International Women’s Day series: Q&A with Angette King & Catherine van der Walt
Name: Angette King
1. Have you faced any barriers in your career due to being a woman? If so, how did you overcome them?
Not so much in my career, but during my time at university, when I was studying property development and Valuation. I was often the only woman in my classes, making it difficult when it came time to group assignments and other groups of 3-4 men would form a team and I would often be one of the last to be chosen to join a group! I personally think this would be due to men often being drawn to other men, as it is easier to make friends (I note not all men are like this)!
2. Who do you look up/ admire (personal life or public figure) and why?
I look up to Daniel Ricciardo and I admire his looks also.. haha..
On a serious note, I often find I am looking up to Sandy Anghie. She is a strong female leader, who not only is an architect, city councillor and editor, but also worked as a corporate lawyer. Sandy is also one of the founding members of the registered charity ‘Historic Heart of Perth Inc’ and led the project for 4 years. Her career choices and extensive knowledge in several different fields is admirable!
3. What are you most proud of doing or achieving in your personal or professional life?
I am proud of where I am today in my career (professional life). I came from a family in the marine and oil & gas industry, where not a single family member or relative worked in the property industry. I decided to take the property path after graduating school and found at first it was hard as I didn’t have anyone to assist in assignments at uni. After years of teaching myself ways, meeting many mentors & making lifelong friends along the way, I am finally in a position where I can be my own self/agent, and start personalising my working ways to suit myself.
4. What is the most important piece of advice you have been given?
“At the end of the day, even if you are extremely busy, you must answer every email & call, even if it is letting the person or client know you will get back to them through out the week! No email or phone call should be left unanswered” – Ian Mickle
And I have stuck to this ever since! Keeping your clients and colleagues happy is a huge key to becoming a successful agent.
5. Why do you think diversity in the workplace is so important?
Increased productivity. Every person has a different opinion in the workplace, all people have a unique way of working, some ways may work more efficiently than others. Diversity gives us all the option to work with any gender and a diversity of talent, which means a broader range of skills among employees!
6. What is the most important message you want to send out to young women thinking about their careers?
Always stand your ground, always know your opinion counts and never be shy when asking questions. Questions and conversation go a very long way, and they help build relationships which you will cherish forever.
7. How can we encourage more women to pursue entrepreneurship or senior leadership roles in their career?
We need to have more women senior leaders in workplaces. This will increase the number of women wanting to pursue entrepreneurship or senior leadership. Women can make fantastic leaders, and more women senior leadership roles means more diversity in our corporate world! Women who encourage and support other woman are also extremely important in a work place.
8. What did you dream of doing when you were a child?
I dreamt of owning a boat and driving it up and down the coast of WA..
Pretty different to the life I live now! But – one day it may be possible if I keep hitting my goals & yearly targets.
Name: Catherine van der Walt
Position: Executive | Industrial Agency
1. What are you most proud of doing or achieving in your personal or professional life?
I am most proud of my athletic achievements as a junior, as I believe my success came from sheer hard work and strength of mind. I proved to myself that I could do anything I put my mind to.
2. What is the most important piece of advice you have been given?
The last call you want to make in the day; make it your first.
3. Why do you think diversity in the workplace is so important?
I think it is very important to embrace everyone for who they individually are, as the diverse nature, background, culture, experiences, gender etc. of each person adds a whole other dimension to the workplace. Diversity broadens knowledge, skills and strengths; and the dynamic power of these combined can only enhance innovation, performance and effectiveness.
4. What is the most important message you want to send out to young women thinking about their careers?
We often feel intimidated, have a fear of failure, and even experience imposter syndrome, but know these feelings are common amongst us all, and so understanding and acknowledging this, have courage to take yourself seriously and pursue a career you desire. No career is easy, nor is everyday fun, but with a strong work ethic, integrity and resilience you can be fit for any industry.
5. What did you dream of doing when you were a child?
I always dreamt of winning a gold medal at the Olympics in 800m and 1500m track events.