The rules that I live by was always family was first. I pretty much designed my work life and the
business around my family, which I think is just so important.
Doing it the other way round isn’t really the right way to do it because at the end of the day, your family is with you forever. Businesses come and go. In the early days, back in our first office, I had a playpen down in the back with the eleven-month-old. Every time the phone rang, she would scream, and so I would leave John to answer the phone, and I would just fly down the back and pretty much silence her, so we didn't look too unprofessional. But it worked, it worked, it was really good!
And so, the business then became that flow of continuity around what we do today, and hence the reason why so many women are able to fold into our business, because our mindset is around family. Family first.
Do you care about being a woman entrepreneur or do you just want to be an entrepreneur? Does it matter to you that we get labelled?
That's interesting because it doesn't really matter to me at all very much. People call me the queen of property management in Perth. I’m happy with that!
Legacy: what do you want yours to be, both personally and professionally?
I really want to be known as a caring, giving person that provides opportunity to people, particularly women in this industry and in the workforce generally throughout Western Australia and the world too. Someone who can always be sought to give advice or guidance. I find a lot women in particular come to me, and they are unsure of where they are, so they think "Oh, let's have a coffee with Anita, and she will guide me and give me some of her little twinkle dust that will help me through what I need to do."
What’s your take on International Women’s Day?
This is something we’ve definitely celebrated from the very early days, since females make up approximately 75% of our workforce. I feel so passionate about the day as it gives us a vehicle to bring together all of the fabulous women and recognise their achievements and efforts over the year. To make the day special, we deliver a box of chocolates on every ladies’ desk the night before IWD, so that they arrive the next morning to find the gift, along with a personalised message from myself. In the early days of Realmark, I was running the business whilst doing the school runs, so I know how hard it can be to manage home and work life. I want to show my appreciation and to let the ladies know I’m there for them if they need me.
Anita established Realmark True Blue – a program that supports the work of charities in Western Australia like The Starlight Foundation, Redkite, Nulsen Haven and the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Find out more by visiting the Realmark website