By Rizna Mutmainah z5142434 and Kate Quinn z5114887
Striding into the cafe with her cream-coloured clothes, Gucci shoes, pixie haircut and a smile, businesswoman Suzy Jacobs hopes to make a change.
Her eyes light up as she shares her ambitions of starting a new feminist movement and hashtag called #Enough.
The November project is in collaboration with women’s activist group, Women’s Champion of Change, a group focused on gender equality and the empowerment of women.
“We’re looking to do a hashtag and it’s almost like ‘enough’, as in enough, and we are enough,” Jacobs says.
Her hands move purposefully as she describes this new initiative, “we want to create like an organic mass of women heading towards the Opera house and have a drone from above picture, not a march, not anything crazy, just like the coming together of women,” she says.
This project comes after the recent #TimesUp and #MeToo campaigns, which Jacobs admits she’s sceptical about their effect in Australia and thinks we missed an opportunity to say “actually it’s enough. It’s enough of all the inequality”.
While there is obvious inequality between men and women in the workplace, Jacobs says there is also inequality between women who work and women who don’t.
“I think that there is more work for us to do to collaborate and support each other,” she says.
Jacobs hopes that this movement will bridge the gap between the working moms and non-working moms, the women in corporate and those striving to get there.
The source of Jacobs determinism isn’t hard to trace in light of her mother’s accomplishments in the Australian Judicial System, she speaks proudly of her mother who was “the first deputy chief female magistrate and the first magistrate to transition into the district court and become a judge.”
Jacobs mother, Angela Karpin, was expected to marry a farmer and stay in New Zealand, Jacobs laughs as she recalls her mother’s defiance, “she decided she didn’t want to do that, she wanted to study law.”
The apple doesn’t seem to fall far from the tree, as Jacobs gives a charming description of her mother, “she’s a tenacious little thing”.
“So she probably had an effect,” Jacobs casually states.
Her mother was a single parent of eight children, and according to Jacobs never expressed a need for help or assistance.
A single mother herself, Jacobs has utilised much of her mother’s strong characteristics to help other women.
Jacobs has over a decade of experience working with women, both as a co-founder of Finesque, a company providing business advice for women and as an accomplished motivational speaker.
She was also the co-founder of She Business, a company that aims to secure the financial future of 100,000 business women worldwide.
Jacobs’ explains that her inspiration to help women came to her one day when she was dropping her kids at primary school in London over a decade ago.
On this day Jacobs was hit with a realisation that would change her life and the lives of many other women forever.
“I would see all these women who had just had kids, kind of lost a sense of who they were in the world,” Jacobs says.
It was this awakening that spurred, the now Sydney based, Jacobs’ decision to spend her life motivating women like her former self.
From speaking to small groups of less than 10 to speaking at corporate events of 3,000 delegates, Jacobs has made a big impact for women in the workplace.
Over the course of a decade, Suzy Jacobs has become a figurehead for motivating women and helping them regain confidence when re-entering or entering the workforce for the first time.
Jacobs smiles fondly as she talks about the success stories from the women she works with.
One woman she speaks proudly of is Caroline Ferguson, who through Jacobs’ help created her own luxury travel brand called ‘Luxury Bound’.
“She was a franchise in another brand and has now transferred to creating her own luxury travel brand, and she’s got this agency called Luxury Bound, which is just beautiful,” she says.
Jacobs feels an emotional connection with the women she works with, and it’s this connection which builds loyalty, as she speaks about how some of these women have worked with her for years.
Jacobs explains that a woman’s greatest strength is finding their own voice, being true to themselves, going out and creating great things for the people who they can make a difference too.
Jacobs says the main thing that tends to hold women back “is fear, it’s really simple”.
“Women, without a doubt, suffer from not good enough, perfectionism, who am I?” she says.
Jacobs gave a key piece of advice to women as to how to overcome this, “it’s not about being a victim you know, it’s about being responsible.”
Jacobs explains that once you identify your weaknesses, you can accept them, find the support and make a move.
Offering some words of advice for young women entering the workforce Jacobs says, “always add value and show that you can contribute to generating revenue”.
“Know that you always have a choice and are responsible for creating your experience in the world, you’ll transform the world we live in,” she says.
In light of her own public speaking success, Jacobs says that public speaking is also a necessity, “body language, delivering a message so it lands with the audience is just so valuable.”
Aside from her endeavours in motivational speaking, the business world and #enough, Jacobs has several projects this year including a motivational podcast that was released on the 20th of March called, ‘The Change Room’.
The podcast “is creating a space for change and it’s directed to influential leaders who want to transform their business and financial reality,” she says proudly.
Jacobs will also become a mentor in the SISTER2sister program, which aims to help ‘at risk’ teenage girls make good life choices.
Driven as she is, Jacobs said she wants to take some time out this year to “spend time hanging at home, go travel. I just don’t want to do stuff for the sake of it”.
In the meantime, Suzy Jacobs sense of humour hasn’t failed, as she mentions that the true near future holds “joy and happiness and rainbows and butterflies.”
|Kate (Intro):||Sydney based entrepreneur and motivational speaker Suzy Jacobs reflects on the women in her life. From her grandmother’s success on the west end to her mother’s success in the Australian judicial system, Jacobs gives insight into why she’s now made it her mission to help women get back into the workforce with confidence. [00:19]|
|Kate:||What got you into the industry of motivational speaking?|
|Suzy:||I think we always, uh, teach what we need to learn. So I ask myself questions around; where can I add the most value, where can I make the biggest difference, where will I have fun? And I just plug myself into opportunities to do that. [00:39]|
|Kate:||Did you have any big female role models in your life? Either in your early childhood or now?|
|Suzy:||So my mother was supposed to, she comes from New Zealand, she was supposed to marry a farmer cause that’s what her parents wanted her to do. But she decided she didn’t want to do that she wanted to study law. She started a law firm, she became a magistrate. She was the first female deputy chief magistrate, and the first magistrate ever to transition into the district court and become a judge. SO she probably had an effect. [01:12]|
|Kate:||So you recently MC’d to over 3000 people, how was that?|
|Suzy:||Extraordinary, yeah extraordinary. I’ve never MC’d for three days so that was exhausting. You know they say to say yes and then work our how, and it’s a pretty good guiding principle to live life. You just gotta say yes, because how else do you get the experience? [01:41]|
|Kate:||What do you think are some of the biggest obstacles facing women trying to get back into the workforce?|
|Suzy:||There are a lot! It’s a willingness to go, ‘yeah okay I don’t know that but I can learn’, and again do the work to get there. That’s one, the thing that actually holds people back though is fear. [02:00]|
|Rizna:||Have you yourself faced any fears that maybe hold you back?|
|Suzy:||Pft, everyday! [02:06]|
|Rizna:||So would you say the future for women in the workplace is changing?|
|Suzy:||Yeah, without a doubt. Not fast enough. You know it should be really simple but it’s not. I still think that there is a separation between the non-working mums and the working mums and I think that there is more work for us to do to collaborate and support each other. [02:30]|
|Rizna:||What does the future hold?|
|Suzy:||Oh my god! Joy, happiness, rainbows and butterflies. I launch my podcast on Tuesday so that is very very cool. So the podcast is called ‘The Change Room’ and it is creating a space for change. It’s directed to influential leaders who want to transform their business and financial reality. [02:57]|