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Smarter Writer
Smarter Team

The Smarter Team is made up of business and technology journalists who write to offer insights to small and medium businesses about technology, business know-how and emerging trends.

Smarter Writer
Smarter Team

The Smarter Team is made up of business and technology journalists who write to offer insights to small and medium businesses about technology, business know-how and emerging trends.

Highlights
  • Support other women; it leads to brilliant things.    
  • Nominations are now open for the 2019 Telstra Business Women’s Awards.    
  • Authenticity is key to any leadership role. Be true to who you are    

“Businesses need to have females who are strong role models to mentor other women coming through,” says Belinda Tumbers, managing director of Kellogg’s Australia and New Zealand

Tumbers became acting managing director for Kellogg’s ANZ in 2015, taking charge of one of Australia’s largest FMCG companies (fast-moving consumer goods). The following year, she secured the position permanently, becoming the first female MD in the brand’s nine decades down under.    

Belinda Tumbers holding her Telstra Business Women’s Award in 2017. Winning the Telstra Business Women’s Award in 2017 empowered Tumbers to further push her diversity agenda.

Tasked with turning things around, Tumbers set her sights on making monumental cultural changes in the workplace, pushing her gender equality campaign to the top of Kellogg’s agenda.

Her efforts in advocating for workplace gender equality resulted in Tumbers winning the New South Wales Telstra Business Woman of the Year Award in 2017 – and it’s only spurred her on to do more. “Being an award recipient has given me a bigger voice to keep driving the diversity agenda forward. I have gone on to present at many Women in Leadership functions, have formally and informally mentored more women, and have had the chance to meet many amazing women who I continue to learn from."    

Despite her many positive outtakes, Tumbers says the process has also been revealing. In her acceptance speech for the
award
, Tumbers noted how women are often unfairly critical of other women – something she’s keen to eradicate: “As women we need to be sure we are sponsoring other women. Unfortunately, all too often it is other women that are our biggest critics or sometimes put up the biggest roadblocks. We need to be open, supportive and embrace other women to succeed.

“I’ve experienced first-hand the difference a diverse team can make. When I first took on the managing director role, I had 70 per cent male representation on the leadership team. I’ve now changed it to 50 per cent women and men. The shift has improved corporate performance dramatically.”    

Tumbers’ commitment to equal representation in the workplace has not only been responsible for influencing real corporate change – evolving the once-conservative company into an entrepreneurial-focused corporation with a transparent business model – but resulted in a dramatic revenue turnaround for Kellogg’s too. They boasted in excess of $400 million revenue the year after her official appointment.

It was a critical move to ensure that the company also connects to its target demographic. In a 2016 interview with The
CEO Magazine, Tumbers said: “We wanted to truly reflect the consumers that we serve today. The bulk of our shoppers are the main grocery buyer in the family, and they are typically female."

So, what’s next? Tumbers is positive that the future of innovative business practice lies in the hands of women. “Whether
it’s running a large multinational or being an entrepreneur starting a company from the bottom up, women’s talents should not go unnoticed,” she said in her speech. “And the Telstra Business Women’s Awards is a great platform for promotion and networking."

For women looking to transform their business mind-set or simply striving to reach a management status, Tumbers believes the entering the Awards serves as a great platform to achieve these goals: “I love that it gives women a voice. A voice to be heard and a voice to make a difference, so more women can succeed and make it into senior ranks oforganisations." 

Nominations are now open for the 2019 Telstra Business Women’s Awards.

Nominate now

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