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On International Women’s Day, we talk to Trudy Kelly Senior Business Manager about juggling a demanding career in STEM with the pressures of motherhood.

What led to a career at Redox? I had just completed a chemistry degree at the University of Wollongong and realised I liked being around people more than the reality of working in a quiet lab around test tubes and Bunsen burners all day. I had seen the job posted and they were looking for someone with a chemistry degree and I applied. 23 years later and I am still here.

What do you love most about working at Redox? Redox has presented me with lots of career changes and progression, and because I’ve worked in so many diverse positions I know the job well and I’m comfortable and confident in what I do day-to-day. Plus, I just love my customers and the interactions I have with them.

Having witnessed so much change over the years at Redox, what strategies does Redox employ to stay ahead of its competition? Because of the vast number of people we have on the ground and the unique way the company is structured, Redox is able to make decisions fast and react to new situations without the need for extensive meetings with various divisions. We just get it done and are faster than our competitors. We are a large company but turning the ship happens fast. That’s our advantage.

What progress have you seen on gender equality in your life and/ or work? I think the awareness of women’s ability to successfully function in various roles has been the biggest change I’ve seen. I am 100% for gender equality, and not just to fill a quota. The best person for the role, no matter what their gender. The realisation that a female can do the job has been the biggest progression and a real win for opportunities opening up.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you? I think it’s an opportunity to show younger girls that you can speak up for yourself, you should voice your opinions about things that are important to you, that you don’t need to be afraid to stand up for yourself, especially in the workplace; speak up and be brave.

Which women are you inspired by either locally or globally? Has to be my mum first. I am who I am because of her. After becoming a mum myself, I am inspired by all of the single mothers who work and raise children. That’s tough and shows real grit and strength.

Favourite band/song/music? How long do you have? I love music, I love live music in particular. COVID postponed so many concerts I was supposed to attend last year. It’s been very disappointing. But was lucky enough to squeeze in a concert at the start of last year just before the world went into Lockdown. Billy Idol – my all-time favourite singer. Even got to meet him!!

Finally, the most important question: can you settle the world wide debate around what is the correct order to watch Star Wars when introducing it to a younger generation? You have to start with Episode I: The Phantom Menace (yes even show them Jar Jar) and move chronologically through to Episode VI: The Return of the Jedi, then hit them with the new movies. If you start young enough they will never question the inconsistency in the CGI!

Favourite Star Wars quote? When Princess Leia finally professes her love for Han Solo in The Empire Strikes Back, she says “I love you” and he replies “I know”

Han Solo and Leia I love you

*Geek Knowledge: his scripted reply was supposed to be “I love you too”, instead Harrison Ford says, “I know.” It’s a beautiful moment, often cited as one of the best actor-improvised lines in film history.
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