With this special newsletter today, we want to acknowledge, honour and celebrate all the incredible ‘Women of Tattersalls’,
We interviewed Helen to showcase her remarkable journey.
Helen De Mestre
Q1. Please share your current occupation and industry.
I am the Country Head of Australia and New Zealand for Principal Asset Management, a global asset manager.
Q2. Would you consider your current role your biggest achievement? If not then please share what you are most proud of achieving.
I am not sure I would consider my role my biggest achievement. Working full-time with three sons, progressing my career and managing to maintain the relationships that were important to me is likely what I would consider my biggest achievement.
Q3. What does the idea of gender equity mean to you?
What is exciting about the future is the young men and women of today and their view that someone’s gender is just not a determination of their ability. This has led to young women being encouraged, increasing the confidence they have in their capabilities and their place in the world. They are interested and have the personal belief to pursue their dreams. Hearing younger people’s views on equality has made me believe the imposter syndrome most of my generation of women experience won’t exist in 20 years. That would be a major breakthrough.
Q4. Is there a time when you were overlooked, disadvantaged or deprived of an opportunity (in your personal life or in your career) because of your gender?
Yes, being a member of Tattersalls when I turned 21. My brothers all received a membership on this special birthday, but I wasn’t able to receive the same.
Q5. Which women do you admire the most and why?
I am grateful to be a woman and IWD is a day where I reflect on the many women in my life and how much they mean to me. I have been very fortunate to have the support of amazing women; my mother and sister, friends I have known most of my life and some incredible female colleagues and mentors. I feel IWD is a recognition of how much women bring to society in all its facets; mothers, sisters, daughters, friends, carers and working women.
Q6. Could you please tell us a bit about your journey at Tattersalls (how you joined the Club, your experience at the Club in terms of gender equity etc.)?
My family has been involved in Tattersalls since I was a young girl, and the Club was a significant part of my father David’s life as I grew up. I would hear about the swimming races, billiards tournaments and of course the racing days. The Club has also been a big part of my three older brothers’ lives at various times. When women were invited to the Club as members my brother John was very keen to introduce me. He thought it would provide a good opportunity for us to catch up and he knows I like to swim (though not anywhere near his level) and being able to visit the Club during my workday, do laps at a time convenient to me, often with the lane to myself was a big incentive. Initially, I was sceptical and a little hesitant if women were truly being accepted. I was proved wrong as the members and staff I have met, both men and women, have been very friendly and positive. I also appreciate that the inclusiveness of the Club isn’t just about gender. Being able to bring my husband and sons in on the weekend, where we can all use the facilities and train together has been great over the years. One of my sons lives in Oxford and we love swimming together at Tattersalls when he comes home to visit.