Lean In Melbourne ended the year with “Personal Branding – Celebrate our Success” on 22 Nov 2019. This event was to encourage women to speak openly about their achievements, promote themselves the way they promote others and their products, and be more confident.

With over 80 attendees, 4 powerful women leading the discussion, it was an evening filled with wisdom, knowledge and good vibes. 

Dr Francesca Maclean spoke about ‘Achievements’. She explained how people can straddle the thin line between self-advocacy and self-promotion. “Look at personal branding as an opportunity to role model for other people. Celebrating one’s success can mean giving yourself permission to shine whilst simultaneously making room for others to do the same.” 


Our second speaker Renata Bernarde spoke about ‘Confidence’ in conjunction with her experience as a migrant in Australia. She extensively spoke about ‘confidence to move on’, ‘confidence to respond’ and the ‘confidence to ask for help’. She said, “Sometimes our current situation makes us lose confidence in ourselves and it can be quite scary to regain that. So moving forward despite the odds, with a mentality of never looking back, and building a team you can be vulnerable with. is key”. “Confidence is efficacy”, she added. 


Dr Catherine Lopes spoke about ‘Influence’ and defined influencing as primarily just being of help to someone and paying it forward. ‘You can’t influence people if you are constantly trying to be someone else. Fake it till you make it, but don’t lose yourself in the process”, she said. Catherine also spoke about how influence is all about allowing the space to help a new generation of women grow, and then learning from them.

The panel discussion brought to light several important tips on how we can market ourselves better and enhance our personal brand. Some of the gems from the discussion are as follows,

  • Body language is a key determinant of confidence and your personal brand. Body language can give it away when you are not aware of your brand. 
  • Dress strategically and aim for authenticity. 
  • Consistency is hard but it is important.
  • It is not always about changing ourselves for other people, adaptability should work both ways.
  • Show them you are business savvy and always arrive having done your homework.
  • Find a mentor, sponsor or a work-wife. 
  • Be discerning of who you take advice from. Sometimes people can give bad advice.
  • Culture takes ages to reform and depending on the environment, one does need to care what other people think.


The discussion closed with each speaker sharing their thoughts on how we can celebrate our successes without holding back. This was followed by the speakers interacting with the audience for a fun speed networking session.


A heartfelt thank you to AGL Energy for the venue and Exo Digital for the photography and videography. And lastly, a big thank you to everyone who attended our events and showed their support throughout 2019.


If you would like to know more or be part of the Lean In initiatives, please contact us at melbourneleanin@gmail.com.


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