Today is International Women’s Day: A journey in corporate leadership

Georgia Willis, Executive General Manager, Property at Regis

In this guest post, Georgia Willis, Executive General Manager of Property at Regis, shares learnings from 25 years in the property sector, providing a look at what has driven her success and advice for others looking to fulfil their career goals.

As I reflect on my journey from the late 1990s to the present day, it’s evident that significant shifts have occurred in the corporate landscape, particularly regarding the representation of women in leadership roles.

When I first entered the workforce, I found myself surrounded by a sea of suits, overwhelmingly dominated by men. Fast forward to 2024 and while the suits remain, I’m heartened to see more women among their ranks, including myself as the new Executive General Manager of Property at Regis Aged Care.

This International Women’s Day (IWD) I’m happy to share insights gleaned from my 25 years in an industry where gender parity remains a work in progress.

Raised by a hardworking single mother, I learned invaluable lessons in resilience and independence from a young age. Despite facing economic challenges, including a recession upon completing my education, I embarked on a career journey that led me from hotel management to urban development.

Today, equipped with more than two decades of experience and a Master in Property, I’m proud to have earned recognition such as the Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) Women in Leadership Award in 2016.

My tenure on the UDIA’s committees further highlighted the importance of nurturing diversity and inclusion within the industry.

While progress has been made in increasing female representation, there remains significant ground to cover. Through my mentoring experiences, I’ve witnessed firsthand the challenges young women face in navigating career paths, particularly in male-dominated sectors like property.

It’s essential to recognise that success in any field requires dedication, resilience and a willingness to challenge outdated norms and expectations.

This IWD, I offer a few guiding principles for women navigating their professional journeys:

Know your passion: Success stems from genuine drive and passion. If you’re lacking in either, take the time to discover what truly motivates you.

Fill your bucket: Don’t settle for a job that merely pays the bills. Seek opportunities that align with your passions and values and surround yourself with passionate individuals who inspire and uplift you.

Back yourself: Confidence is key. Don’t let self-doubt hold you back from seizing opportunities and making your voice heard.

Put your hand up: Don’t wait for permission to pursue your goals. If you have the skills and drive to succeed, don’t hesitate to take on new challenges and opportunities.

Be seen: Visibility is crucial for career advancement. Take the initiative to network and build relationships, within your organisation and beyond.

I believe that embracing diverse perspectives and experiences is essential for driving innovation and progress in the workplace. As we celebrate International Women’s Day, let’s revitalise our commitment to building inclusive environments where everyone, regardless of gender, can thrive and succeed.


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