A Celebration of Women in Business and Leadership

International Womens Day

International Women’s Day is this Sunday, March 8, and we at Belgravia Health and Leisure Group are marking the day by celebrating the achievements and increasing visibility of our female leaders.
This day is supported globally, and collectively we can all make a difference within our sphere of influence, by taking concrete action to help build a more gender-equal world.

Mark Maybury, Group Manager of People & Culture at Belgravia Health & Leisure says “The Group is proud to support International Women’s Day. We acknowledge the importance of creating a workplace that’s welcoming to and equal for everyone. International Women’s Day is an opportunity for us to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of all women.

Women make up 60 per cent of Belgravia Health & Leisure Group staff, and over the last three years, women in leadership roles has increased by 15 per cent. Now over 45 per cent of our leaders are women and we’re proud of the progress we’re making toward gender equality; and the significant contribution these women make to our business and the health and wellbeing of the communities we serve.

We’re encouraging our 220+ local teams to bring their own flavour to these celebrations, in addition to the events we have planned at our support office.”

Local Teams Show Their Flavour

Annette Kellerman Aquatic Centre

The Annette Kellerman Aquatic Centre Management Team – made up of 85 per cent female leaders!
“I’m very proud to lead such an inspiring team. Thanks to the Belgravia Health & Leisure Group for getting behind the day and for the continued support for our female leaders.”
– Rosie Keogh, Centre Manager Annette Kellerman Aquatic Centre.

Michael Clarke Recreation Centre

“Join us this Saturday to celebrate International Women’s Day. Wear purple to any of our Saturday classes with Melissah and Debra for a chance to win a prize.” – Michael Clarke Recreation Centre

In the spotlight: Our Female Leaders

International Women’s Day is a big day of inspiration, change and leadership. We’d like to shine a light on a few of our inspiring female leaders at Belgravia Health and Leisure Group. We’d also like to say thank you and celebrate all of our amazing female teams who make a positive impact in connecting community to leisure.

Judy Tipping

Judy Tipping, Business and Administration Manager, Franklin Pool and Leisure, New Zealand

Judy joined the Group in August 2015, and says the best part of her job is “seeing the young workers gaining life skills that they can take with them on their life’s journey.”

She told us that the three most important things in her life at the moment are her family, health and a healthy work-life balance. “A healthy work-life balance can be difficult at times with workload pressures. With a large facility to look after and three outdoor pools, the summer months are extremely busy. I ensure I have at least four hours per week when I’m not at work to have ‘personal time’. This may be chatting to my mother on the phone, pottering in the garden or having a long soak in the bath – my husband knows not to disturb me when I’m having personal time,” Judy explains.

What’s one of your proudest achievements?

I’m extremely proud to see Belgravia Leisure [Judy’s business unit] establish itself and to see where it is today in New Zealand and to be part of that is very humbling. Establishing working partnerships with Waikato Institute for Leadership and Sport Studies, and funding partners for programs has been a long journey, however we now have a commitment from Counties Manukau Sport, Counties Power and Swimming New Zealand to name a few.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

Recognition for the working women, whether they’re in the workforce or in their homes being mothers. As well as recognising women’s rights and equality.

How do you challenge gender stereotypes?

We all need to react to inappropriate or discriminating comments, I always work on being confident in male-dominated environments. We all need to speak up so that males can learn from us through awareness, education and support of each other.

A Celebration of the Success of Women in Business and Leadership at Belgravia Health and Leisure Group

Kim Blair, National Administration Manager, Genesis Health + Fitness

Kim started working on reception at Genesis Health + Fitness Ringwood in 2008. As a busy mum who prioritises her family, career and overall health Kim says organisation and planning her weeks in advance is a massive part of a healthy work-life balance, “knowing when meetings, training, club visits, etc. are is important so I can ensure I have babysitting organised and can be on time, prepared and present when I’m at work.”

Kim says one of her proudest moments was presenting at the 2019 Genesis Health + Fitness Franchise conference and being selected to attend the Belgravia Leadership College (BLC). “I had an incredible time at BLC meeting many new faces, learning about different areas of the business and working in a team with people who were complete strangers at the start of the week was daunting but so rewarding. I learnt heaps about myself including how my communication style and the ways that I handle things differently to how others might can help me better communicate with my team.”

