Panzera, a former corporate climber, said even she wasn’t aware of just how systematic and ingrained the blocks are that continue to limit many working women’s careers.
“As a corporate woman, I had an important title, company cars, a lovely office and helpful staff, but I wasn’t happy,” she said. “The problem was, as a woman, I wasn’t allowed to be as powerful as I could have been without taking on the persona of a man.”
Panzera eventually quit her job to start her own business. The idea came in 1999 while she was studying for her MBA and identified a need for a business to provide market research services to blue-chip companies.
Nearly 15 years later, Panzera is managing director and owner of a highly successful company – BDC Market Research – as well as a well respected writer and speaker on social equity and a number of other topics.
Panzera said the motivation for her book came from research that indicated up to 97 per cent of Australia’s businesses were under-performing largely due to the unrealised potential of not just women, but also men stuck in “dinosaur-style” leadership styles.
“Corporate responsibility will not translate into anything real under the current corporate framework, and it’s finding ways to change this that still inspires me in my daily life,” she said.
Panzera wrote the book to detail her insights on a new “super model” that could be used for a more enlightened corporate culture, starting with diversity in the workplace the valuing diverse ideas and perspectives.