Last week, on the 15th October 2015, Leaders in Heels held our inaugural Red Heel Day Sydney event – an annual event that celebrates and promotes female leaders and entrepreneurs. The event is a part of broader campaign, Red Heel Day, run online and offline throughout the month of October.

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We have one more bonus interview with the Red Heel Day Sydney speakers! With a diverse background (including TV presenting, Public Relations, coaching SMB owners on digital strategies) Veronica Auld is passionate about all things digital, SaaS, social media and digital marketing.

veronica auldOriginally from Melbourne, Veronica has now found her home in Sydney and a place where all of her passions can thrive – LinkedIn. Veronica works with small to medium businesses to position them as an employer of choice on the LinkedIn network and educates business leaders how to network most effectively in the digital space.

And if you haven’t yet, check out our previous interviews with Anne-Marie EliasAlexandra MillsKirsten Galliott, Jules Sebastian and the founder of Leaders in Heels, Kasia Gospos.

What does your typical week look like?

I’m an early riser mid week and like to get into the office to plan for my day. My days are busy and I am speaking to clients about transformative tech solutions – and I love it! I try and work out 4 times a week and then you can usually find me at a local restaurant in Bondi (I rarely cook with so many yummy restaurants at the end of my street). Weekends are filled with friends, food, beach and family.

What inspires you to get out of bed every day?

So many things! Each day is a new opportunity to create the life you want. My career at LinkedIn inspires me and drives me every day and I am lucky enough to work for an company that has the most incredibly driven people, that are as passionate about networking through technology as I am! LinkedIn is like one great big start-up and it feels like that too!

My biggest motivations are my Mum and my sister. These two very special ladies are the strongest, kindest, caring, supportive and most beautiful women who have taught me my values and always remind me to be the best I can be.

Which key characteristics do you see a female leader having?

I think any leader should be a great communicator – with the ability to both speak and listen. Leaders should be honest and ethical and always act with integrity. Negative energy feeds from the top – so a positive attitude is critical. Clear delegation is important. I think true leaders should recognise strengths in people and use those to achieve objectives. Kindness is key.

What is the greatest learning you have had?

Success is something that we control each and every day and passion drives success. My time in public relations made me realise I was passionate about the digital space – I didn’t even know it until then! The minute I was exposed to digital media, content marketing and the power of social media, I became completely addicted and fell in love with this totally disruptive and new way of thinking! Then it was a matter of further educating myself and becoming an expert in what I now loved. Discovering that I found pleasure in educating others on my learning was a big turning point.

Why are you excited about Red Heel Day?

Being a member of [email protected] (Women at LinkedIn) I am extremely passionate about empowering women through leadership, development and opportunity – so I feel really connected to this #RedHeelsDay event. I looooooove networking and am so excited to share insight into how to become thoughtful in your approach to digital networking and position yourself as a leader on LinkedIn. I can’t wait!

Oh, and I have some killer red heels that I’m pretty excited to rock as well ;)


If you enjoyed reading Veronica’s interview, why not come hear her speak in person at our Red Heel Day Sydney event? Last-minute tickets are still available here!

Our final interview in our series with the Red Heel Day Sydney speakers is with fashion and lifestyle expert Jules Sebastian. If you haven’t yet, check out our interviews with Anne-Marie EliasAlexandra MillsKirsten Galliott and the founder of Leaders in Heels, Kasia Gospos!


Jules is a television presenter, stylist and professionally trained make-up artist. As a frequent guest of The Today Show, The Morning Show, The Daily Edition, and The Kyle and Jackie Show, Jules will be sharing her best tips to creating a strong brand and on how to dress for success! Along with her husband, Guy Sebastian, they have established The Sebastian Foundation to create lasting change in the lives of the less fortunate.

Describe your typical week – what does it look like?

I wish I could describe a typical week! It changes constantly depending on what is going on in my life and work. My absolute constant is my kids and being with them everyday. I’m up at the crack of dawn with them getting everything ready for the day then it’s either spending the day with them or going to work. My work days are quite diverse depending on my projects. I am a Fashion Stylist first and foremost, so I work on briefs, prepping, going to showings, meetings, fittings, and so on. Once the prep is done I am usually on set working with my clients on what we have prepped for. I also have a blog so a lot of my time is spent researching for posts and working on shoots. Another arm of my business is my You Tube series Tea with Jules where I sit down with inspiring people and have a chat about their career path and how the became a success. Again, a lot of preparation goes into that, researching for my interviews, location scouting, working with the production team, then filming days, editing and running the channel. I am also working on another online series with at the moment too which gives us a sneak peek into the homes of some of Australia’s favourite celebrities. Every day is different to the next, but I enjoy every aspect of what I do. There is never a dull moment!

