Member Profile: Samantha Sutherland, Founder of Samantha Sutherland Consulting

A chance for our community members to share more about themselves and their business with the world.

6 minute read
Listen to this episode of Mumbition The Podcast now!




Tell us about you

I’m passionate about making sure women are fulfilled and joyful, and I do that via workplace culture workshops and coaching. I think having meaningful work, equity in the home, and things that we love just for ourselves are the foundation.  

I have a 10 year old son who’s an absolute legend, and I love horse riding and ocean swimming.  

Describe your biz in a sentence  

I improve gender equity and team culture through fun, engaging workshops and coaching, as well as advocating for women to take some space for ourselves in our own lives.  

Describe a time when you took a risk - how did it work out for you?

It was a risk even starting my own business. Most small businesses fail within 5 years, and I’ve just hit the 5 year mark and have been the sole earner in the household for a number of those years. It’s pretty exciting that it is working! Even 5 years in there are ups and downs, and I think a lot of small business owners found 2023 pretty challenging, but I’m full of energy for the year ahead and excited to see what I can achieve!

What’s something raw & unfiltered you’ve been through / never told anyone about your business or motherhood?
I had pretty bad post-natal depression when my son was born, that really sideswiped my career and confidence for a number of years. I think that experience is partly why I’m so passionate about equal partnerships and women deliberately creating space for themselves in their own lives. I’m doing a project at the moment called Beyond the 9 to 5, lifting the veil on the lived experiences of women at work, and I’m finding that without a doubt, the happiest women I speak to are the ones that have something in their lives that’s just for them, and just for fun.

Your daily motto?

- The day isn’t over yet. As mothers, we have a lot of pressures on our time, and when we’re self employed it can be easy to get distracted by all those other responsibilities. But those days when it’s got to 3pm and I haven’t done anything productive, well the day isn’t over yet! Or if I’ve been short with my son because of stress or time pressure, well the day isn’t over yet; I can still repair and connect. Or if I’ve been hard at work all day and have only done 700 steps by 4pm (ahem, as I’m writing this now) well the day isn’t over yet, and I can get myself to the gym.

- It's never too late.

- And we should do things that scare us.  

What projects are coming up next?
I’m doing a 10-workshop series for a national company that I’m excited about. There are a mix of whole-of-organisation workshops on things like unconscious bias and psychological safety, and sessions for their women’s network on imposter syndrome and work life balance. I love facilitating sessions and having fun with big groups of people!

What is one facet of your field that you would like to see changed?

There has been talk for half a decade of ‘gender fatigue' – which is basically that people are sick of talking about gender equity. But it’s still going to take 170 years to close the gender pay gap, and women still take on seven additional hours of housework when they get married. The value of unpaid domestic labour in Australia is $650 Bn, which is more than 50% of GDP – and the bulk of that is done by women.  

I’m excited to see what impact the WGEA gender pay gap reporting will have, and there is still so much work to do to close the gap (more broadly than the pay gap).  

What’s your approach on ‘the juggle’?

I would say think of it as juggling balls - some of them of them are plastic, and some of them are glass. The glass one must be kept in the air, but if you’ve got too many up in the air then you can let some plastic ones drop.  

But also, what’s glass and what’s plastic will change over time – sometimes it’s helping a child with school transition, sometimes it’s a really big project at work, sometimes it’s taking a solo hiking trip to rejuvenate and come back to juggling.  

So we need to be aware of our values and how all the different balls in the air support those values. Put your focus where it really matters, as no one can do everything.  

How would we find you spending your weekends?
Horse riding, ocean swimming, hanging out with my son. He’s got really brave jumping off high things into water, so we spend a lot of time jumping into ocean pools at the moment! I am really social, and spend a lot of time in nature and with friends.

What’s the last book you read that you’d recommend to a friend?
I love fiction, and read a lot when I can. I recently read Tom Lake by Ann Patchett and really enjoyed that. From a gender equity perspective, I absolutely loved White Feminism by Koa Beck. I felt like I had my blinkers taken off when I read it. You can listen to my podcast interview with her, she’s really insightful and inspiring.

What does mumbition mean to you? (the unapologetic blending of motherhood and ambition)
When I reflect on my own personal career ambition to help women have lives that are joyful and fulfilling, both those aspects of motherhood and ambition come into it. We can’t be fulfilled at work if we are sidelined once we go part time, or the motherhood penalty means everyone around us thinks we’re not ambitious anymore. We can’t be fulfilled as mothers if our career required us to sacrifice too much and never see our family. The only thing I’d like to add in there is something about the self – as the most joyful women I come across have something in their lives that is just for them, outside of work or kids.

What’s the best part of being part of the Mums & Co community?
The support and community, and the way Lucy works so hard to connect us all and keep us engaged with, learning from and helping each other!

How has Mums & Co helped you?

