Tracey Spicer AM is a renowned journalist, broadcaster, and author based in Sydney, Australia. As a strong advocate for women in the workplace, Tracey Spicer has spent her impressive career working diligently to expose gender inequality. Her own experiences with gender inequality as a journalist sparked Tracey’s passion for helping girls and women. By leveraging her journalistic know-how, she shed much light on the issue and is now considered a major contributor to the changing standards in Australia, exposing toxic and abusive practices in the business world.
Tracey’s passion for equality reaches worldwide as she is especially devoted to helping those from marginalized communities, and survivors of harassment or abuse. In her efforts to work towards equality in all parts of the world, Tracey has participated in the production and presentation of several documentaries highlighting women and girls’ lives in several countries, including Bangladesh, Kenya, Uganda, Papua New Guinea, and India. With so many structural barriers facing women and girls in the developing world, Tracey wants to bring these concerns to the forefront to create positive change.
With a special place in her heart for philanthropy and giving back to her community of Sydney, Australia and beyond, Tracey Spicer is also particularly interested in partnering with organizations fighting for equality and helping support women in their lives and careers. Over several years, Tracey has partnered with ActionAid Australia, World Vision, Women’s and Girls’ Emergency Centre, Manly Warringah Women’s Resource Centre, and Northern Beaches Women’s Shelter to help them on their missions. Tracey also currently holds an Ambassador title with multiple organizations including ActionAid Australia, Cancer Council NSW, QUT’s Learning Potential Fund, the Ethnic Business Awards Foundation, and Purple Our World. Tracey believes that she has a duty to utilize her platform to do all she can to help further these good causes and provide more opportunities for people to learn about their work and get involved.
Tracey Spicer has won many awards throughout her career, including winning the national award for Excellence in Women’s Leadership through Women & Leadership Australia and the Social Enterprise and Not-For-Profit category in the prestigious 100 Women of Influence awards, supported by the Australian Financial Review. After tackling some of society’s most challenging topics, Tracey Spicer was named Agenda Setter of the year by Women’s Agenda. Over the past three decades, she has worked hard and utilized her expertise in the media and NFP sectors, to attain a prestigious Order of Australia.
After overcoming countless obstacles, today Tracey Spicer is an inspiration to the lives of girls and women, both in journalism and other fields. Over time, Tracey has worked on many notable projects including her book, The Good Girl Stripped Bare, a TEDx Talk entitled “The Lady Stripped Bare,” and essays published in several books. Tracey Spicer hopes that by diversifying her work, she can reach more people to accomplish the overall goal of gender equality worldwide.
Where did the idea for The Good Girl Stripped Bare come from?
It’s a ‘femoir’ – a feminist memoir – about what I experienced, witness, and covered as a journalist for 30 years in the Australian media and around the world. It deals with issues like the gender pay gap, sexual harassment and abuse, and maternity discrimination. However, I wrote it in a humorous tone. One of the best ways to impart a serious message is to appeal to people’s sense of humour.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I have a portfolio career, so every day is different. Some days I give a keynote speech – either live or online; other days I research my new book, which is about AI bias. To make it more productive I tend to compartmentalize the work, so I focus deeply on one project before moving onto the next.
How do you bring ideas to life?
A wonderful way to get the creative juices flowing is to exercise. Before work, I go out for a walk, yoga class, or paddleboard. Meditating is also a powerful way to spark new ideas.
What’s one trend that excites you?
The exponentially increasing trend of diversity and inclusion in the workplace is tremendously exciting. The make-up of newsrooms around 30 years was very homogenized and excluded many people from marginalized communities.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Because I grew up in a working-class area, I learned to ‘hustle’ from a young age. I remember painting a neighbour’s fence to make some money at the age of 10. When the pandemic hit in 2020, I lost all of my emceeing and speaking work because events and conferences were cancelled. I immediately ‘pivoted’ to 100% online work, and supplemented my income by grabbing gigs through Airtasker.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Stand up for yourself earlier! It took me quite a while to shake off the ‘good girl’ syndrome and own my power.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
You can breastfeed to a schedule. (Yes, it’s a controversial opinion!) My husband and I were both working full-time when our son was little, so we had to schedule in feeds strictly every four hours, to coincide with breaks at work. He became accustomed to the regular feed times, rather than being fed randomly.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Take the time to reflect on how far you’ve come, and celebrate the wins. Often, we become immediately focused on the next challenge. You will have a longer and more successful career if you take even a little time out to pat yourself and your colleagues/employees on the back.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
I found the unique difference. For example, there are a lot of media trainers in the market. However, very few also have experience as newsreaders and keynote speakers. So, I pitch my business, Spicer Communications, as presentation training, rather than simply the messaging aspect that’s associated with media training. We teach body language, gesture, voice, breathing, and the power of influence.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Losing all of my work during the pandemic! However, I was able to be agile and ‘pivot’ quickly to keep the business going. One new service I offered was teaching people how to do video conferencing properly because speaking to a lens on your device is similar to TV presenting.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Cue cards for networking that you can keep in your handbag or pocket. You know what it’s like when you go to an event and your brain suddenly freezes…? You could pop into the bathroom, look at a couple of the cards, and refresh your memory before going back into the throng.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
A one-hour mentoring session with a woman I really admire. Being able to pick her brains was, frankly, priceless.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
The Xero accounting software is brilliant. I’m able to do invoicing and reconcile the books on my cell phone at any time, anywhere.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
The Power of Vulnerability: Teachings of Authenticity, Connections, and Courage, by Brene Brown. Brene teaches us that vulnerability is the birthplace of creativity and joy.
What is your favorite quote?
“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
- Stand up for yourself and fight for your rights
- Learn to be agile by ‘pivoting’ regularly
- Humour makes a message resonate more deeply
- Compartmentalize work projects, to increase focus
- Take time to reflect on how far you’ve come, and celebrate the wins.
Carlyn runs the day-to-day publishing operation here at ideamensch and interacts with our awesome customers and entrepreneurs. She is likely editing this with a cat on her lap.