24 May 2022

In Focus: '22 Encorer Recipient, Lisa Reffold

Our ground-breaking Encoreship initiative has kicked off for another year, and we are so excited to chat to our incredible 2022 recruit, Lisa Reffold. As we pioneer this new and diverse employment program, it’s fascinating to hear how this 3-month position really changes our recruits.

The Encoreship initiative is one that DISSH is extremely proud to be a part of. The program aims to provide employment opportunities for women who have been out of the workforce for an extended period, facing challenges re-entering the workforce. From upskilling, confidence building, to creating lasting connections, we’re looking forward to seeing how Lisa’s experience unfolds. Read on to hear what she had to say about the program and what it means to her.

What lead you to apply for The Encoreship at DISSH?

I have been trying to re-enter the workforce, after a break from the corporate world to raise my family and I couldn’t get a first interview for any clerical role I applied for, let alone back into my career.

How many years had you been out of the workforce, and what was the primary reason for this?

I have been out of the corporate world for 6 years, being a full time Mum.

What industry/role have you spent most of your career in, and what is your proudest moment to date?

I was primarily in the Oil & Gas industry, in the finance sector. My proudest moment was probably becoming Finance Director at the age of 30, and building my reputation to the point where I was headhunted.

What do you perceive were the main barriers for you in finding employment, and for women in general?

Not having current experience, I believe was my main barrier to finding employment, which has then impacted my self-confidence. Overall, I believe it is harder for women to gain employment, as employers are fully aware that women may one day require maternity leave and usually hold the responsibility of the household.

What are your initial thoughts coming into the Encoreship program? What does it mean to you?

I feel highly privileged being given the opportunity to be part of the Encoreship program, within the DISSH culture. I have always had a keen interest in fashion, so being a part of an Australian fashion house is beyond exciting!

My first day was a whirlwind of emotions and completely took me out of my comfort zone, but being out of your comfort zone is where you grow, right?! The Encoreship has already allowed me to complete Brene Brown’s “Dare To Lead” training, which is all about building brave, courageous yet vulnerable leaders. So, I am learning to be courageous and embrace it.

For me the Encoreship program allows me to gain current experience, to continue my career journey, and to potentially explore a different industry and sector where I feel most passionate.  

What do you hope to get out of this experience?

My ultimate goal is to recommence my career, ideally at DISSH.

What is your favourite thing about being a part of The Encoreship at DISSH so far?

Being given the privilege of being part of the Encoreship within this inspiring culture, where DISSH really does believe in empowering women, it’s not just written in their mission statement!

I have always had a keen interest in investing in people and am very aware of the type of culture I look for in the organisations I work for. So being placed in the People & Culture team is going to give me complete exposure to all aspects of how People & Culture should be done within an inspiring organisation.

My team leader, Lizzie, Head of People & Culture, has already welcomed me into DISSH and is so supportive, ensuring this journey is thoroughly enjoyable. She provides such great exposure to all aspects of her role, to ensure I fully understand what drives People & Culture here at DISSH. I already feel like a fully-fledged member of the team and am excited to be part of a winning company, that allows women to excel.

What would you say to other women struggling to re-join the workforce after a prolonged period not working?

Know that you are good enough. Do not let self-doubt creep in. With more programs like the Encoreship, hopefully companies will realise that there is a hidden workforce, which they do not currently tap into, which has an array of skills, experience, and maturity to bring to their organisations.

DISSH will be bringing The Encoreship program back in 2023. Stay tuned for more information on this opportunity (position only open to applicants located in Brisbane, Australia). 


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