People profile: Kyla Horgan, Vendor Performance Manager and Business Support Lead

05 March 2019

Career Journey:

I joined the 7-Eleven business in 2010 as a legal assistant during the acquisition of the Mobil retail fuel network. A career at 7-Eleven wasn’t on my radar at that stage. I had just returned from overseas and was desperate to top up a very sad looking bank account. However I fell in love with the business and eight years later, I’m still here. I’ve covered a bit of ground too; environment and sustainability, procurement, supplier relationship management, vendor performance management and in the past two years, leading a business support team where I found a passion in people management.

7-Eleven has provided me with so many opportunities to learn, grow and develop along the way. I have access to amazing mentors who gave (and continue to give) me support and encouragement to tackle anything which challenges me head on!

What is the best thing about being a woman?

To quote Canadian country singer- songwriter Shania Twain, “the best thing about being a woman is the prerogative to have a little fun”! And the stats show, women have a higher life expectancy so, we get to enjoy the ‘fun’ for longer! (…that song is in your head now isn’t it?).

What inspires you?

Courage, that’s what inspires me. Courage within myself and witnessing courage in others. Courage to follow your heart and listen to your intuition. Courage to love and to be loved. Courage to stand up for what’s right. Courage to let go of the familiar, step out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself once in a while. Courage to feel fear, but choose to act. Courage to be your authentic self, always!

What do you think are the biggest challenges for women when trying to move up or develop their careers?

Over the years, I’ve spoken with many women who have encountered challenges when trying to progress in their careers and I’ve heard a common theme... Male dominated workplaces can create competitive environments for females trying to reach leadership positions. What’s disappointing is that this can create unnecessary rivalry amongst women who are forced to work within such constraints.

The gender divide and inequality between men and women is debated regularly (as it should be) however you don’t often hear about these injustices which exist between women. The power of women when united is extraordinary. I love to see women supporting and empowering one another however, this is not always the case. It’s up to every business to ensure their work place breeds a healthy culture and a safe, supportive, opportunistic and fair environment for all employees.

Another challenge for women today is balancing being a mother and a career woman. So many amazing mums out there struggle with this balancing act. Today women are told, “you can have it all! A family, career, social life, ‘me time’”…. But the reality is, you can’t possibly give every aspect of your life the same level of commitment and attention it requires to thrive and succeed 100% all of the time. Being a woman is the ultimate juggling act. Women are portrayed as the ‘masters of multi-tasking’ and I believe this stereotype applies an enormous amount of pressure to constantly meet these ‘super human’ expectations. Maybe we should drop it to 99%... that’s probably closer to the truth. Women are pretty extraordinary!

What does the theme of #balanceforbetter this International Women’s Day mean to you?

I love this theme. The notion of ‘Balance’ indicates elements are equal and in the correct position. For a long time I’ve carried a stone with the word ‘balance’ engraved on it to constantly remind myself that we need to seek balance in everything we do (I need this reminder sometimes, even from a rock with letters on it). If we don’t balance, we fall! Women should never have to feel like they’ve fallen short in any situation whether it be cultural, social, economic or political. We should never feel like are we underrepresented, undervalued or underestimated. Collectively we all play a part in the battle for equality. #balanceforbetter #genderbalancedworld #IWD2019