Image Gallery: AACS Women in Convenience Panel

The Australian Association of Convenience Stores (AACS) Women in Convenience Panel was held at Ace Hotel Sydney to celebrate women in convenience.

The event, sponsored by UCB, hosted by Theo Foukkare, CEO of AACS, and moderated by Corinne Barclay, featured a knowledgeable and experienced panel offering insights into women working in the convenience channel.

Panellists included Felicity Needham from Coca-Cola EuroPacific Partners, Skye Jackson from Ampol Australia, Claudine Kersivien from Bega Cheese, and Laura Ronan from Nestle.

Key themes discussed included backing yourself no matter what the situation, to not be afraid of working in different roles within an organisation, and how honesty, integrity, and authenticity are key to being a great leader in today’s changing business environment.

Speaking during the panel, Jackson said it was an exciting time to be a part of the industry.

“How I’ve seen the industry change is such a positive thing for females. If I think of how many females would have been in a room at a leadership team meeting when I started 15 years ago, I would’ve been one of the only people in the room. Whereas now, that balance of diversity is really exciting to see. And I think it’s benefiting the industry as well.”

All panellists agreed that diversity has come a long way from what was traditionally a male-dominated industry, and that is being championed by both large and small businesses.

The importance of having a mentor was discussed, particularly a female mentor, as the thought process, ideas, and support from a like-minded person can be invaluable.

On being involved in the panel, Needham said having a focus on women in convenience and building a strong network within the convenience industry is such an important part in the evolution of the channel.

“I hope that by creating more events like this and the opportunity for open discussions through panels, networking over a glass of wine, will support women in convenience through both personal and career development.

“Creating an environment for sharing and learning in this space I think is key which I hope will see women reaching out to the panel and the broader group that attend both the Sydney and Melbourne event.”

At the start of the event, Foukkare spoke of his personal experience with his 11-year-old daughter and shared how he is raising her to be able to achieve whatever she wants in the future.

“I hope through ongoing open dialogue on diversity and inclusion in the workplace, especially around gender, it will lead to a better future for generations to come.”

A second panel will be held in Melbourne on 16 August at Crown Melbourne, with Felicity Needham, Skye Jackson, Joanna Graham, Alexia Horley, and Cath Fifoot the panellists for that event.

Corinne Barclay, Claudine Kersivien, Laura Ronan, Felicity Needham, Skye Jackson
Monique Hirst, Steve Brown, and Svet Rodgers from UCB, Deb Cooper from Frucor 
Karly Scuglia, Stephanie Marjo, Rebekah Rae from New Sunrise
Colette Power from Australian Vintage, Andrew Sylvester from Metro Petroleum
Ken Ramsay from UCB, Ryan Price from Nutree
Rhys Pennisi, Cassandra Gebetsberger from Lactalis, Michelle Margaritis, Kendall Woodward and Skye Jackson from Ampol
Simone Casonato, Tess Arkell, and Joy Chang from CocaCola EuroPacific Partners (CCEP)
Kate Holbrook, New Sunrise, Hugh Watters, Fix Convenience, and Deborah Adnum, New Sunrise
Ampi Chanthavan, Amy Rowles, Ruby Salame, Kenneth Ramsay, Monique Hirst, Steve Brown, Svetlana Rodgers
Melanie McGrath and Brittney Potts from Australian Grocery Wholesalers

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