Carolyn Coon

Carolyn Coon

Carolyn Coon

If you could work anywhere in the world where would it be? 

I love working in communications and have been fortunate to enjoy a long and rewarding career in the discipline. I enjoy working with big brands, so the ideal role is driving and managing communications for a global company (which makes my current role quite perfect!). In terms of geography, I have a personal fascination with Scandinavia, having visited a number of times. They have a unique approach to life, from the economy to the social welfare system and food traditions! I think living there for an extended period would be a very interesting experience.

Who have been your role models?

Working with and absorbing the media is part of my job – and there are many interesting personalities who in some ways could be considered role models. One particular example is Lee Lin Chin, and Indonesian-born Australian journalist and presenter on SBS.  I identify with her cross-cultural heritage, but I also love her sense of integrity and independence – not least demonstrated through her kooky fashion sense!  Throughout my career, I’ve had some terrific managers and leaders who have not only acted as great role models, but have been critical in helping me grow and understand where my strengths lie. 

What do you like most about working at TWE? 

It’s a great privilege to work on such iconic wine brands. I think people at TWE are very collaborative and that’s a great aspect about the culture of the company. In my role, no two days are ever the same, it’s a very fast-moving and complex environment which is challenging, but rewarding. Every day I’m learning something new about the company, the industry or my colleagues! 

In your opinion what are the benefits to business performance of organisations offering flexible work practices? 

Companies that embrace flexible work practices acknowledge the fact that getting the best of employees does not always mean having them sit in an office from 9-5. If you allow for employees to structure their day so they are at their most productive and accommodate for other important aspects of their lives, you will increase productivity and focus. It provides a degree of freedom and flexibility which is highly valued. 

What changes do you forecast for women leaders in the workplace in the next five to ten years?

We already have some very high profile senior women executives who are leading the way and organisations that champion women in senior leadership positions, which is great. I think women will have even greater opportunities to pursue their chosen careers paths and senior leadership roles - the challenges will continue to be balancing the other commitments in their lives. I think more and more within the business environment, the leadership skills that women demonstrate are being recognised and I think gender is becoming less of an issue, with more of a focus on organisational fit.  Flexible working will become more the norm than the exception – for females and males. 

How can we ensure more female CEOs in the future?

Continuing to encourage a strong approach to gender diversity at all levels in the workplace is important. Making sure the business environment is supportive for female senior leaders to progress through their career - flexible work practices will assist also. 

Favourite TWE wine?

I’m a big fan of the Matua Lands & Legends Central Otago Pinot Noir.