This Wednesday, March 8th, is International Women’s Day, with the theme this year ‘Be Bold for Change’.

To highlight the importance of equality and celebrate the diversity we have in hipages, we have decided to dedicate the week to understanding more about gender equality issues and showcasing some of the wonderful and bold women we have in the team. Whilst we do have gender equality overall as a company (48% women, 52% male) which is something we are proud of and is rare in the technology industry, women are still underrepresented in some of our teams, in management roles and on our Board – so we have work to do.

One of the ways we improve our understanding of issues and help pave the way for others is to share stories of successful women and their experience. We will post the stories of a few of the many wonderful bold women in hipages each day this week.

Please Meet Donna

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Donna Hole is our Head of Trade Service and has worked at hipages for over 7 years, joining initially as an Account Manager in our Trials team. A core theme in Donna’s personal and professional life, and key to her success, has been a willingness to push herself out of her comfort zone – packing up and starting a new life across the other side of the world being a great example of that.

Donna is well known and highly valued in hipages for always putting our customers and her team first in her approach to everything she does. She cites her determination, passion and open and honest style to helping her succeed as well as working in the diverse and inclusive culture of hipages – allowing her to simply ‘be herself’ at work.

Donna’s advice to others in being bold for change is to “Take a risk and believe in yourself. Learn from your mistakes. When you are passionate about something you will find a way.”

Here is what Nathan Platus, Donna’s manager has to say:

“Having first met Donna 7 years ago when she joined the team on a 6 month contract, I’ve had the opportunity and privilege to watch her grow and develop into the leader she is today. Donna continues to make a great impact on the company with her passion for service and the lengths that she would go to, to ensure that customers are being cared for. The passion that Donna exudes is testament to her dedication to her career, she has and continues to be an inspiration to many.”

Read the full interview here:

How did you get to where you are today in your career?

Although I had a very happy childhood I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth and nothing was handed to me on a plate. I come from a working class neighbourhood with a military Father so it wasn’t always easy. A pivotal moment for me was reflecting on my childhood and my life and looking at what I needed to do to change my future,

I’ve always worked hard and persevered against all the odds/challenges set in front of me and I’ve had to make some hard choices to get to where I am today.

I have worked my up from the bottom and believe I have been successful because I’m open, always honest and determined to make every opportunity count.

How has being ‘bold’ made a difference to your life and career?

I left my family and friends in the UK to see what my life could be like in Australia. This is without a doubt one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. This move has definitely been character building and helped me realise that I can do anything I put my mind to. Being on my own in a different country has forced me to become more assertive and evaluate if the changes I make are taking me down the right path.

Tell us what you do and why you bring your passion to hipages?

I’m the Head of Trade Service at hipages, and in this role I represent not only the service teams but our service providers. I’m passionate about the Service function as I believe it touches every department from Product, Sales, Collections and Marketing. I encourage others to push themselves and think outside of the box so they are able, comfortable and confident to make changes. I’m very passionate about what we do at hipages and that It’s very important to me that our tradies see hipages as I do.

Are you are comfortable to achieve want you want to at hipages?

When I first started at hipages I was on a working holiday visa working in the trial sales team. I remember my first day vividly as the team was full of backpackers from all walks of life, with many identifying as LGBT. I realised straight away that it didn’t matter that I was a woman from a different country. From the start hipages has always felt that it was a very inclusive place to be. This culture was and continues to be driven from the founders David and Roby.

Do you think hipages has an environment that enables you to be bold for change?

Absolutely! This comes from the culture that has been built here. Everyone has a voice and are encouraged to voice their opinions and draw on their experiences. In my time at hipages I have never been made to feel like I’m a ‘woman in a man’s world’. I’ve always been treated equally.

Throughout your career how have you been bold for change?

I’ve always taken risks and pushed myself to be out of my comfort zone. Ive grabbed every opportunity with both hands and made it my own. I don’t look at things through rose tinted glasses and importantly I own my mistakes, learn from then and then move on.

Do you have any words of wisdom/advice to others who may have been stopped in their tracks in being ‘be bold for change’?

Take a risk and believe in yourself. Learn from your mistakes. When you are passionate about something you will find a way.

Find out more about International Women’s Day here – https://www.internationalwomensday.com/ #BeBoldForChange #IWD2017