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Karina Heydon's Pathway to Partner at AH Jackson & Co

To celebrate International Women's Day we wanted to put a spotlight on one of our own committee members, Karina Heydon who has recently become a partner at AH Jackson & Co.

Karina's career journey so far is very inspirational and a testament to showing that we can achieve great things when we put aside our limiting beliefs, back ourselves and remain focused on our goals.

Enjoy the interview.

Karina, tell us about where you started and your career pathway to date?

My career started slowly after having children first and then the desire to provide for my children kicked in. I did the hard yards and started at the bottom being a single mother, completed a Tafe Diploma, then a bachelor’s degree while working in Commerce and as a CPA while working in Public Practice. I have been in Commerce for an ASX listed company, a big 4 accounting firm and settled where I am now. I’m proud to say, a Partner for AH Jackson & Co, one female in a five Partner firm.


Tell us about an achievement that you are most proud of?

Well, there are lots, beautiful independent adult children and the first of the family to complete university and further study.

Career wise, I chose a place that I could grow, have support and a voice. Seeing the success of the firm growth has also been rewarding.


What advice did you receive early in your career that had an impact on your career development?

I was one of the lucky ones who did have a lot of belief from others to help me push forward. However, ultimately the inner drive we all have is what makes us push through those difficult times.

If I know anything about females, the words we say to ourselves are a lot worse than what we would say out loud to our friends. But if we can change those words to be positive and supportive (as we would to our friends), our ability thrives.


In the spirit of International Women's Day, what does diversity and inclusion mean to you?

 I am a strong believer that no one knows it all, we all have different experiences and skills and together it will guide us to a better outcome. From listening to others, I hope we can learn, (not like our children that seem to only learn from experience).

I value men & women, different cultures and diversity as we will progress when we combine our strengths to design a better future together. Every individual has a value and knowledge that is independent, I don’t disvalue that and only want to learn from it and grow.

Sometimes finding that inclusion can be difficult, hence your values and your why can guide you to the right place. Women and their perspective and insight are unique, we need to remember that and celebrate it.


Based on your own experience, what advice would you give to women considering pursuing a career in accounting?

 Find your why, find a firm or business that has your same values. Appreciation and gratitude for every experience is insightful. The only bad mistake we make, is the one we don’t learn from.


Tell us about a woman that inspires you and why?

Well for starters, my wonderful mother (sadly passed but never forgotten). I have seen the difficulties some great female leaders have faced and it always saddens me when we don’t support each other. Finding a female support network is the best and I love the community we are trying to build through Women in Finance.

Inspiration can come from the person you pass in the street, to the boss that supports you, to the Oprah Winfrey or the Michelle Obama. The goal I have is to be that positive role model and pass it forward.


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