WOMEN2WATCH INTERVIEW: ALICE KUEPPER
Who are you, what do you do, and who do you do it for?
I was born in Munich, Germany. My mum was very free spirited, so until I started school, we traveled a lot. We lived in California one year, and during high school we spent a year in Australia. That’s when I fell in love with Sydney.
During my twenties, while studying sociology, I lived between Munich and Sydney. After completing my Master’s degree, I moved to Australia, where I’ve spent the last 14 years in B2B product and brand management across multiple industries.
Presently, I’m the Event Director for the Online Retailer Conference & Expo, Australia’s largest technology led retail event, which is owned by Reed Exhibitions. I’m also a proud mum of two young boys and dedicated wife to my Aussie husband.
How did you get to where you are?
The short answer is through hard work, commitment, a dose of intelligence, people skills and a passion for success. I have a strong work ethic (the German in me I suppose!), so whenever I’ve started a project or a job, I’ve given it everything.
On the outside, my career looks very planned and linear, but I have been lucky enough to be able to follow my passion. In life you have to sometimes just trust yourself, and when a door opens, take the chance and step through it!
In the last five years, I have also become more confident in my leadership, and I stand up for what I believe in. I owe a lot to the support of very inspirational mentors that have accompanied me on the way and have guided me through challenging situations. I have also had great teams working with me who have shared my vision and passion, and who have dedicated their time and skills to deliver fantastic products and services.
Why are you doing what you're doing?
What advice would you give to other aspiring Women2Watch?
Don’t be afraid to talk about your achievements. Women in many cultures around the world are still raised to keep quiet and not take credit for their work and the contributions they make. We tend to be more quiet and shy and hope someone will notice all the hard work we do.
We often set the standard much higher for ourselves than anyone else would, and as a consequence, we don’t ever live up to our own expectations. I can certainly say that for myself. You don’t have to be perfect; just do your best and it will still be better than the majority of what others would do.
Any other thoughts you'd like to share with our audience?
As a mum, I faced a really challenging situation in 2015 when my children needed more time of me than I was able to give while working full time. At the time, the company did not have any part-time arrangements for directors. Still, my boss (a working mum with two kids herself) was supportive of restructuring my position so that I could stay with the company, giving another member in my team the opportunity to take on more responsibility.
I became the first part-time Director with flexible hours. There were many critics of this, and it certainly disrupted a status quo, but we made it work successfully as a team of three women because we trusted and supported each other. It’s okay to let go of some of the control. Sometimes you can’t do it all, at least not by yourself. Don’t be afraid to speak up and ask for help because amazing outcomes can come from it.
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