Kasia Gospos is the founder of Leaders in Heels, a leading Australian online magazine for professional women and has been named one of Australia’s most inspirational women online by Open Colleges.
Every month, diverse and distinguished women who are making their mark in their industries are interviewed and profiled on the site. Kasia would love to see more women in leadership positions and hopes to make Leaders in Heels a positive platform for change.
Where did the inspiration for Leaders in Heels come from?
6 years ago I came to Australia, working as a Management Accountant in the mining industry. I quickly noticed that there were strong powerful female leaders in Australia …as well as women who were lacking confidence, afraid to articulate their career aspirations.
One day a female colleague come to me and said she was very upset that she was not given a chance to apply for recently vacant role of a Financial accountant. I asked her ‘Did you tell our boss you were interested?”. She said she didn’t. She hoped that her hard work and talent would be recognised. It didn’t happen. Instead our CFO sourced the role outside and my colleague became unhappy and demotivated as she lost a rare chance to get promoted to a new more challenging role.
This was a wake up moment. I started interviewing senior women to connect with them, develop leadership skills and then share the experiences with other women. ‘Leaders in Heels’ was born.
After 3 years through Leaders in Heels we have interviewed hundreds of women from a cross section of industries and over 500 articles have been published on leadership, success, career and entrepreneurship. In September this year we created “50|50 Future Leaders” event promoting new modern approach to management and leadership through diversity. I have also attended over 100 networking, charity and educational events and workshops for women. Now leaders in Heels reaches 50,000 page views per month and have over 20,000 social followers run by 8 amazing people and over 30 regular contributors and I am amazed everyday what we achieved so far.
You have just launched Make Your Mark project. Tell us more about this
Always curious about why certain women are more successful than the other, as an analyst, I run my own research and collected over 200 responses from our readers about what makes a successful female leader. The research revealed that there were six traits that they all used in their life. They were passionate about what they did which gave them energy to stay long hours or not to give up even when the odds were against them. They were creative in achieving their goals no matter if it was about implementing new products or running effective meetings – they looked for innovative ways of doing things. Passion was giving them confidence to stand up for their beliefs and determination to keep going when things were falling apart.
These six traits: passion, creativity, innovation, confidence, determination and kindness – are now part of the Leaders in Heels Manifesto and the core of MAKE YOUR MARK notebook.
MAKE YOUR MARK notebooks have been designed and beautifully crafted to encourage and inspire women to follow their passion, to be more creative and innovative in their lives, to feel more confident and determined in their endeavours and to maintain a kind heart while becoming successful. Every page of the notebook has been infused with quotes, thoughts and assignments to stimulate a new way of thinking.
So how is the campaign going?
The project won’t go ahead unless we raise $8000 before 9th November (this Sunday) which is an absolute minimum to get the notebooks printed at a reasonable price. I would love to encourage anyone to pre-purchase our launch collection so that we can keep doing our job – inspire and empower more female leaders.
Former CEO of Apple Australia and Founder of Xplore of Success, Diana Ryall has been very supportive to our new venture and kindly offered to give a speech to our supporters on how she become the CEO of Apple, how it was to work along Steve Jobs and what she thinks it takes to be a female leader. This is now available as one of the rewards in the crowd-funding campaign.
I am so thrilled when I see women supporting other women!
Additionally, for every dollar pledged above the tipping point we will donate 15% to support the work of Dress for Success. It is an amazing charity that provides women in need with professional clothing, a network of support, practical skills and mentoring to improve their employability and achieve economic independence. By purchasing the notebook you can be sure that you are giving a gift not just to yourself but also to other women in need.
You promote that “To succeed, women need to be passionate, creative, innovative, confident, determined and kind”. I personally connect with kind. I think that many people in business fail to remember that they are dealing with another human being, and that kindness will get you a long way. Why do you think that is?
Many people consider kindness as weakness. In fact kindness is essential to cultivating connections in business and life. One of the lessons I learn while observing senior executives is that they are likable, nice people. Of course they need to be competent but when you choose someone to lead your business or sit on the board you will choose people who are easy to work with.
If you could tell anything to your eighteen year old self, what would it be?
Don’t wait for the stars to align. Be proactive. Dare to dream and follow your passion. Don’t bother about what other says. Dare to be different. The world needs that gift that only you have.
Photo credit: MAKE YOUR MARK