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Aboriginal Mother Fights for Women in the Workforce

“The power lies within you. You have to believe in yourself and back your capabilities. No one can believe in you, if you don’t believe in yourself,” says Kristal Kinsela, the recent recipient of the 2017 NSW Aboriginal Woman of the Year Award and the 2017 Supplier Diversity Advocate of the Year. Kinsela is also a proud Aboriginal woman, descendant from both the Jawoyn and Wiradjuri nations and she grew up in the Western suburbs of Sydney, Australia.  

On June 15, she will host a leadership workshop for Aboriginal girls at the Glasshouse in Port Macquarie. The workshop is designed to help inspire young Aboriginal women to make their own paths in life. Kinsela also runs her own consulting company, Krista Kinsela Consulting, which is an “Indigenous owned and managed consulting company that provides coaching, training and development, and facilitation services.”

In an interview with 33 Creative, Kinsela explained her job, while also expressing some of the barriers she has faced as both a woman and a mother. She said, “First and foremost I’m a mother of two beautiful children, Allayah, who’s 11, and Kaylan, who is 9. In a nutshell I provide coaching, training & development and facilitation services to help individuals and teams to realize their potential, create positive change, increase performance and productivity. I’m also an advocate of supplier diversity and my goal is to see more Indigenous businesses embedded in the supply chains of Corporate and Government.”

As for some of the barriers she has faced, Kinsela says, “I can only speak from my own experience, but I’ve experienced both age prejudice – particularly the preconception that young female leaders lack experience because of age – and the misconception that you can’t be a mother and have a career. I’ve proven you can juggle both, as hard as it is, but there still is a misconception that women can’t return to the workforce at the same or higher level because they have kids. Or that kids hold them back.”

Not only is Kinsela trying to overcome some of the barriers placed in front of women and mothers, she is also trying to redefine what it means to be a indigenous woman. She is cracking the glass ceiling and offering assistance and advice to those who wish to do the same.

Kinsela also had some advice for men to think about saying, “I’d probably ask them the question, like ‘who’s been the backbone to our communities?’ Women have been and continue to be. We are all things to all people, yet we are still underrepresented in senior leadership roles, underpaid and disadvantaged when we leave the workforce and return after we have children.”

It is inspiring women like Kinsela that keep us moving forward. NYMM magazine applauds her efforts and hopes to see her, and many other women, continue to push against barriers with a determination to succeed.

Featured Image by Marius Boatca on Flickr

Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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