Answers to Thriving with Gemma Lloyd

Updated: Oct 18, 2019

Co-CEO & Founder at WORK180 - the only job platform where employers are pre-screened to ensure they support women’s careers.

Quick Dive:

  • Can’t start the day without: Avocado and Vegemite on toast.

  • Best read of all time: The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz (it's all about his story of founding and growing a start-up - it's so incredibly real).

  • Non-negotiable: Calling my family

  • Most random job ever: During high school I worked at a meat factory doing data entry when I was a vegetarian - it wasn't pleasant.

  • Top music track: Kendrick Lamar always pumps me up for the day!

  • Mindful habits: I definitely need to get better at these…

  • I’m most afraid of: Flying and heights - although I overcame both of these fears in 2017!

  • Go-to for fun: Going to a bar or eating out with either my best friend (and Co-founder, Valeria) or my boyfriend.

Steps to thriving:

How did you choose what to focus your studies on?

My strengths at school were biology and chemistry, so I chose to study Health Science at University. But after my first semester, I decided to take a gap year and then fell into my first proper corporate job whilst overseas – so I never went back.

When you were at school, did you have an idea of what you wanted a career in?

To begin with I thought I would be a dietician or a paramedic. It wasn’t until after I fell into the corporate world that I realised that was where I wanted to be. My dad recently told me that he always thought I would start my own business, because although I was good academically at school. I always wanted to do things my own way!

What was that first corporate job?

It was in IT recruitment, and I did very well in that position. That was my first exposure to the world of IT and it really inspired me to delve deeper into the industry. I went from recruitment to being an audio and web conferencing specialist. That then lead to multiple business development positions within the tech industry. I found myself working on multimillion-dollar projects for government and enterprise – which I absolutely loved.

What were your experiences of working for other people?

In one of my first jobs in Australia, I was one of only a couple of women within the company – it was like being in a boys’ club and it was a tough time for me. I was stereotyped and I was asked to get coffees for my colleagues, take notes in meetings - all tasks that weren't part of my job description, but were given to me because I'm a woman. Because I was young I didn’t find it easy to resist, but eventually I began to, and people started treating me differently, which was really good.

I was asked to get coffees for my colleagues, take notes in meetings - all tasks that weren't part of my job description, but were given to me because I'm a woman.

My next job provided a completely different experience and this was due to the gender balanced leadership. It was refreshingly diverse - both culturally and in terms of age and gender. This made a very noticeable difference to the working environment - the employees were happy, engaged and productive.

I was then offered a job with more money at a large IT consulting firm, so I took it. But I soon regretted my decision to move - it was like being back in the boys’ club again. Experiencing this level of sexism again started to fuel my passion for somehow supporting women within the workforce.