What inspires you to get out of bed every day?

I genuinely enjoy my life and that is what inspires me to get out of bed every day! I love that I get to make people feel beautiful for a living. It’s taken me some time, but I have found what makes me happy in life, and I am actively doing it. My family is the biggest inspiration by far. I want to be the best mum I can be and give my kids a fun, fulfilling life. That’s what matters the most!

Which key characteristics do you see a female leader having?

Strength, resilience, patience and kindness. To be a leader, one must have a vision and clear direction on where you are headed. You have to be prepared to have others follow you and the smarts to know where you are leading them. Not everyone is born to lead and that’s ok. Being a good leader is about identifying your own strengths and the strengths in others.

What is the greatest learning you have had?

Trust my intuition and learn to say no.

Why are you excited about Red Heel Day?

There is something so great about people (especially women!) coming together to celebrate each others achievement and cheer each other on. I know for certain that I would not be where I am today without the encouragement and inspiration of being around women who are better than me, kicking goals and achieving great things. That’s what is great about Red Heel Day! We get to stop for a minute, look around us and recognise both our achievements and the achievements of the people around us. We don’t do that enough!

In the lead-up to Red Heel Day, we’re interviewing our speakers to find out more about what inspires them, and what drives them to be such an inspiration to others! If you haven’t yet, check out our interviews with Anne-Marie EliasAlexandra Mills and Kirsten Galliott!

Our interview today is with Kasia Gospos, the founder of Leaders in Heels. Kasia is also a Commercial and Business Analyst and Management Accountant (ACMA, CGMA) who weaves meaningful stories from the analysis of financial and operational metrics. She has successfully released the Make Your Mark leadership notebook, working closely with designers and publishers. She is also the author of the just-launched Get Your Life Back, an ebook on automation and how she – and others – have used it to reclaim their time.

1. What does your typical day look like?

On days when I work on Leaders in Heels I wake up around 8 am and have a long play session with my dog Happy—it’s always fun and cuddles. We’ll walk together to my favourite local café in Balmain, Ciao Thyme, and then to a park overlooking harbour so Happy can play with other dogs.

I love Sydney. 90% of the year it is nice and sunny. Breakfast is usually with someone who inspires me. This is also my time to meet other entrepreneur-friends and brainstorm ideas. The rest of the day I try to spend on creative projects – I’ve just launched my ebook on business automation! My business and life are inseparable. I can’t say what time I finish work, because I never do!

My husband comes back from work around 6pm, and we plan our dinner. If we are uninspired we just go to local restaurants. If we have more time we love cooking together, having a glass of wine, listening to music in the same time and talking about new ideas we have.

2. What inspires you to get out of bed every day?

Without a doubt, the thought that this is another day I can spend building up Leaders in Heels.

What I love the most about Leaders in Heels is that now, with a growing following of over 30,000 followers and over 60,000 page views, we have the power to make a positive change. We love supporting organizations for women and I’m so proud to be a supporter of Dress For Success Sydney and Women in Global Business. I also love that we get involved in ad-hoc not-for-profit initiatives such as Walk in Her Shoes and Create-a-thon; with our audience, we’re able to help them raise awareness about very important issues.

We’re currently looking to expand our partnerships program even further and promote organizations that support female entrepreneurship, encourage girls to study STEM subjects or support girls in disadvantaged communities! So if you are one of them make sure to apply as a potential partner!

3. Which key characteristics do you see a female leader having?

I always refer to the Leaders in Heels Manifesto, which I created after polling our readers for what they thought were key characteristics of female leaders. Even while reading about, meeting or interviewing successful people, I realised they all shared certain characteristics.

They were passionate about what they did which gave them energy to work the long hours and not to give up even when the odds were against them. They were creative in achieving their goals—whether implementing a new product, or running effective meetings, for example. They looked for innovative ways of doing things. Passion for their work gave them confidence to stand for the things that mattered. Determination to keep going, though things were falling apart. They’re what form the core of the manifesto!

