equality and recognition of the contribution we have made to create the very fabric of our society. So much of our contribution remains unseen, hopefully, this day gives us all pause to consider how we can make today and tomorrow a more equal place for all of us.

2. What does the IWD 2023 theme #EmbraceEquity mean to you?

I believe #embraceequity means creating environments and spaces that allow everyone to realise their full potential. So much energy is wasted conforming to outdated social norms of how people of all genders and races should behave. We need to focus more on ensuring that the people around us feel safe, accepted and energised to be the best possible version of themselves.

3. What is the most important piece of advice you have been given?

Two pieces of advice I have taken to heart during my career:

1. Lead at every level – so many people think that they need to wait to be told what to do, or how they should act. Everyone can act like a leader, no matter what position they occupy within an organisation.

2. Look after those around you and treat them with integrity and respect. How you treat people in both your personal and professional life is an excellent indicator of how you do business, and reveals whether you are motivated by self-interest or something greater than the individual.

tania

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.

1. 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.

2. What does the IWD 2023 theme #EmbraceEquity mean to you?

For me, #embraceequity is all about celebrating what each of us brings to the table and continuing to work on breaking down the biases and systemic conditions that get in the way of equality and inclusivity.

3. 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.”

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Cassie White | Social Media Manager

Fun Fact: I’ve wanted to work in the media industry in one form or another since I was 12 years old! I only strayed briefly at 13 when I decided I would be a marine biologist.

1. What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

It’s a day to showcase the amazing work women do every day and recognise their achievements.

2. What does the IWD 2023 theme #EmbraceEquity mean to you?

We will never have true equality if we don’t embrace equity. No two people have the same start in life, and we need to recognise that fact and support people (not only women) so we can level out the playing field and see diversity in the workforce.

3. What is the most important piece of advice you have been given?

View challenges as opportunities – don’t get caught up in the mistakes or difficult times, making mistakes or challenging ourselves is how we learn and grow.

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Kate Muller | SEO Manager

Fun Fact: I like to cross stitch in my free time, and often create humorous or inspirational designs.

1. What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

International Women’s Day is a chance to celebrate women from all walks of life, who are achieving amazing things in all spaces – business, social activism, global activism and more. It’s a time to acknowledge and highlight the women who have paved the way for the rest of us to succeed.

2. What does the IWD 2023 theme #EmbraceEquity mean to you?

Equity is such an important concept because it ensures that everyone is on the same level and has access to the tools and support required to achieve their goals, based on their specific situation.

3. What is the most important piece of advice you have been given?

Believe in and trust yourself – you’re the one who best understands your own capabilities and your own limits.

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Christine Andriotakis | CRM & Ecommerce Consultant

Fun Fact: In 2022 I grew a green thumb! Despite not having a garden or balcony, I love planting and experimenting with different herb varieties on my kitchen window. I’ve found it surprisingly challenging and have learnt so much along the way, mostly through trial and error.

1. What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

International Women’s Day is a day to recognise and celebrate the achievements of women globally and the power of womanhood. It also reminds me that women have a long way to go and of the issues they face which are preventing gender equality like sexism, violence, income inequality and discrimination.

2. What does the IWD 2023 theme #EmbraceEquity mean to you?

#EmbraceEquity means to call out gender stereotypes and condemn discrimination in all aspects of life – whether it be in the workplace, classroom or with friends and family. It’s about embracing inclusion and diversity and educating people on the work that is required to achieve gender equality.

3. What is the most important piece of advice you have been given? 

Remind yourself of what you can do, rather than what you can’t. Be confident in yourself and your ability to make positive changes and impact others. Surround yourself with inspiring people who will support and challenge you on both a personal and professional level.

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Bethany Carr | Social Account Manager

Fun Fact: I am a huge Shania Twain fan! She gets a top 3 spot in my Spotify wrapped every year.

1. What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

To me, it’s a reminder of the importance of continuing to promote gender equality and advocating for the rights of women. One great example of how far we still have to go is that due to the gender pay gap and being more likely to have a career break to raise children, women retire with 42% less super than men.

2. What does the IWD 2023 theme #EmbraceEquity mean to you?

“Embrace Equity,” speaks to the idea that equity is essential, we can’t just focus on equality because women aren’t starting from the same place as men. It means that we need to recognise and address the systemic barriers and biases that prevent women and girls from reaching their full potential.

3. What is the most important piece of advice you have been given? 

I love the quote, “Don’t play a supporting role in your own life”. It’s a powerful reminder that we have the power to shape our own experiences and outcomes. It always encourages me to be proactive in pursuing my goals and dreams, rather than being passive and waiting for life to happen to me.

Stefanie

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!

1. 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.

2. What does the IWD 2023 theme #EmbraceEquity mean to you?

For me, #EmbraceEquity opens us up to the opportunity to listen, support and drive success, both in our personal and professional lives for inclusion, diversity and meaningful change for all.

3. 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.

Sim

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.

1. 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!

2. What does the IWD 2023 theme #EmbraceEquity mean to you?

This year’s IWD theme #embraceequity is something that feels so easy to achieve, but still so out of reach. To me, it’s another call for tearing down the gender inequalities across both women and men. Equality for all!

3. 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.

Kathryn Mckelvie

Katie Mckelvie | SEO & Analytics Department Director

Fun Fact:  I play competitive dodgeball! My fun fact is still the same as last year but we’re in a new league!

