Describing herself as a “fun, happy person who likes to laugh and make people laugh”, Lorelle certainly doesn’t live up to anyone’s expectations but her own. With pink tips in her hair, Lorelle is a force to be reckoned with and her leadership style is one to be admired.
With a keen interest in sport and keeping fit, Lorelle has recently joined an all-girls soccer team, as well as regular personal training. Having moved around a lot, from Townsville to Brisbane to Sydney, the soccer team has allowed Lorelle to meet women from all walks of life.
Starting her career by completing a BA in Social Politics, Lorelle wasn’t sure that she wanted to follow the corporate path, “so I did a Social Work degree because I wanted to help people and work with people”. Eventually finding herself drifting away from Social Work and towards the world of Tech, Lorelle found herself having a variety of different opportunities opening up to her, with the help of some good mentors, whom she credits as “critical to someone’s success”.
Mother of a daughter who is now nine years old, Lorelle has experienced the benefits of a flexible working environment first hand when her daughter was born: “I went back to work after three months and the company I worked for used to let my husband and I do 50/50 working from home, so I’d work in the office in the morning and then he would take over…. Flexible opportunities really help!”
With a personal philosophy that revolves around humour in both her day-to-day and work life, Lorelle explains: “I like to work with people good or bad, I like to build up respect within the team. My main goal is yes, we’ve got a job to do, but how do we get to that place? What’s the journey we’re going to take to get to that place? If it’s a hard journey, is it the technology that’s making it hard, and if it is, how can we be smarter? I like to build up people’s strength, so to me if they grow and develop to be independent, I get more enjoyment out of that”.
For Lorelle, it’s all about self-examination and playing on your own personal strengths and weaknesses to improve yourself, “You’ve always got something you aren’t so good at, but don’t let that overcome your fear of getting something done”. Discussing Vodafone’s diversity initiatives, Lorelle focuses on the companies Lead Like a Woman program, which highlights the value of female leaders and supports them with career clarity, confidence and how to achieve leadership success by embracing who they are, rather than who they feel they need to be. Lorelle views the WIT Movement as being most important to young girls because “that’s when it starts”. “It’s from the time when you’re born, blue is for boys and pink is for girls. Cars are for boys… we need to remove this gender and make things gender neutral”. Not feeding into the sometimes existent corporate pressure for women to dress a certain way, Lorelle just goes with how she “feels that day asking herself “Is it women that do it [put pressure] on themselves?”
Agreeing that the Tech industry offers great opportunities for women, Lorelle believes that “flexibility should come with any role” with Tech giving her a “really dynamic and challenging working environment”.
Offering up her advice, Lorelle states “I think for me, it’s about believing in yourself. Don’t see gender as something that can stop you from doing what you want to do. Just keep trying, just keep learning, get exposure to experiences and people who will give you them because that’s how you learn and get better. Don’t see gender as a barrier, remove that thought!”
And if she could change a misconception about the tech industry, Lorelle is quick to explain that “tech is fun, and we should use it in a way that’s positive, not negative. We need to use tech as a way that will help things instead of hinder our environment”.
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