Margaret Sexton

Director of Regulatory Innovation, Natural Resources Access Regulator

Margaret Sexton, Director of Regulatory Innovation, Natural Resources Access Regulator  Margaret has worked in the public sector throughout her career, including in executive leadership, education, child protection and disability services.

She believes that International Women’s Day symbolises the ‘yes you can’ attitude that women display.

‘International Women’s Day is about celebrating achievements,’ she said. ‘We celebrate individual and collective effort. For me personally, it’s being honest with myself and celebrating the contribution I have made.’

‘That doesn’t need to be lauded publicly, but it’s something we can all reflect on and think “I did make a difference” or “I tried the best I could to contribute something positive”.’

Margaret feels the day is also an opportunity to support other women. ‘The old attitude of “I did this all on my own, so why I should I give anyone else a head start?” is well in the past,’ she said.

‘That is not modern thinking, and it lacks generosity. We do well to band together and network with other women and support one another.’

Margaret was raised by ‘progressive greenies’, so building a harmonious and respectful relationship with the environment was entrenched in her psyche growing up.

This International Women’s Day, Margaret will ‘Choose to Challenge’ by advocating to include the perspectives and voices of women in decision-making at the highest levels.

‘If you have women only at the frontline, for example, and you don’t have them at the higher levels, then the degree to which they can influence decisions that have broad community implications is limited.’

Margaret feels it’s also about representation. The inclusion of women in conversations about water is important because they represent a significant part of the community.

‘If we profess to be engaging with stakeholders and we don’t have women as part of that engagement, then we’re missing a significant portion of the NSW community we serve.

‘It’s representation and relationships – women can bring relationships, networks and influence in areas that won’t otherwise be available. Part of that is connecting with people through empathy, being interested in people.

‘If you listen and can show you understand what’s going on for others, you’re part way to being able to successfully engage with them and build strong relationships.’