WA Telstra Business Women’s Award finalist and Vonex chief executive Brydie McKee says women still need to “jump through hoops” in the business world.
The North Perth resident said she felt “honoured and thrilled” to make the shortlist alongside “heavy hitters” in WA business.
“Being a finalist, I already feel overwhelmed with getting this far and I’m really grateful Telstra runs a program like this to recognise that women are out there, because there are still some barriers,” Ms McKee said.
“I can understand running a corporation, men seem to have really big, deep networks that go back a long way whereas women have to jump through a lot more hoops, prove themselves and fit in all these different categories.”
Ms McKee started work in a bank at 16, progressing to finance and private industry, and said she was comfortable in leadership.
“I really enjoy that role and what they’re saying is great leaders need empathy and that’s where I believe we’ll see a bit of a shift,” she said.
“Women are very empathetic and rightly or wrongly, the stereotype is women are better than men at taking on other people’s perspectives, feeling their pain, experiencing compassion for them and surveys suggest that there’s some truth to that assumption.”
Ms McKee said she never imagined herself heading a global communications business.
“My eyes used to roll into the back of my head when people talked technology,” she said.
“The reason I got involved was because I had a finance company and Angus Parker (who is the inventor of this) walked into my life when my phone bill was between $5000-$7000 because I had seven brokers, and Angus reduced that to just under or just over $500.”
Ms McKee said her team was supportive.
“Angus will challenge people who are a bit chauvinistic and stand beside me because he can’t stand it himself,” she said.
“People are people, male or female, and that’s how I look at it.
“I’m just rapt to be standing right next to the finalists and to be ranked amongst them – not only for me but for Vonex to be recognised as a respectable corporation is just excellent.”
The WA winner will be announced on October 9 and progress to the national finals.