25 November 2014

Working women inspired

​"What would you do if you weren’t afraid?" asked Kate Mason-Dryden at an inspiring St Catherine’s professional women’s networking breakfast.

It was a thought provoking question for more than 70 professional women at various stages of their careers as they contemplated the joys and pitfalls of business and family lives.

Ms Mason-Dryden is Human Resource Director at Coca-Cola Amatil Australia and mum to Annabelle Dryden who will be in Year 12 in 2015 and Kayla Dryden who left the School in 2012.

Reflective journey

She was speaking to an audience of former students and current parents at the event held in the boardroom of global financial services company, UBS. They listened closely as she reflected on a highly successful career that has taken her all over the world reliving some of the highs and lows in a talk full of warmth and wisdom.

"Glass ceiling? There is definitely a sticky floor," she said.

Warren Buffet philosophy

Ms Mason-Dryden urged the business community to become ‘feminist capitalists’, a term coined by American business magnate Warren Buffett who invests in companies that promote a female friendly culture. Her talk also provoked laughter when she quoted Madeleine Albright, the former US Secretary of State. "There is a special place in hell for women who don't help other women," she said, encouraging the women in the room to, "open the doors for other women. Men do it."


Success in business was a journey she said, but "we have to bring men with us. They are just waiting to be asked" and she reminded working women to be courageous.  "You need self-belief, own your own achievements and develop a strong network of friends and mentors," adding that was why this annual St Catherine’s professional women’s networking breakfast organised by the St Catherine’s Foundation was so important.

Headmistress Dr Julie Townsend wrapped up the event with thanks to Ms Mason-Dryden as well as organisers Mrs Anne-Maree Taylor and Mrs Genevieve Teo, current parents who have committed to establishing this exciting initiative.

Dr Townsend said the talk had spoken to them of great courage and resilience, which were some of the important virtues of a St Catherine’s girl.