She Leads College – 5 quick questions with Caitlin Figueiredo

18 July 2016

Caitlin - BlogThe She Leads College Conference, taking place on Tuesday 26 July, is a one-day event for girls in Years 11 and 12, equipping participants with the practical skills and knowledge they need to become confident leaders. This year, we have an amazing line-up of inspiring young women who will share their leadership journeys with participants. We’ll be featuring 5 quick questions with each speaker in the lead up to the Conference. Today, we chat to Caitlin Figueiredo.

Describe yourself in 30 words or less.

Passionate change maker eager to shift the dial toward equality and empowerment.

What’s one thing about your life now that you never would have predicted when you were at school?

When I was in school, I always knew I wanted to have a humanitarian career. But if I’m going to be honest, I thought I had to finish university first. I never predicted I would be working with youth from all corners of the globe, advising international organisations and leaders about creating sustainable innovation, equality and intergenerational partnerships for the Global Goals – at such a young age. It’s kind of crazy, but at the same time it’s a lot of fun! Just goes to show millennials have the ability to create international impact and age does not defy your abilities.

What is a book that has influenced your leadership journey?

Daring Greatly by Brene Brown! I cannot recommend this book enough. I’ll summarise why I love this book in four of Brene’s words – “Vulnerability is not weakness.” Before I read her book I always had a misconception of vulnerability – I thought it was weakness, in fact, I had built up walls just to protect myself from being vulnerable. Daring Greatly taught me that “Vulnerability is the the core, the heart, the centre of meaningful human experiences.” Without vulnerability, there can be no love, there can be no achievement, there can be no greatness. When I first read Daring Greatly I had just begun my leadership journey and I knew tackling my vulnerability would be one of my biggest challenges to become the leader I knew I could be. Brene’s book helped me tackle my inner vulnerability, encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone and make some difficult and scary transitioning life choices. And once I did, my life changed almost instantaneously. Another reason why I LOVE Daring Greatly (and all of Dr. Brown’s work) is because the entire book is based  on her academic research; she states in the book that she is not comfortable talking about topics unless backed by solid research, and that’s a refreshing change from most other authors in the self-help/pop psychology field.

Why are you excited to be part of the She Leads College Conference?

I believe the first step towards creating change is believing you can! In college, as in life, young women face incredible challenges and limitations. And I’m really excited to interact with all the amazing girls at the She Leads College Conference to help the girls realise – no matter what limitations they may face, they are enough. Young girls need to believe in their own inner strength! And I know the She Leads College Conference will provide the girls with all the tools needed to become incredible leaders.  And I’m looking forward to contributing to this change. If I leave the conference with knowing some girls feel inspired and they go out wanting to take action to empower the Canberra community, well, nothing would give me greater joy.

What piece of advice would you most like to give to young women just starting their leadership journeys? 

My advice to young women starting their leadership journey would be to surround yourself with positive, likeminded and inspirational mentors. Mentors will be your rock and your key to unlocking your inner greatness!

Find out more about our exciting program and register to attend the She Leads College Conference here!

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