As a new mum it was important to Kim that she had her new bub with her on the BLC trip “I could not have asked for more support or understanding with bringing my little boy along to BLC. I was still breastfeeding at the time, so leaving him for four nights wasn’t an option for me, and while many other workplaces might have decided it was too difficult to accommodate me, Mark and Cherie, the BLC leaders arranged a cabin that my mum and little boy could stay in without even batting an eye. BLC was busy, juggling full days of activities and night work with my team, but thanks to the support of everyone there it all worked out beautifully.”

What’s your favourite part of work?

The variety and flexibility. I’m lucky to have a really understanding manager who’s happy for me to work around things if I need to, as long as what I need to do is getting done. I love spending time in clubs as well as being a part of more of the day-to-day happenings at head office.

How do you challenge gender stereotypes?

I don’t set out to challenge gender stereotypes; I’m just doing what I love and what works best for my family and situation. Most of the roles I have been in over the years have tended to be in more male-dominated teams, however I’ve never felt that I was not equally appreciated or valued in any of my roles.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

I love the recognition women are now receiving for the hard work they do. Whether women choose to focus on their careers, to be stay-at-home mums or juggle both, we’re slowly getting to a place where there is less judgement and more support of women doing what is best for them and their situation, which I think is fantastic.

Marnie Sara

Marnie Sara, Payroll Manager, Belgravia Health and Leisure Group Head Office

Marnie has been a valued employee for over 10 years! Marnie told us her favourite part of her role is working with so many people, both internally and externally, whether you’re a lifeguard or a CEO, it is very rewarding. Her greatest achievement since joining us when she was appointed as Payroll Manager in 2018.

Marnie manages her team, her family and has just finished building and moving into her new home here in Melbourne and explains how important work-life balance is for her and her family.

“I am always on the go, from morning to night, between work, family, school and life in general. I have pretty great kids too, who are very independent. I am also pretty organised at home so have checklists for the kids before I get home from work which gives me peace of mind, knowing I don’t ‘always’ have to remind them to get something done. I also rely on school parents to take my kids to their sports and training, so I am pretty lucky to have their support as well. I have great people around me, both at home and at work which makes my work-life balance enjoyable.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

Being a woman, it is important that we are all recognised in the same way. It’s inspiring to see the achievements of so many women in the workplace. It is an acknowledgement that doesn’t come easy, so it is great to see how much women are being valued.

How do you challenge gender stereotypes?

The way I see it is everyone is a human being, regardless of gender. I have been taught to treat people the way you would like to be treated.

Cheryl McLennan

Cheryl McLennan, Aquatic Services Manager, Albany Creek Leisure Centre, QLD

Cheryl has been an employee of the Group for 17 years, and as a super involved mum, she puts her energy where it matters most by prioritising a healthy work-life balance with good time management skills, which, she admits doesn’t always go to plan. “I juggle a leadership role and try to be the best person I can by having a positive attitude. I have a motto of being grateful every day for the blessings we have been given and start the day with reading quotes which inspire a happy day.”

Cheryl is busy supporting daughter Chloe on her sporting achievements and explains “my daughter competes at a high elite level in triathlon which involves plenty of travel so being super organised for work and for the week is very important. I am a doctor, chef, psychologist, sports trainer, teacher but at the end of the day I am a mum and a parent who works for an amazing company who understands our family’s needs, which makes it so important as a female in any working position.”

How do you manage a healthy work-life balance?

Being totally organised and having good time management by giving myself time out at the beach. For those searching for balance, I recommend taking time to define what balance means to you, not what others tell you the perfect picture of balance looks like. Discovering what makes you feel relaxed, zen and in your happy place, and make time for that thing in your everyday life.

What’s one of your proudest achievements?

There are so many proud moments that I’ve had with Belgravia. Seeing our teams succeed at the state conferences, reaching the targets and goals which are set, seeing so many children’s’ lives changed because of what we do. But the most humbling and proudest moment was when the entire Belgravia Team came together and supported each other after the passing of our much-loved friend Kristyn.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

International Women’s Day is a day for celebration, not only for women who are leaders but for all women. We should be celebrating women and the role that every woman plays trying to balance life and work.

