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Woman of Color Australia - Brenda Gaddi

Is this where you thought you would end up?

Not consciously no. But looking back, I feel like all my experiences (personal and professional) have led to where I am now. So whoever is in charge behind the scenes, thank you!

What do you consider your biggest weakness?

I am a recovering perfectionist. Let's just leave it at that.

As a female leader, what has been the most significant barrier in your career?

I face a double glass ceiling in that I a woman and I am a woman of colour too. So race and gender will always be at play. I have to deal with overt and covert racism. But we are all works in progress and I believe we can all unlearn and relearn for the better.

Who inspires you and why?

Indra Nooyi, ex-CEO of Pepsico. I had the chance to listen to her keynote presentation in person and she just blew me away. She is a corporate visionary, a change agent and someone who leads with purpose and intention. Her business career has been driven by a passion to do what's right ("purpose"), the drive to exceed expectations ("performance") and the desire to help others succeed ("people").

How do you balance work and life responsibilities? What have you sacrificed (both personally and professionally) at each stage of your career?

I don't really buy the work-life-balance thing. I'd much rather call it work-life-harmony. Less stressful that way! I have four children and it was a conscious decision for me to stay at home with the kids until at least they start school. My career if you will, has always been secondary during those formative years. But now that they're more independent, I am able to pursue what gives me joy and purpose.

What advice would you give to the next generation of female leaders?

Own that space. Make your voice heard because your voice matters.

If you had to start over from scratch, knowing what you know now, what would you do differently?

I'd make sure that I have a business advisor!

What’s an accomplishment that you are proudest of

Founding my non-profit organisation, Women of Colour Australia. We exist to champion Australia's Women of Colour through programs of education, community support initiatives, and advocacy work. It's a first of its kind in Australia and I'm equal parts terrified and excited. It is my biggest undertaking both personally and professionally.

What’s one core message you received from your mentors?

Just give it a go!

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