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Our stories: Janet Mao, Franchisee 7-Eleven South Oakleigh

05 March 2024

I joined 7-Eleven in 2013 and work full time in my store. I am proud to have been recognised in the 7-Eleven Spirit Awards program, and to have been a nominee for the Australian Association of Convenience Stores Women in Convenience Awards Store Operator of the Year.

As a Franchisee at 7-Eleven, I have opportunities to get involved, be heard and build a supportive network that not only opens doors but creates a sense of belonging. 7-Eleven always supports women in leadership and in decision making.

Women bring unique perspectives, experience and insights that contribute to a richer and more well-rounded decision-making process within the organisation. Embracing these diverse perspectives can lead more innovative solutions and better business outcomes.

It's critical that all people, not just women, proactively play their part to inspire inclusion in our everyday moments.

Inclusion is not the responsibility of a single group, it is a collective effort that requires everyone’s active participation. When all individuals, regardless of gender or background, prioritise and embody inclusive behaviours, it creates a culture of belonging and acceptance for all. This is essential for fostering trust, comfort, and psychological safety, enabling individuals to express themselves authenticity and contribute meaningfully without fear of discrimination or prejudice.

By proactively inspiring inclusion, individuals engage in meaningful dialogue, learn from one another, and collectively elevate their understanding of diverse perspectives, leading to personal and collective growth.

As individuals, it’s our responsibility to inspire inclusion for both ourselves and future generations.

One of the steps towards inclusion is for women to believe in our worth and capabilities. It begins with the understanding that we have every right to sit at the table and express our ideas confidently.

I am passionate about creating environments where everyone feels valued, respected and empowered to contribute their unique talent and ideas. I believe that everyone deserves equal opportunities and treatment, regardless of their background, identity or beliefs. Promoting inclusion is not only the right thing to do, but it also leads to stronger, more innovative and harmonious communities and workplaces.

Creating an environment where women feel welcome and included increases the likelihood of retaining top female talent. By empowering female employees to bring their true selves to work, they are more likely to remain committed to their roles and contribute meaningfully to the organisation’s success. At the store front, diversity means the store can better reflect the needs of its customer base.

When women are empowered in the workplace, they serve as role models for future generations of female leaders. This can inspire and encourage other women to pursue careers in retail and leadership positions at not only 7-Eleven but the whole industry.

Women can take the lead in fostering inclusivity by being supportive colleagues and leaders. This involves actively listening to others, recognising and celebrating achievements and promoting a culture that values diversity.

For me, it is important to view other women not as competitors but as collaborators. Sharing knowledge, resources and opportunities creates a more inclusive and dynamic community where collective success is celebrated.

What I would say to women looking to grow their careers, is your journey is unique, and your experience and skills are valuable. Embrace your individuality and trust in your abilities as you pursue your passions and goals. In 7-Eleven, you can always surround yourself with a group of supporters and seek mentorship from those who have walked a similar path, learning from the experiences of others can provide valuable insight and guidance.

Your journey is an inspiration to others, your unique contribution makes a meaningful difference, and your achievements have the power to pave the way for greater opportunities for women in your field, keep believing, learning, growing and keep inspiring others.

Take pride in your accomplishments and celebrate the milestone along the way. Recognise your hard work and dedication, and acknowledge the progress you’ve made. Finally, I would like to say thanks to 7-Eleven who always support women in leadership and decision-making.


Janet Mao Franchisee 7-Eleven South Oakleigh

Tags: Our People