Tamworth’s Dimity Smith wants to break the stigma associated with females on leadership boards, and hopes to see more regional and rural women represented at the top.
The GRO Events Group director is one of 24 women to receive a Future Women Rural NSW Scholarship for 2022.
It’s not an opportunity she’s going to take for granted, and she hopes the experience will boost her leadership potential and provide invaluable networking opportunities.
“I was really, really thrilled,” she said.
“One of the things I put in my submission is whilst there’s so much progress being made – which is excellent – in terms of building equity on boards, there’s so much more opportunity to change.”
The program has been rolled out for the second time by the NSW Government, in partnership with Future Women, and will see successful recipients granted access to a series of premium leadership development opportunities as part of a 12-month Future Women Platinum+ program.
The scholarship is targeted at women who are current or future leaders in their field or community who want to connect to a bigger, like-minded community to help fast-track their skills and network.
Valued at $5500, it includes transportation costs to attend the Future Women Leadership Summit on March 7 and 8 to celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD).
Ms Smith, who was last year welcomed onto the board of Dairy NSW, has been a strong advocate for building the profile of dairy farming in Australia.
She hopes to inspire more women to consider similar roles.
“It’s perfect for this year’s IWD Break the Bias theme, because there’s this view that to be on a board as a woman you need to be in high heels and a power suit,” she said.
“But I think there’s changing of that mould that you can be a woman in jeans and boots from a dairy farm or from a beef and cattle station in the Northern Territory or you can work for Baiada here in Tamworth and still hold a leadership role even if you’re not sitting in a boardroom in Sydney.
“Online is taking precedence for a lot of board meetings, and that’s what I hope this opportunity will bring – for these 24 women in the state to be able to apply for more board opportunities.”
Launched in 2018 by former media executive Helen McCabe, today the Future Women network interacts with tens of thousands of women.