Lucy is so great at connecting members with each other. I was introduced to Jessica Wong, founder of MumbleMe, which lead to a really fun speaking engagement and hopefully more in the future. Jade Warne reached out and gave me really specific video editing instructions, just to be of service to the community. It’s really phenomenal.

Describe a time when you took a risk - how did it work out for you?

It was a risk even starting my own business. Most small businesses fail within 5 years, and I’ve just hit the 5 year mark and have been the sole earner in the household for a number of those years. It’s pretty exciting that it is working! Even 5 years in there are ups and downs, and I think a lot of small business owners found 2023 pretty challenging, but I’m full of energy for the year ahead and excited to see what I can achieve!

What’s something raw & unfiltered you’ve been through / never told anyone about your business or motherhood?
I had pretty bad post-natal depression when my son was born, that really sideswiped my career and confidence for a number of years. I think that experience is partly why I’m so passionate about equal partnerships and women deliberately creating space for themselves in their own lives. I’m doing a project at the moment called Beyond the 9 to 5, lifting the veil on the lived experiences of women at work, and I’m finding that without a doubt, the happiest women I speak to are the ones that have something in their lives that’s just for them, and just for fun.

Your daily motto?

- The day isn’t over yet. As mothers, we have a lot of pressures on our time, and when we’re self employed it can be easy to get distracted by all those other responsibilities. But those days when it’s got to 3pm and I haven’t done anything productive, well the day isn’t over yet! Or if I’ve been short with my son because of stress or time pressure, well the day isn’t over yet; I can still repair and connect. Or if I’ve been hard at work all day and have only done 700 steps by 4pm (ahem, as I’m writing this now) well the day isn’t over yet, and I can get myself to the gym.

- It's never too late.

- And we should do things that scare us.  

What projects are coming up next?
I’m doing a 10-workshop series for a national company that I’m excited about. There are a mix of whole-of-organisation workshops on things like unconscious bias and psychological safety, and sessions for their women’s network on imposter syndrome and work life balance. I love facilitating sessions and having fun with big groups of people!

What is one facet of your field that you would like to see changed?

There has been talk for half a decade of ‘gender fatigue' – which is basically that people are sick of talking about gender equity. But it’s still going to take 170 years to close the gender pay gap, and women still take on seven additional hours of housework when they get married. The value of unpaid domestic labour in Australia is $650 Bn, which is more than 50% of GDP – and the bulk of that is done by women.  

I’m excited to see what impact the WGEA gender pay gap reporting will have, and there is still so much work to do to close the gap (more broadly than the pay gap).  

What’s your approach on ‘the juggle’?

I would say think of it as juggling balls - some of them of them are plastic, and some of them are glass. The glass one must be kept in the air, but if you’ve got too many up in the air then you can let some plastic ones drop.  

But also, what’s glass and what’s plastic will change over time – sometimes it’s helping a child with school transition, sometimes it’s a really big project at work, sometimes it’s taking a solo hiking trip to rejuvenate and come back to juggling.  

So we need to be aware of our values and how all the different balls in the air support those values. Put your focus where it really matters, as no one can do everything.  

How would we find you spending your weekends?
Horse riding, ocean swimming, hanging out with my son. He’s got really brave jumping off high things into water, so we spend a lot of time jumping into ocean pools at the moment! I am really social, and spend a lot of time in nature and with friends.

What’s the last book you read that you’d recommend to a friend?
I love fiction, and read a lot when I can. I recently read Tom Lake by Ann Patchett and really enjoyed that. From a gender equity perspective, I absolutely loved White Feminism by Koa Beck. I felt like I had my blinkers taken off when I read it. You can listen to my podcast interview with her, she’s really insightful and inspiring.

What does mumbition mean to you? (the unapologetic blending of motherhood and ambition)
When I reflect on my own personal career ambition to help women have lives that are joyful and fulfilling, both those aspects of motherhood and ambition come into it. We can’t be fulfilled at work if we are sidelined once we go part time, or the motherhood penalty means everyone around us thinks we’re not ambitious anymore. We can’t be fulfilled as mothers if our career required us to sacrifice too much and never see our family. The only thing I’d like to add in there is something about the self – as the most joyful women I come across have something in their lives that is just for them, outside of work or kids.

What’s the best part of being part of the Mums & Co community?
The support and community, and the way Lucy works so hard to connect us all and keep us engaged with, learning from and helping each other!

How has Mums & Co helped you?

Lucy is so great at connecting members with each other. I was introduced to Jessica Wong, founder of MumbleMe, which lead to a really fun speaking engagement and hopefully more in the future. Jade Warne reached out and gave me really specific video editing instructions, just to be of service to the community. It’s really phenomenal.

Check out Samantha Sutherland Consulting

www.samanthasutherland.com.au

https://www.facebook.com/SamanthaMSutherland

https://www.instagram.com/womenatworkau/

https://www.linkedin.com/in/samantha-sutherland-25150823/

https://open.spotify.com/show/5tT6HBHkFnh9aiBuxT7dk6?si=1b420efa29e34d0e

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