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How Leanne Heywood went from being made redundant to building an ASX portfolio career

Women on Boards I Making it Real

Release Date: 04/16/2021

Premiership Winning Material: Gaye Hamilton and her Wild Ride show art Premiership Winning Material: Gaye Hamilton and her Wild Ride

Women on Boards I Making it Real

She’s spent years working with children and animals (a combination many of us would steer clear of) and yet Gaye Hamilton says the transferable skills gained in secondary science education and zoo management paved the way for her varied and fascinating career and board journey, including over a decade with the Western Bulldogs AFL club.

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Treading gently: Why mining executive Bobbie Foot is firmly grounded in community show art Treading gently: Why mining executive Bobbie Foot is firmly grounded in community

Women on Boards I Making it Real

What impact can I have, and how can I make the world a better place? It’s these questions which have driven Bobbie Foot; from growing up in a large rural Queensland farming family and qualifying as an occupational therapist to becoming head of Health, Safety and Environment at BMA Coal and being named one of the 2020 Global Top 100 Most Inspirational Women in Mining. In this podcast she talks about the importance of community, collaboration and ‘putting yourself out there’.

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Mind the gap: Mary Wooldridge on why we need to be ever vigilant about gender equality in the workforce show art Mind the gap: Mary Wooldridge on why we need to be ever vigilant about gender equality in the workforce

Women on Boards I Making it Real

Mary Wooldridge believes if you want change on the big social issues then you get engaged in purposeful action to get policy change and action taken. As Director of the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, the issues currently in her sights are gender inequality, including closing the 14.2% gender pay gap. In this podcast, Mary speaks to Claire about why the Liberal Party should implement quotas for women and why we need to be ever vigilant about gender equality in the workplace.

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Helen Croxford has a passion for inclusion and her goal is to become obsolete show art Helen Croxford has a passion for inclusion and her goal is to become obsolete

Women on Boards I Making it Real

On the Eve of the Paralympics Claire Braund talks to President of Sport Inclusion Australia, Helen Croxford about her vision for a fully inclusive sporting club system that welcomes athletes with an intellectual impairment with open arms, and why the media training that they’re running extends to training the media how to deal with people with an intellectual disability.

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From Rural Australia to Royalty: ASX Chair Gina Anderson on how she nailed networking show art From Rural Australia to Royalty: ASX Chair Gina Anderson on how she nailed networking

Women on Boards I Making it Real

Keeping in touch with her large network, as well as simply ‘being in the right place at the right time’, has seen experienced company director Gina secure many board roles - as well as “the job of a lifetime” as personal assistant to the Crown of Jordan in the early 90s. In this podcast, Gina talks about the importance of networking, describes what it was like going from struggling to find work during the recession to working for Jordanian royalty, and the reality of learning on the job.

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Michele Adair’s home truths on Australia’s affordable housing crisis, and the challenge boards face fixing the problem show art Michele Adair’s home truths on Australia’s affordable housing crisis, and the challenge boards face fixing the problem

Women on Boards I Making it Real

In the podcast Michele talks about being on the board of affordable housing organisations and of the joy of giving keys to a home to someone who desperately needs it. As Chair of CHIA NSW and CEO of affordable housing provider Housing Trust Michele’s goal is to ensure all Australians have access to the basic human right to somewhere to live.

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Dr Wendy Craik AM – A woman of many firsts. From the Great Barrier Reef, to the Murray Darling Basin to the RBA show art Dr Wendy Craik AM – A woman of many firsts. From the Great Barrier Reef, to the Murray Darling Basin to the RBA

Women on Boards I Making it Real

Dr Wendy Craik was the first female head of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, the first woman to lead the National Farmers' Federation and the first woman Chief Executive of the Murray Darling Basin Commission. So how does someone who started out with a science degree and PhD in zoology wind up on the board of the Reserve Bank of Australia? Never one to turn down a challenge, Wendy admits it has been a steep learning curve but says it has been a fascinating journey along the way

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Libby Nankivell - From refereeing to tackling big decisions - on and off the rugby field show art Libby Nankivell - From refereeing to tackling big decisions - on and off the rugby field

Women on Boards I Making it Real

In May, Elizabeth ‘Libby’ Nankivell made history when she was appointed Vice President of Queensland Rugby Union, becoming the first woman to hold the position in 139 years. Libby acquired her love of the game from her late father, Darling Downs broccoli farmer and respected referee Paddy O’Brien, also following him into refereeing. Here the ‘self-confessed rugby tragic’ talks to Claire Braund about her passion for the game, and how that has translated into a meaningful career on rugby boards.

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Leading from the heart – how being a director at 27, a social conscience and failure shaped Suzie Riddell’s approach to making an impact show art Leading from the heart – how being a director at 27, a social conscience and failure shaped Suzie Riddell’s approach to making an impact

Women on Boards I Making it Real

Motivated and with clear vision, Suzie Riddell talks to Claire about why she decided not to pursue a career in accounting, despite winning the University medal, how she took a graduate role with Bain & Co and boldly deferred her start date TWICE, and how her failed volunteer experience in Guatemala shaped her approach.

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Tanya Cox: Building a portfolio career - how one board can lead to another, even when you don’t expect it. show art Tanya Cox: Building a portfolio career - how one board can lead to another, even when you don’t expect it.

Women on Boards I Making it Real

Today Claire talks to experienced NED & Chair, Tanya Cox, who discusses the power of connection and how one board can “surprisingly” lead to another. Tanya is now a portfolio director on 6 boards, including Chair of the World Green Building Council and Non-Executive Director of Cromwell Property Group (ASX:CMS), and says she has never been happier or more fulfilled. Tanya shares her journey and what she has learned along the way. Like any true success, Tanya is modest, understated and a true inspiratio

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More Episodes

“Don’t take every knock back as a personal failure,” shares Leanne Heywood, accomplished full time NED for multiple ASX listed boards in this episode of In Conversation with Claire Braund. From her 1600-acre farm in Peak Hill in Western NSW, Leanne’s career wasn’t always home grown. When she was the General Manager for Rio Tinto’s Global Copper Concentrate, Leanne would travel to Mongolia one week a month, transitioning from 40 degree heat to minus 40 degrees in a 24 hour travel period, door-to-door.

Leanne reflects on her initial disdain for Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia’s capital city, which was unsafe at night and had limited eating options. She decided to change her attitude and became friends with the local women who taught her all about the city, and joined her to eat at local unique spots,  which changed her whole experience.

A Narromine girl originally, Leanne was the School Captain at Narromine High. The daughter of a bank manager, she and her family were accustomed to regularly changing homes and schools for her father’s career. This put her in good stead for a rollercoaster career that saw her latch onto the mining industry early, at a time when it wasn’t common for females to work in the sector and the discrimination was overtly obvious.

She has also spent time in the rural, government and not-for-profit sectors as an experienced leader of transformational change, leading divisional start-ups, organisational restructuring, disposals and acquisitions, including integration.

A long time WOB member, Leanne completed the WOBSX course, our director-led, peer support program to assist women achieve ASX Board roles.  And in March 2019, Leanne did just that — she built a portfolio career as an NED on high profile boards. She shares with Claire the personal hard yards she put in to ensure the successful career she leads today. That’s not to say she hasn’t had her fair share of turndowns! She’s learnt to bounce back and greet feedback with a strategic eye, because nothing is personal. 

LinkedIn: Leanne Heywood | Claire Braund (host)

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