With this special newsletter today, we want to acknowledge, honour and celebrate all the incredible ‘Women of Tattersalls’,

We interviewed Janet to showcase her remarkable journey.

Janet Pennington

Q1. Please share your current occupation and industry.

After a career in corporate and investment banking, I am now a director of private companies active in property investment and property development.

Q2. Would you consider your current role your biggest achievement? If not then please share what you are most proud of achieving.

To me, one of my key achievements was to have had the courage to make a life-changing move from a stable (but uninspiring) employment situation in the UK to working on an aid project in the Solomon Islands. Everyone thought I was crazy at the time!

Another key achievements would be my role in the completion of a large and complex property project during the Global Financial Crisis. On a personal note, singing in the massed choir at the Sydney 2000 Olympics was a real buzz.

Q3. What does the idea of gender equity mean to you?

I believe the idea means that your gender or sexual orientation (World Pride in mind) should have no bearing on what you can or cannot achieve; nor should it be a factor when decisions are made for role appointments. That sounds very unequivocal but is rarely the case. It also means that there should be equal compensation for the same role, regardless of your gender – we are not there yet.

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?

It’s hard to pinpoint actual situations because much of discrimination is insidious and of unconscious bias. The male-dominated culture in the finance industry especially in the 80s and 90s did make it difficult to break out of perceived roles for women: for example, administration and credit roles rather than being in front of the client. I did discover that I was overlooked and paid significantly less than a colleague after I had returned from a short maternity leave, which I considered unfair.

Q5. Which women do you admire the most and why?

As a general answer – all women who achieve amazing feats with the talents and resources with which they have been endowed. We all start from a different base. I especially admire women who are passionate about making the world a better place for others: Elaine Person (Human Rights Watch) and Professor Marcia Langton (advocacy for Indigenous rights). Others include Helen Clark (for her long and successful career in leadership roles like NZ prime minister and as the first female to head UNDP).

Then there is Simone Young, Chief Conductor of the SSO; and sports legends Ash Barty and Sam Kerr of course!

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.)?

I started coming in at weekends for the gym and pool – as the ‘member partner’ – but was impressed by the friendly and helpful staff. So I joined myself in 2017. Since then I have expanded my interests at Tattersalls to the Business Forum and to the Book Club, and assisted with some musical events.  Female membership is still low as a percentage of total membership – I know that the Club’s strategy is to increase that percentage and I look forward to that gradual change.