End2End Consulting - Augusta Soteriou
Is this where you thought you would end up?
Honestly, this is not where I thought my life would end up professionally, having my own consulting business. I started my career as an engineer within one of the largest engineering firms in Adelaide, after working 5 years I fell pregnant with my first child and in such a demanding role as a consultant engineer. It was a difficult time having a baby and working in a consulting engineering firm and working with predominantly single male colleagues, often found myself feeling judged when I would leave work early and feeling guilty not spending time with my child. I made my transition from private to the public sector, working for State Government when I was pregnant with my second child to reduce the stress and pressures of work-life and felt a more compassionate work culture. I have always thought that I would work within a corporate organisation however, I realised that raising three children I wanted more work-life balance and wanted to do work that I enjoyed. Through the support and guidance of an industry friend and mentor, I started my business End2End Consulting approximately 2.5 years ago. Connecting with industry networks and former colleagues and their support has enabled me to continue to where I am today, working for University, State and Federal Government, and non-for-profit organisations.
As a female leader, what has been the most significant barrier in your career?
The most significant barrier has been my personal struggles with constantly feeling I am not enough, professionally in my work-life, and personally as a mother, it was a constant battle. It was the pressure that I had put onto myself to be like women who have it all, work-life balance. I had made the realisation that your professional career will always be there and it's ok to pause that part of your life and start a family and raise children. There is no such thing as having it all (what does that mean anyway?), and it's ok to reset your professional goals.
There is a critical role that all women need to play, in supporting and backing other women and calling out negative behaviours.
What advice would you give to the next generation of female leaders?
Back yourself and have the courage to go for that job or promotion. You don’t need to be loudest in the room, learn to listen, and more often the last person to speak is the most powerful. Find someone with industry experience, who is well respected in your industry to be your mentor.
What’s an accomplishment that you are proudest of?
While I was working in State Government, I was a government project manager and lead on the first purpose-built collaborative Medical Research Building in Adelaide, SAHMRI. This project was extremely demanding and had many challenges, and it was finally completed in 2014.
My more recent proudest accomplishment is working within my consulting business, interacting and delivering services I enjoy that draws upon my ability to simplify the HOW for clients and assist them to achieve outcomes.
What’s one core message you received from your mentors?
Set your goals and strategies, and back yourself. It is ok to be vulnerable. Vulnerability leads to authenticity. Authenticity leads to greatness.
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