1. 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.

2. What does the IWD 2023 theme #EmbraceEquity mean to you?

I think we’re at a really interesting turning point where there is a much bigger emphasis on trying to be inclusive and fair and that in some cases being fair means giving people additional help/tools to level the playing field

3. 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!

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Caitlin Xu-Glassop | CRM and Ecommerce Consultant

Fun Fact: I collect vinyl, CDs, and tape cassettes. My most prized possession at the moment is a Japanese breakfast tape cassette I found in New York.

1. What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

Paying my respects to the generations of women who came before me – who fought the hardest battles for gender equality to get us where we are today. And also standing in solidarity with women all over the world to keep moving the needle forward.

2. Why does the IWD 2023 theme #EmbraceEquity mean to you?

To me, #embraceequity means to be aware of your privilege and work to shift your mindset and practice to truly champion inclusion in all aspects of life. 

3. What is the most important piece of advice you have been given? 

Life’s a jungle gym, not a ladder. Just because you’re not moving up, it doesn’t mean you’re not moving in the right direction.

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Alex Chapman | Performance Account Executive

Fun Fact: When I was a kid I LOVED rocks – I wanted to be a geologist when I  grew up and collected many, many rocks.

1. What does International Women’s Day mean to you? 

IWD is a day to acknowledge the incredible women before us who have fought for the lives we are able to lead today. It is also a chance to celebrate and thank the strong women in our lives and the impact they have had on us.

2. What does the IWD 2023 theme #EmbraceEquality mean to you?

To me, Embrace Equity means that we need to actively value and take action towards long-term, sustainable and equitable solutions for gender equality, taking into account that no two groups (or even two people) are the same.

3. What is the most important piece of advice you have been given? 

I have received so much thoughtful and helpful advice over the years. One piece that stands out to me is “The time will pass anyway”. Sometimes our goals may take a long time to complete, and that can be off-putting. However, time will pass anyway whether we go after them or not, so we might as well put that time to its best possible use.

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Jennie Wilson | Senior Brand Manager

Fun Fact: I am a cocktail whizz, I make a mean (and strong) watermelon marg! 

1. What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

It’s a fantastic opportunity to take stock and celebrate all the amazing women in your life and their achievements. It’s also a time to just remember that women rock, and to recognise we’re not 100% there on equality but we’re getting there. 

2. What does the IWD 2023 theme #EmbraceEquity mean to you?

It means we should be celebrating female empowerment and living in a world with no bias or discrimination.  Moving us one step closer to a gender-equal world.   

3. What is the most important piece of advice you have been given?

I recently read the most wonderful book by Em Carey – The girl who fell from the Sky – she penned a wonderful phrase – “If you can you must”

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Franz Kavanagh | SEO Content Executive

Fun Fact: I love cats. I want six of them.

1. What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

To me, International Women’s Day is about recognising the role of women in the world. It’s a great day to celebrate women I know and advocate for women outside of my community. It’s about acknowledging how far we’ve come and how far we’ve still got to go. 

2. What does the IWD 2023 theme #EmbraceEquity mean to you?

Embracing equity is so important because it focuses on intersectionality. As women, we have shared experiences, but other socio-cultural factors shape our opportunities and challenges. As a result, it’s important to show up for women in meaningful and unique ways – on a personal and systemic level. 

3. What is the most important piece of advice you have been given? 

It’s cheesy, but the quote, “a comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there, ” has always resonated with me!

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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.

1. 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.

2. 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.

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Daphne Saropoulou | SEO Manager

Fun Fact: I love sport and it’s been a really big part of my life. Every few years I change my sport of focus, so I have given a very diverse mix of sports a proper go: track and field (running and long jump), horse riding, ballet, and taekwondo – quite the mix!

1. What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

International Women’s Day is a time to reflect on and celebrate the accomplishments of women in all aspects of life as well as to acknowledge the struggles women have faced and continue to experience in the fight for gender equality. It’s a day to honour the contributions of women throughout history made towards female empowerment and to create a better future for women globally. IWD is also a reminder of the importance of continually supporting and empowering women to keep moving the needle further.

2. What does the IWD 2023 theme #EmbraceEquity mean to you?

I believe #EmbraceEquity is a call to action for all of us to continue working towards a more fair and equitable world. While for IWD embracing equity is centred around women’s rights and empowerment it is important as a society to continue working on the creation of an environment that is safe and accepting for all individuals and one which allows for all voices to be heard and treated justly.

3. What is the most important piece of advice you have been given?

In primary school, I used to do track and field on Saturdays. I would often practice on strengthening my sprints by competing with other students from my school. I remember that I often used to be paired to compete with students at my school that were often 1-3 years older than me. As they were older, with more experience and greater strength than me, I remember turning to my dad and saying that I didn’t find it fair that I was getting paired with older and faster kids so frequently. My dad responded to me saying “if you were paired with kids your age that were slower or equal to your speed, then you wouldn’t try as hard. You want to be paired with older, faster, stronger kids as this will truly push you to give it your all, Daphne”.

While I must have been around the age of 9 or 10 when receiving this advice, it has really stuck with me and to this day I try and embed myself in situations where I have a lot to learn from others so I can continue growing both professionally and personally. This advice is based on the same principle as the saying “if you are the smartest person in the room you are in the wrong room”.

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

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