Today we are thrilled to be sitting down with Gemma Munro. She is the CEO Of Inkling Women. Gemma has a PhD in performance psychology and many years of experience working with leaders to discover their purpose, maximise their strengths and build careers that are as enjoyable as they are successful.
Join us as our Guru To Watch!
I have three!
First and foremost, Inkling Women is driven by our belief that the world will be a much better place when 50 per cent of the most important decisions for our planet are made by women. Our mission is to inspire women to lead. Seeing this inspiration made visible on the faces of the women we work with is a delight.
Second, is writing. When I’m not speaking to groups, I get tremendous happiness from taking a day out to write about women in leadership and gender equity.
Finally, it’s leading the incredible Inkling Women team. We take a strengths-based approach to performance at Inkling — everyone in the team is in a role that they are fabulous at and adore doing. The energy, commitment, drive and passion that follow on from this is phenomenal. My team members make every working day a joy.
As a management consultant, I kept speaking with women who were coming up the corporate ladder. They’d say to me, “You know, Gem, I see the women at the top of my organisation. And I see success, yes. But I don’t see balance, fun or authenticity. So I don’t think leadership is for me.”
I also kept speaking with female CEOs and GMs who would say to me, “You know, Gem, I’ve reached the top level and I’m generating results, yes. But I am exhausted. I feel like I have to push myself out of bed every morning. And somewhere along the way, I lost a sense of who I am and what I love.”
I was so disheartened by these comments and thought that surely, there must be a way for women to make it to the top and thrive. I made it my mission to make this a reality for women in business.
For a number of years I was in a Management Consulting role that I was reasonably good at, but I really, really did not enjoy. It was in an exceptionally masculine and competitive environment. I responded by becoming —excuse the crass expression — an ‘approval whore’. Everything I did was for just a skerrick of recognition from my boss. It was draining and soul-destroying. I distinctly remember walking to the tram one Monday morning and searching for a comfortable bit of bitumen to lie on. I was beyond tired.
Then my daughter nearly died in utero, and I realised life was too short to not do what you love, in service of a better world.
Sidenote: my spunky, clever, generous-hearted daughter is now nearly five and doing wonderfully well.
That we sit around in our women’s leadership programs and drink champagne and talk about men all day (and maybe wear feather boas whilst doing so). Interestingly, this perception tends to come from men rather than women.
Nothing could be further from the truth (except for the champagne part. That we do, although at the end of the final day!)
Our leadership programs are deeply challenging, impactful, strategic, reflective and full of both fun and hard work. We help women to make deep and sustained shifts. And there are many more fruitful topics to discuss than men!
Martha Beck. Her advice helped me to move past all fear of displeasing others and leap, with great faith, into doing what I loved to do — and what I was best at.
Take as much time as you can to enjoy yourself. In 20 years, life will be filled to brimming with a business and babies, so make hay while you can. And, most importantly, everything will be OK.
Creating a growing, soul-centred, feminine and successful business that has a measurable impact on women around the world and creates careers that our team members take delight in and are extremely proud of.
Leaving a stable career to start a business — with a toddler, a baby, a husband who was overcoming depression and two mortgages.
Many organisations and some leaders feel the need to be beige and boring.
Reading, gardening, singing, boxing and, lately, swing dancing!
Something happening to my children. I still check them during the night to make sure they’re OK.
Hugs. Sunshine. Friends. A cup of tea in the morning. Delightful cuddles with my family when I get home from work. A mission and a business I adore and believe in.
More time to write. I’m working on it.
Go for Giant Outrageous Liberating Dreams (or GOLD), not Piddly Inoffensive Goals (or PIG). Coming up with these terms changed the course of my life.
The ability to read minds and to teleport to fabulous locations.
My four closest, dearest friends. What can I say? I’m an introvert!
Inkling Women offers free training videos for current and aspiring female leaders, which you can subscribe to here.
Gemma is also about to embark on a national tour of Speakeasy, Inkling Women’s two-day workshop for women who want to speak with confidence, excellence and ease. More information is available here.
Award-winning business leader, Dr Gemma Munro, is the founder and CEO of Inkling Women, Australia’s leading training and development organisation for women leaders. She has worked with some of the country’s top CEOs and executive teams to reduce the gender gap in their organisations and has inspired tens of thousands of women to create extraordinary lives and careers.
Gemma is one of Australia’s most sought-after speakers on the topics of gender equity and women’s leadership development. She specialises in helping women to move past limiting beliefs and negative self-talk and embrace discomfort, risk and exposure. She is also expert in helping organisations to understand and break through gender equity barriers to create cultures in which both men and women can thrive.
Gemma has a PhD in psychology and deep insight into what motivates us to move past doubt and fear and create lives and careers we are proud of. She has encouraged thousands of women to overcome fears of public speaking and take the stage with confidence, excellence and ease.
Gemma is a trained classical singer, and has sung in cathedrals and stadiums all around the world. She recently sang live on stage with the Rolling Stones on their Australian tour, and is suffering a lingering case of goosebumps as a result.