4. What is the greatest learning you’ve had?

Diversify your wealth. Do not rely on one income source. The same day I went part time, I received an email from my advertising agent that they are closing down the business. What kind of luck is that? If they were my only source of revenue, I would be in big trouble financially. But because I also have the stationery range, eBooks, prints, and another job, I am fine! I have time to look for another agent without having to make desperate choices to keep the site afloat.

5. Why did you create Red Heel Day?

All of us, I’m sure, work hard for the entire year. But women tend to be hard on themselves, more so than most men. We constantly criticise ourselves, while forgetting all the hard work we put into both work and family life. And we tend to keep quiet about our own achievements because it’s too easily seen as bragging.

A study by KPMG showed that many women, while aspiring to top positions in organisations, didn’t see themselves as leaders. Here at Leaders in Heels, we wanted to put aside a month celebrate these women, and encourage them to celebrate themselves and all they’ve accomplished. And yes, that means you!

I wanted to encourage women to pause to celebrate their achievements. Look back and reflecting on all the amazing things they accomplished is a key trait of a good leader. So I created Red Heel Day for women to have a place where they feel comfortable sharing their achievements with everyone. And I wanted to acknowledge women for all they do in their everyday lives, that normally goes overlooked. And who knows? They might inspire other men and women!

6. Why are you excited for Red Heel Day?

I’m excited to see what we can be inspired to do by sharing encouraging each other, and promoting and celebrating each other’s achievements.

For the Red Heel Day Sydney event, I’m looking forward to the speeches from our great speakers.

We will be also running a creativity wall – asking guests to help us come up with creative ideas on how else Leaders in Heels can fulfil its mission; what else we can do to inspire and empower more women. I can’t wait to see everyone’s answers and make Leaders in Heels even bigger and better in the year to come!

In the lead-up to Red Heel Day, we’re interviewing our speakers to find out more about what inspires them, and what drives them to be such an inspiration to others! If you haven’t yet, check out our interviews with Anne-Marie Elias and Alexandra Mills!

Next up to the plate is Kirsten Galliott. Kirsten is a senior media executive with more than 20 years’ experience in newspapers, magazines, television and radio. Her impressive career includes three years as Editor for much-loved fashion magazine InStyle fashion, 10 years at Fairfax, editing everything from Sunday Life magazine to the(sydney)magazine media group and a presenting stint on Channel 7’s Sunrise. In May, Kirsten was appointed Editor-in-Chief for the prestigious Qantas magazine and all of its digital assets, which she re-launched internationally.


Describe your typical week?

It’s very varied (which is why I love it so much). I might be working with my features team on an upcoming issue to determine what destinations are hot and how we can cover them in a fresh and surprising way. I might be at a cover shoot with an international celebrity. I might be reworking our app and reviewing what new content can go up on it. There could be meetings with Qantas, lunches with clients, events at night. It never stops.

What inspires you to get out of bed every day?

Quite simply, I love what I do. I love creating content that will have an impact on people’s lives. That impact can be small – in the case of the Qantas magazine, it could be about entertaining for someone during descent – or it can be more dramatic, such as inspiring someone to book a holiday that they will remember forever. And I love creating content with a team of passionate, creative people who feel just as I do.

Which key characteristics do you see a female leader having?

Well, I don’t know that I would qualify it with female. I think any leader has to have the same attributes. I have a note near my desk that espouses the 10 Qualities of Creative Leaders. Those qualities range from having “high standards of personal ethics” to “having the courage to make tough decisions”. And another I love: “Guts under pressure; resilience in defeat.” One quality it doesn’t include is something that I think is very important in a leader and that’s empathy.

What is the greatest learning you have had?

My sister, who is a human resources manager, once told me not to sit on a staff issue in the hope it will magically get better. She said it was much smarter to act on it quickly and decisively before it escalates. I’ve really held true to that and I’ve found by having conversations early, it can either diffuse the issue or bring something to a head.

Why are you excited about Red Heel Day?

Women need to step up and take on more leadership roles. Any initiative that encourages and promotes this – and inspires women to say “I can” instead of “I can’t” – is vital.