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Westfield Women In Conversation with...

Samantha Wills

AUTHOR: Katie Northwood

After a tonne of successful panel events at major events around the country, Business Chicks, together with Westfield, hosted a series of Women In Conversation With... events, each featuring an individual speaker including our very own Samantha Wills, Rachael Finch, Turia Pitt and Jules Sebastian. These events were a unique opportunity to have an intimate, less formal conversation around issues facing women in business.

For those who have seen Samantha speak at other events - you'd be familiar with the candour she brings, in no short supply. Chatting with Business Chicks' Rebecca Bodman the conversation quickly turned to purpose, specifically when it comes to branding - something Samantha is particularly passionate about. With her deep-rooted belief of knowing (REALLY knowing) your 'why', Samantha spoke to the importance of continually coming back to this at each milestone your brand or business reaches, every big decision and every partnership opportunity - come back to your why, your moral framework, and stay true to that - even if this means saying no - your business will thank you in the end!

With the fast-evolving landscape of social media, brand and social accountability and responsibility are hot topics right now, and Samantha shared how now more than ever this moral framework is essential - and was, in fact, the crucial factor behind her decision to sign on as a Holden Ambassador. The brand's stance on issues such as gender equality and opportunity is something Samantha is openly passionate about.

Those who follow her on social media know Samantha's 'open book' attitude towards to her life - understanding the power of transparency and sharing the lows as well as the highs. She revealed to the group her recent decision to 'cleanse' her Instagram account, after going back and realising that some of her photos no longer aligned with her message - resulting in 500+ photos being deleted. As articulated beautifully by Susan Statham - "Your life is your story. Write well. Edit Often." This is as true for yourself as for your business;  don't be afraid to pull back from things that are not in your best interest.

On the topic of self-love - there was some homework for the group (the good kind!) Be a little nicer to yourself. With the growing influence of social media and the resulting 'compare and despair' downward spiral that comes with it - Samantha encouraged everyone to be more aware of their thoughts. Think of something negative you've thought about yourself recently - now, would you say that to your best friend? No, of course you wouldn't! So, why have you accepted that level of negativity about yourself? We're all guilty of it, but now that we're talking about it, we can start to rewire how we think about and speak to ourselves.

Thank you to the entire Business Chicks and Westfield teams for having us, and for the wonderful like-minded women (and men!) who joined us for the event. We hope to see you all at the next one - stay tuned!