February 8, 2023
Determined to drive change
The founders of Empowered Women in Trades and The Kurrajong Kitchen Group sat down to share a meal – and their thoughts on building workplace diversity
Hacia Atherton and Karen Lebsanft are at the forefront of advancing opportunity for women in Australia’s workplaces. When they met over a meal as part of our Business Founders Talk series, their determination to make a difference was the focus of conversation.
As the CEOs and founders of Empowered Women in Trades and The Kurrajong Kitchen, Hacia Atherton and Karen Lebsanft are the faces of change when it comes to workplace equality and their mission to help other women reach their full potential.
Here are three highlights from their recent conversation for Business Founders Talk.
1. The more voices the better
When it comes to increasing women’s presence in business, Karen says it’s not enough to just train up one woman and put her back into the workforce. “It needs to be a collaboration of voices around the table – women, men and all varying roles in a business and together we can move forward.” Hacia agrees. “The journey is both men and women, and providing the support that both genders need to embrace diversity and inclusion.”
2. Diversity drives growth
“Diversity is the magic dust that innovation comes from,” Hacia says. “It’s opening up minds, seeing things differently.” For Karen, it’s also about the power of sharing. “Wisdom comes from experience and from somebody’s else’s experience and their willingness to share that. And when you can take that and collaborate and grow, so many more people can grow from it.”
3. We’re stronger together
Hacia believes everyone has different skillsets, so “instead of investing all this time and money and effort into making your weaknesses your strengths, go and collaborate with someone that does that really, really well”. That’s a sentiment that resonates with Karen. “Bring us together and we learn so much from each other,” she says.