Amanda Saunders

Who is someone that inspires you and why?

I don’t have one individual who inspires me. I am inspired each day by different people for different reasons. It might be a female colleague who manages to keep a smile on her face whilst I know the private struggles she has. Or a trainee who is the first person in his household to have a permanent job. I think the key is to find regular inspiration in regular places, rather than only searching for something big and meaningful, which can sometimes have the opposite effect. An inspiring person to me is someone who stays true to themselves, is kind, is honest, is hardworking and who has a crack each and every day to do good. They are my people.


What advice would you give to the next generation of female leaders?

Don’t see only gender, see all opportunities for what they are. In the same way I wholeheartedly believe women should not be treated differently to men in the workplace, women should not look at men in leadership roles as opponents or the “enemy”. I personally have been so fortunate to have a supportive male mentor in my career, that it would have been such a shame to have missed out on that due to a dismissive attitude towards male leadership. I believe greatly in female empowerment and gender equality, but I also believe both men and women deserve to learn from each other each and every day. So my advice is to take opportunity when it comes knocking, and don’t see only gender or you’ll sell yourself short.


What social issues/causes are you most passionate about?

I am a big animal lover, in particular dogs, so any cause related to animal welfare is a big plus for me. Im also very passionate about female safety and the protection of women from domestic abuse. I think there is so much more our Government could be doing in this space that would have meaningful, long term impact for women who are suffering. I strive to do more and encourage others to learn more about what they can do: https://www.women.nsw.gov.au/


How do you balance work and life responsibilities?

I do not believe in the old, “work life balance” myth. I think like everything in life, there is compromise and choice. What weighting you give to each aspect of your life is a personal choice, and you have to accept and own the consequences of your choices. I am fortunate to have a supportive family who know the demands of my job in my life. This trust and support makes decision making in my life much easier. Like a lot of people, I still have moments of guilt if I haven’t achieved something I wanted to, or I’ve chosen one thing over another that feels like I’ve let myself down. But overall I accept my choices as my own, and choose what I need to each day to give myself fulfillment and enjoyment. I don’t get it right all the time, but I certainly try my best!


What’s one thing you’re currently trying to make a habit?

Reading more personal and professional development books in my downtime. Like a lot of people, I tend to do the “mindless scrolling” on social media when I have a bit of downtime, so I want to get into the habit of redirecting that time and energy into reading. I have a great app called “headway” that has a whole library of books to scroll through. You can also save quotes and come back to bits that you really resonate with. Every day I have to remind myself to do it, but I’m getting there LOL.


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