Hear from leading senior females in Strategy. They will be discussing their success, career defining moments and what advice they would give to another female looking to pursue a similar career. This is what Tabitha Tauschek, Head of Group Strategy at 7-Eleven had to say.
Tabitha is currently the Head of Group Strategy at 7-Eleven. She honed her consulting experience at LEK where she spent almost 7 years before being seconded to Foxtel. During her time at LEK she worked across multiple sectors but has a real passion for retail and media. Tabitha is a renowned team leader who enjoys leading and mentoring and is a strong female advocate and a lovely leader!
What factors do you think have been critical to the success you have achieved in your career?
Over the course of my career these three principles have guided me: First, do the hard work. A career in strategy is challenging and there are no shortcuts. But, I have found most businesses to be meritocracies where hard work and a focus on delivering the right answer is rewarded.
Second, build talented and enthusiastic teams. Success requires having a team that you can rely on, who feel comfortable challenging you, and who you listen to. However (as tempting as it may be) never sacrifice cultural fit for super talented.
It sounds trite, but what makes work fun are the day to day experiences you have with your team. My team keeps me going. Third, don’t be defensive. Nothing feels worse than pouring your heart and soul into a project and then hearing ‘constructive’ feedback. No one is right all the time and learning to embrace feedback has been essential to my development.
What initiatives have you experienced within an organisation that you believe have helped you?
I have been involved in a number of ‘Women in Business’ initiatives, all of which have been helpful by providing formal learning and development opportunities as well as access to accomplished professional women who have dispensed invaluable advice.
However, I have found the handful of mentors and champions in my life to have been more helpful than formal initiatives. My mentors (typically outside of my workplace) know my long-term career aspirations and have helped me make decisions that stay true to my goals.
My champions (typically within my workplace) know my strengths and weaknesses and advocate for me to be a part of meaningful and visible projects where they know I can contribute. I recommend all women seek out these opportunities – it really does take a village.
What advice would you share with females on how to progress their careers within Strategy?
I think the strategist's toolkit is a broad one (some might say we're a jack of all trades, master of none!) and those working in strategy are lucky to get access to varied experiences. Regardless of gender, I would encourage everyone working in strategy to be adventurous and truly open to new experiences – you learn from everything. For women specifically, my advice (for what it’s worth …) is two-fold.
Firstly, be prepared to work hard but it’s important to seek balance. Set yourself personal and career targets and don’t compromise on either. Secondly, I think more women need to be comfortable self-promoting. Strategy can be demanding so if you’ve achieved something great you’ve earned it – don’t be afraid to own your accomplishments.
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