Telstra: A Review of the Leadership Challenges webinar with the Hon Julia Gillard
By Gagun Gahir, Head of European Enterprise Sales, Telstra
The question of effective leadership continues to be a challenge for all of us. I was reading a blog this morning from Telstra’s CEO, Andy Penn, around how we drive a respectful culture around ensuring boundaries of work-life when working from home and the right to as you said to look up from our devices. Julia’s comment around maintaining work through technology is easy but maintaining those bonds with people without contact is tough. Andy also spoke about how to ensure our people feel comfortable being honest about their commitments outside of work. Ultimately, shaping culture is about living the culture and doing it ourselves as leaders, tapping into a global mentality. Our technology at Telstra has enabled our people and our customers to thrive in a flexible working environment for years – and is something that we continue to evangelise.
This sense of doing is so clear through your commentary around time-based goals to change policies so we are not as you said in danger of going backwards by standing still. Reflecting on many organisations amongst many industries, so many powerful conversations like the one we have just had are happening more often and critically with more credible data. However, there are still gaps to bridge in business translating gender parity and equality from something that is good to talk about into something that is a business imperative. Targets are critical for outcomes: Telstra has made huge strides by stating our commitment to 50/50 on interviews and to 30% senior leadership positions being appointed to women, especially through digital disruption. As you said – we cannot pull the drawbridge up but must help more women through.
The domination of men in change processes – I will definitely now be looking at having at least 4/5 women in meetings to ensure those voices are heard! The importance of male allyship and visibly standing up for the advancement of women cannot be underrated and again is most powerful when it is driven from the top – we’re proud to be part of the champions of change coalition and continue to drive change through visible, positive action. Your view on imposter syndrome was just so refreshing – again, around that authentic, empathetic and strong leadership that is confident enough to listen to that voice in your head and pivot into a new way forwards with the input from diverse opinions.
The importance of online and digital is paramount and certainly, a responsibility that we don’t take lightly – both as Australia’s incumbent and across our international business at Telstra. We continue to learn through the pandemic and use our agile ways of working to understand how this has perhaps changed the landscape of how we interact forever. In closing, as you said Julia – the capability of human beings coming to collective solutions to drive for lasting change really does bring a huge amount of hope and energy – thank you Julia for your ongoing work and the way you continue to inspire us all.
With thanks to our webinar partners, Telstra and Chartered Accountants New Zealand.
You can connect with Telstra Global and Chartered Accountants of New Zealand via our online Member portal.