Andrea Mead (ILF2014)


Institution: Harvard Business School (USA)
Course: Women’s Leadership Forum

Through the ILF, I had the opportunity to attend the “Women’s Leadership Forum” at Harvard in June 2015 and study with 67 leaders from 27 different countries. All women were leaders of world class businesses of all sizes, from multinational corporations to small businesses.

Attending the forum gave me the confidence to acknowledge myself as a woman capable of leading a successful organisation with a strategic plan for growth. The experience has reinvigorated my passion to drive Heatlie BBQs further and continue to build a team who can develop the business alongside me.

This experience has also sparked a greater interest in women in leadership roles and gender equity issues. The warm and supportive learning environment within the group of women was an unexpected outcome for me and one which I thoroughly enjoyed.

Participating in the week long activities, particularly networking with these women, empowered me as a leader and I returned to my business, Heatlie BBQs, with renewed confidence and a realisation that I am capable of lifting our business to the next level.

Since returning from Harvard we have begun to further develop our team and operations to enable the business to implement its growth strategy in the coming years. We have taken the opportunity to employ a Graduate Engineer and are currently recruiting a General Manager. We have begun to “think bigger” and as a consequence we are seeing the business mature into a sustainable organisation capable of building on the 40 years of history Heatlie BBQs has already made as a South Australian manufacturer and employer.