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Collective launches Mackay event with Special Guests

Collective launches Mackay event with Special Guests
Image supplied | Jo Sainsbury

Empowering Women in Male-Dominated Industries

Best-selling author, radio and TV host, trusted advisor, advocate, and speaker Jo Sainsbury is fearlessly breaking barriers for women in male-dominated industries.

She will share her insights on what it takes to drive change at a new networking event in Mackay this month.

Inspiring Women’s Journeys in Non-Traditional Careers

Collective – Inspiring Women in Business, powered by the IntoWork Group, empowers and supports women at all stages of their careers through networking events, mentoring and professional development. 

Events have been held in Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Tasmania, Brisbane and Sydney and now Collective is coming to Mackay for the first time on Friday, 22nd March.

Driving Change

After 30 years working in corporate roles, Jo decided to ditch her high heels for hi-vis as a coal driver in the rail and mining industry.

The transition into a male-dominated industry was no easy task for the mother-of-two, who had no contacts, or experience and faced societal biases. “I’m a strong advocate for inclusion and diversity. I genuinely believe more women should consider non-traditional roles and careers, just like I did eleven years ago. I want more women to know that these roles are truly worth pursuing,” Jo said.

“Women need to determine how to get to the ‘next better thing’, to know they are capable of working and leading in their organisations within all industries, they can enjoy them, be passionate about them, and be successful in them.”

Women Leading the Way in Industry Diversity

As the founder of the Kickass Women network and the host of “Kickass Radio,”  Jo is a huge advocate for more women in the Rail, Mining, Resource, STEM and Construction Industries.

She strives to connect women by working with organisations, businesses, governments, and the broader community to challenge societal norms and attitudes that reinforce women’s career outcomes.

“As women, we all have incredible tools to negotiate, and if we know how to influence behaviour, we can drive negotiation success, and accelerate progress for women in corporate and workplace settings to win at the negotiating table and unlock our full economic potential,” she said.

Transforming Societal Norms in Career Paths

Also joining as a guest speaker is Queensland Women in Trades Ambassador Krystal Brookes. Originally from Mackay, Krystal is a seasoned professional in painting and decorating and a proud business owner on the Sunshine Coast.

Her journey in the construction industry began as a single mother of two boys, emerging from a challenging domestic family environment. Driven to secure a better future for herself and her children, she shifted from running a personal training business to joining a painting crew as an apprentice.

Her story isn’t just about professional success but also about the ongoing pursuit of becoming a better version of oneself.

Empowering Women in Business Through Collective Action

Collective Queensland State Lead Juliet Stewart said she is thrilled to bring Collective to Mackay for the first time, “Our goal is to create a supportive and empowering environment where women can learn, grow, and thrive in their professional journeys. We believe that by bringing together successful women leaders, we can inspire and motivate others to achieve their full potential,” she said.

“Jo and Krystal inspire others to dig deeper, motivating women to overthrow the status quo and think differently about their capabilities, their possibilities and opportunities, what it takes to drive change and what action is needed to succeed in various male-dominated industries.”

Stories of Triumph in Challenging Environments

Money raised from the event will go to the Mackay Women’s Centre, an incorporated, non-government, community-based organisation that provides a range of free counseling and support services for women in Mackay and the surrounding region.

To date, Collective has raised over $76,000 for charities across Australia through regular networking events.

After the event, women have the opportunity to sign up for Collective’s free national mentoring program, which is run online and is open to all women in business across Australia. The program is powered by IntoWork Australia, in partnership with Mas National.