Melemo Mataele

Introduce yourself and tell us what you do for a job?

My name is Melemo Siakumi and I’m a Principal Advisor in a government department who works to improve outcomes for women.

What brings you joy in your job?

Working with amazing women who enable and uplift others to do their best, which empowers our people to provide the best service to our communities.

Why did you want to be an Inspiring the Future role model?

To encourage others from diverse communities to reach out and support others who are navigating their aspirations in the workplace.

Did you face any challenges to get where you are now?

Yes, I faced many challenges in the workplace – bias, stereotypes, lack of representation in leadership positions, microaggressions and discrimination, and limited networking opportunities. I believed in myself, even when I thought my goals were too big and scary. I wrote down my goals and kept working towards them. Through the support of my family, friends, the Mana Wāhine employee-led network and the sponsorship of my managers, I was able to access opportunities that helped to build my skill set and confidence, which led me to achieving a big career goal.