As we approach International Women’s Day 2020 we are featuring some of the women who are leaders within our organisation.
We continue this series with our Associate Director Operations and Governance, Rhiannon Jones.

What is your role and what led you there?

I am the Associate Director of Operations and Governance. I completed a PhD in Chemistry and moved from the bench to the desk after my first postdoctoral position. I transitioned from the lab to research admin and management, to project management and finally into operations and governance. When I finished labwork, I wanted to remain in science so I could continue to play a role in the brilliant research that is undertaken in Australia. I enjoy facilitating research and ensuring that people have the right tools and systems in place to carry out their work effectively and make appropriate decisions.

Can you name a person who has had a tremendous impact on you? Maybe someone who has been a mentor to you? Why and how did this person impact your life?

So many of the people who I work with now and have worked with in the past have inspired and influenced me. I take a little something from each of them. People who have had the biggest influence are those who have pushed me to reexamine my own ideas and goals.

Where do the great ideas come from in your organisation?

Great ideas come through great networks.

What is one characteristic that you believe every leader should possess?

I believe every leader should have compassion and empathy. It’s hard to lead people if you’re not willing to understand who they are and where they are coming from.

What advice would you give someone going into a similar position for the first time?

Be prepared for anything. In many research organisations the operations and management teams can be very lean, so you will often find yourself taking on a role that you didn’t expect. Embrace that opportunity for growth and development.

What are you doing to ensure you continue to grow and develop in your role?

I continue to put my hand up to embrace new opportunities as they arise and don’t shy away from challenges.