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Episode 20: No one is coming to save you. Reclaiming your inner voice.

By July 17, 2023No Comments

Having recently received the prestigious title of ‘Entrepreneur Woman of the Year’ and being nominated as a finalist for the ‘Queenslander of the Year’ award, Founding Director of TSR Property Solutions, Tamika Smith, continues to defy norms in a traditionally male-dominated industry, shattering glass ceilings to prove that gender is not a limitation when it comes to driving social change. 

For years, the construction sector has exhibited a significant gender disparity, with men occupying the majority of positions and women representing only a meager 11% of the workforce. However, thanks to the tireless efforts of leaders like Tamika Smith, this landscape is gradually transforming. As a prominent figure within the Top 100 Women, a board of experienced professionals and leading organisations in the construction sector, Smith is actively working towards making a significant impact on the industry we know today. Through her commitment to accountability and a focus on the “How,” Tamika has successfully expanded the influence of the Top 100 Women, attracting over 13,500 individuals from Australia and around the world. 

Smith recognises that empowering women is not solely about individual success, but about establishing a robust network of support, fostering collaboration, and offering mentorship opportunities. She firmly believes in the power of women joining forces from diverse backgrounds, uniting their strengths to bring about meaningful change. Taking the lead in spearheading initiatives that facilitate the provision of all necessary resources for women to thrive and excel in their respective fields, Smith continues to reshape the construction industry, paving the path towards a more diverse, inclusive, and prosperous future.

Smith’s passion for making a difference extends beyond her professional endeavors. Her unwavering commitment to social advocacy shines through her remarkable leadership in the #istandforkelly movement. With compassion as her guiding force, Tamika rallied the construction sector to come together for a powerful cause: providing a safe haven for the children of Kelly Wilkinson, a victim of domestic violence who tragically lost her life at the hands of her husband. In an awe-inspiring display of solidarity, #istandforkelly managed to touch the hearts of people from all walks of life, who generously contributed a staggering $1.5 million within a mere 48 hours. These heartfelt donations stand as a testament to the collective power of compassion, uniting individuals far and wide for the greater good.

As we look to the future, let Smith’s story be a constant reminder that together, we can break down barriers, challenge biases, and create a world where opportunities are not limited by gender. With visionary leaders like Tamika Smith at the helm, we can embrace a future where equality and inclusion are the pillars upon which our society and industries stand, bringing us closer to a brighter and more prosperous world for all.

In this episode, we speak to Tamika about:

  • Discovering purpose within traumatic encounters and harnessing adversity as a catalyst for transformative action.
  • We discover how our uncertainty and fear play a vital role in embracing calculated risks and stepping into uncharted territories.
  • Recognising that short-term strategies do not resolve long-term challenges.
  • How achievements are often undermined due to the power of stereotypes within a male-dominated industry and how Smith fearlessly challenges and breaks through these barriers.
  • Recognising manipulation within the workplace and reclaiming your power.
  • Understanding the challenges faced by individuals attempting to escape domestic violence and the complex factors that make it difficult for women to simply “just leave.”
  • Exploring the distressingly lengthy waitlists for social housing and the profound sense of displacement experienced by those affected.

1:23 Smith touches on how her traumatic experiences created the level of resilience required to defy social norms within a male dominated industry.

  • Creating something out of nothing.
  • Smith’s journey from the farm to the city and creating opportunities for herself.
  • Smith highlights how her ‘do or die’ mentality arose as she began her journey at Metricon.
  • The importance of recognising that when information and resources are readily accessible, it doesn’t make sense to not apply oneself.

12:47 Smith explores strategies for reclaiming focus in a social media-saturated society.

  • Harnessing validation as a tool and source of motivation instead of allowing it to consume you.
  • Ensuring a work/life balance between leveraging social media for brand exposure and maintaining a healthy personal life.
  • Smith ‘s experience attending a neuroscience course that explored the shift from the emotional brain to the logical brain.

28:53 Smith and Lauren discuss the #istandforkelly movement.

  • Tamika led the #istandforkelly movement, uniting the construction sector to honour and support the children of domestic violence victim, Kelly Wilkinson, by raising 1.4 million dollars to build them a new home and mark a new beginning.
  • Removing shame when standing up for what one believes in.
  • Smith discusses how integrity doesn’t require wealth or money.

43:55 Lauren asks Smith about moments within her where she has been underestimated.

  • Smith discusses how she defied stereotypes in the construction industry and earned respect from male counterparts through her hard work and unwavering determination.
  • Smith discusses ‘leaving the cheese out’ and the purpose of allowing people to be who they are and what people do when they underestimate you.

1:00.38 Rocket Round 

It’s time to wrap up with the rocket round, Lauren asks everything from favourite books to the ultimate rival when it comes to coffee or wine.

You can connect with Tamika on LinkedIn.

About your host: 

Lauren Karan, Director and Founder of Karan & Co

With over a decade of experience as a recruiter and development coach, Lauren Karan found that her priorities rapidly changed after the birth of her two children. In 2022 she founded Karan & Co flipping the out-dated recruitment model with a focus on retention through career coaching and development. 

Lauren believes that If opportunity doesn’t knock, you have to build a door – and it’s this same philosophy that inspired her to create the Building Doors podcast.  The Building Doors podcast is for anyone undergoing a transformation in their life. Regardless of whether you feel stuck in your current role, need some inspiration on what steps to take next, want to learn how to level up as a business owner or simply want to listen to the experiences of successful entrepreneurs and industry professionals, the Building Doors podcast is all about unlocking your potential.

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In case you missed it:

You can listen to our previous episode here. 



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Produced By The Podcast Boss

Lauren Karan

Lauren Karan

Lauren has over 12 years’ experience as a Technical and Engineering specialist recruiting in the building and civil construction markets. She holds a degree in psychology, accreditation in behavioural interviewing and psychometric testing and is also a certified organisational coach. Lauren is the Director, Recruitment Specialist, Certified Organisational Coach of Karan & Co.