How do you challenge gender stereotypes?

There will always be gender stereotypes, this is so prevalent in sport, but times are changing slowly – I’ve never felt more empowered, included and heard. Keep being the most authentic you can because the opportunities that come from that, gender aside, have never been more available to us than they are now.
Teach your daughters to stand up and be heard and keep strong in their beliefs.

Dayna Kiekebosch

Dayna Kiekebosch, Centre Manager, Genesis Energy Huntly Aquatic Centre, New Zealand

Dayna has worked for Belgravia for just over six months and says her favourite part of her role is the people. “The people that I see using our facilities daily, the people that I interact with while at work and the people of Belgravia. It gives me pleasure knowing that this great company is providing awesome facilities for our local communities.”

On her proudest achievement, Dayna says that “it would have to be successfully completing the Belgravia Leisure College (BLC) in November last year. This was not only a professional achievement but a personal development that I have valued and will continue to benefit from for the rest of my career.”

Dayna says the most important things in her life right now are her friends and family, being successful in everything she does while maintaining a healthy work-life balance. “I think everyone struggles with maintaining a healthy work-life balance sometimes, but for me, it’s ensuring I am allocating my time where it’s needed. I try to make sure I don’t take my work home and am remembering to take the time for myself. It’s important in the role that I do to allocate time for myself and my family to give me balance.”

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

International Women’s Day to me means celebrating all women in all walks of life achieving some amazing things. Honouring the achievements and successes of women no matter how big or small!

How do you challenge gender stereotypes?

I am quite a driven person and enjoy challenges which I think helps me to challenge gender stereotypes as I don’t like giving up or finishing a job half done. This is an industry that would be expected to be more male-dominated but I can proudly say I am surrounded by lots of strong women here at Belgravia.

Georgia Hall

Georgia Hall, Victoria and Tasmania Marketing Coordinator, Belgravia Leisure

Georgia has been a team member at Belgravia Leisure for a year and a half, however her first role with Belgravia was in operations at Yarrambat Park Golf Course. Georgia worked in the cafe/restaurant for four years while studying marketing.

Georgia’s favourite part of her role is “The people! We have such a great group of people across the board. I love getting to meet everyone across all of our facilities.”
When it comes to a healthy work-life balance Georgia says, “being in good health is very important to me. Having a well-balanced lifestyle that works well for you and your body and finding time for exercise and to enjoy good food is important.

Being surrounded by people that make you feel happy is also really important. I’m lucky to have awesome people around me in both my personal and professional life. I also love music and it’s a big part of my work-life balance. Whether it’s going to see live music, singing or listening to new music. Having a hobby or something that you love doing outside of your day-to-day responsibilities such as sport, painting, dancing, etc. is very fulfilling.

What’s one of your proudest achievements?

Speaking at last year’s national conference alongside some of our other epic marketing ladies was a huge highlight. While daunting, it was a fantastic and very rewarding experience.
Other highlights have been welcoming Knox Leisureworks and the awesome team to our Belgravia family and one of my first projects, which was assisting with the Gurri Wanyarra Wellbeing Centre opening in Bendigo. Being a part of that project and seeing the incredible impact the centre and the crew up in Bendigo have made in the community is very cool!

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

It’s a great reminder to give a shoutout to those ladies around you who positively impact your life, the workplace or your community. That being said, a big shoutout to all the ladies I get the pleasure to work with every day – you know who you are!

How do you challenge gender stereotypes?

In marketing, and especially in the fitness industry, certain body types can often be seen or promoted as what we ‘could’ or ‘should’ look like. Sometimes, it may be portrayed that different genders should be participating in certain activities. But as we all know; everyone is different and unique and all activities can be done by anyone regardless of gender!

Within our marketing (at Belgravia Health & Leisure), we actively showcase the diversity and different users through imagery, language and communications, and by doing this we can definitely challenge these stereotypes and promote positive gender messages in our community.