Next in the series, we had the pleasure of catching up for cake and a coffee with Carmen Braidwood, one of Perth’s personalities who you have probably either heard on the radio or seen on TV.
We’re certainly enjoying chatting to these amazing females as part of our International Women’s Day blog series, and we hope you’re enjoying reading them just as much!
Carmen is soon to launch her own business of workshops to assist people with presenting and podcasts.
Tell us a little bit about yourself, Carmen
Well, it's hard to define what I do these days, but I guess predominately I'm a broadcaster, which I have been for around 18 years now. More recently, I'm the presenter of Weekend Breakfast on 6PR. I host the show with another guy, Michael Genovese. And we've been doing that since September, and it's probably reignited my passion for radio. I'm really enjoying that.
Weekdays I flit around a few freelance gigs. I present on television for Destination WA, a show that airs nationally on Channel 9. I also take up corporate MC work, and some night time parties and that sort of thing as an MC. That's all been keeping me quite busy. Other than that, I'm a wife, and a daughter, and a sister, and a stepmum.
International Women's Day. What are you doing, and what does it mean to you?
I’ll be heading to the Women in Media International Women's Day breakfast. Dr. Nikki Stamp is the guest speaker, who you may have seen recently on television on Operation Live. She’s a Perth heart surgeon who started a great movement. I'm pretty sure it was called "I look like a surgeon." And it was a really nice reflection of how she met a lot of people who would say, "Hey, you don't look like a surgeon." It's like, "Well, what does a surgeon have to look like?" So, she asked some really good questions, and I think she asked some questions which are pertinent around International Women's Day and the roles that women fill and the expectations that society places on the way we should look and the way we should behave in order to fill those roles.
How do you balance your work and your life?
It's much more balanced these days. When I was still working full-time in breakfast radio, my work-life balance was pretty poor. And one of the reasons I really enjoy my freelance lifestyle right now is that I can really mix up my weeks. If I don't feel like doing a lot on a weekday, I really can choose not to. And that's great! Working weekends has bought me this kind of license to say, "Hey, I need to get a weekend in somewhere," so I'll pick a day, and very often it's a day that my husband also has off. So, he takes off two days during the week.
We're both keeping a keen eye on what we're doing for work and for our incomes, but at the same time, it's really about our lifestyle and spending time together, and enjoying this amazing city that we live in. We both love Perth.
Share with us some of your tips for women starting a business
One of the main things that I have realized through our conversation that has come back for me is self-doubt. I had a lot of self-doubt about what I was planning to do last year, and I met a mentor through various networks, who helped me a lot. She really highlighted to me that I wasn't backing myself and my ability, and I wasn't backing my ability to be an expert in my field. At the end of the day, I know what I need to do, I'm qualified, and I can deliver.
Female entrepreneur/entrepreneur. Does the gender label matter to you? Does it insult you? What are your thoughts?
You just need to believe in yourself and make a start!
I think that pointing out the gender thing is sometimes necessary, because we have a different experience to men and what it takes to be successful at what we do. I know there are a lot of people out there who don't agree with me on that, but we do. We do need to say, "Hey, these are five successful female broadcasters”, because a female broadcaster in a predominantly male industry has a different experience to get to the top of her game.
I'll give a really obvious example. Every single line-up I've been a part of, there's only ever been one woman, and two men. There has never been two women. And where there are two women, for whatever reason, because someone's sick, everybody has to go, "Oh my god! Did you just do a radio show with two women on it?”
Legacy, professionally and personally. What do you want yours to be?
I'll start with personal. I think personal legacy has to be great connections with family. I really treasure that I get to work in my home city these days. Professionally, it's a lot harder, isn't it? I guess, I'm in a transitional phase in my career, doing something a bit different. I love change. One of the things that I enjoy helping other people with is preparing them for change and be okay with it. For me, change been one of the most important elements in my career. Anytime something good has come, it's come from being prepared to adapt and accept change with a glad heart. Just get on with it. If I could make that message part of my legacy longer-term, then I'd be delighted.
Thanks, Carmen! Check out more about Carmen Braidwood
by visiting her website.
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