Tasked with turning things around, Tumbers set her sights on making monumental cultural changes in the workplace, pushing her gender equality campaign to the top of Kellogg’s agenda.
Her efforts in advocating for workplace gender equality resulted in Tumbers winning the New South Wales Telstra Business Woman of the Year Award in 2017 – and it’s only spurred her on to do more. “Being an award recipient has given me a bigger voice to keep driving the diversity agenda forward. I have gone on to present at many Women in Leadership functions, have formally and informally mentored more women, and have had the chance to meet many amazing women who I continue to learn from."
Despite her many positive outtakes, Tumbers says the process has also been revealing. In her acceptance speech for the
award, Tumbers noted how women are often unfairly critical of other women – something she’s keen to eradicate: “As women we need to be sure we are sponsoring other women. Unfortunately, all too often it is other women that are our biggest critics or sometimes put up the biggest roadblocks. We need to be open, supportive and embrace other women to succeed.
“I’ve experienced first-hand the difference a diverse team can make. When I first took on the managing director role, I had 70 per cent male representation on the leadership team. I’ve now changed it to 50 per cent women and men. The shift has improved corporate performance dramatically.”
Tumbers’ commitment to equal representation in the workplace has not only been responsible for influencing real corporate change – evolving the once-conservative company into an entrepreneurial-focused corporation with a transparent business model – but resulted in a dramatic revenue turnaround for Kellogg’s too. They boasted in excess of $400 million revenue the year after her official appointment.
It was a critical move to ensure that the company also connects to its target demographic. In a 2016 interview with The
CEO Magazine, Tumbers said: “We wanted to truly reflect the consumers that we serve today. The bulk of our shoppers are the main grocery buyer in the family, and they are typically female."
So, what’s next? Tumbers is positive that the future of innovative business practice lies in the hands of women. “Whether
it’s running a large multinational or being an entrepreneur starting a company from the bottom up, women’s talents should not go unnoticed,” she said in her speech. “And the Telstra Business Women’s Awards is a great platform for promotion and networking."
For women looking to transform their business mind-set or simply striving to reach a management status, Tumbers believes the entering the Awards serves as a great platform to achieve these goals: “I love that it gives women a voice. A voice to be heard and a voice to make a difference, so more women can succeed and make it into senior ranks oforganisations."