Director of Operations Celebrated as Part of International Women's Day 2021

Hamilton Locke’s Director of Operations was featured in Australia Square’s ‘Women of Australia Square’ series to celebrate International Women’s Day 2021. Australia Square is celebrating the determined, hardworking and successful leaders from businesses within Hamilton Locke’s office building, through a portrait and interview series.

Meet Janelle Watts, Hamilton Locke’s Director of Operations:

What advice would you give women pursuing a career in your field?
Back yourself and be your own champion. Take the risk – generally the ‘worst that could happen’ isn’t that bad. 

If you were speaking with your younger self, what advice would you give her to thrive in the workplace?
I wish I’d realised earlier that ‘success’ wasn’t a particular job or particular salary, but enjoying your life and forming meaningful relationships. I’d tell myself to worry about things less. In particular, what other people thought (especially those in the stands, and not in the arena).

The International Women’s Day 2021 campaign theme is #ChooseToChallenge – because from challenge comes change. What are key issues or achievements you believe we need to commit to challenging or celebrating to help forge a more inclusive world?
I think we need to challenge the perception that there are limited spaces for women and that if another woman succeeds it means that you can’t. I think we need to challenge the ‘boxes’ women are put in, and the notion of femininity, or what it means to be a woman. Women are different. They lead in different ways, they want different things from life, they react to things differently. And we need to challenge the notion that there isn’t more work to do.

Has there been a time when you had to challenge inequality, call out bias or question stereotypes?
I’d like to think I do this continuously in my role – whether developing policies and determining employee benefits, recruiting talent, holding events or implementing processes, I strive for a balanced and fair approach. One example is when some leaders of the business wanted to hold a client fishing trip. While there are lots of women who enjoy fishing, I explained that many women (both from the business side and client-side), would probably opt out of a weekend fishing trip, and perhaps we could find a more inclusive event to run.

What do you see as the biggest success in the path toward equality? 
I think it’s the persistent, everyday small things, challenges and successes that make a difference. Without those there would be no ‘big successes’.

Janelle Watts