Women At Work Profile: Kate Kendall, Founder and CEO of TheFetch.com
Path to the top: Two degrees, a stint in retail and a start on a bridal magazine (she was editorial assistant) sums up the early stages of Kendall’s career. Then a period spent in Silicon Valley inspired her to create The Fetch out of Melbourne in mid-2011. Originally, it was a side project—a biweekly email for professionals to discover conferences, networking events, interesting articles and jobs. Fast-forward to 2012: the website's expanded to 10 cities around the globe and Kendall now works on it full-time.
The defining moment: Seeing over 70 people get involved in building the community has been amazing. As one person, you can only do so much, but when others join you in your mission, it becomes a movement.
When I was named one of the Top 100 Influential People of 2011 by The Age (Melbourne) Magazine—that was the first kind of back-patting that I got. The Fetch was only a few months old. It was also a complete but lovely shock to be recently awarded Founder of the Year 2012 by startup-publication Shoe String Media.”
Career tip: “To get stuff done you have to give it a go. Be true to your own vision and be assertive. You don’t have to get your business bitch on, but as women, we're wrongly conditioned to be nice and obliging all of the time.”
The #1 thing I’ve learnt: “It’s important to surround yourself with critics and cheerleaders. Critics will fuel your development and remove you from your comfort zone, cheerleaders will help you with assurance and support to move to the next step.”
If I had my time again I would... “Have been more true to myself and not done ‘tick box living’. Doing the degree you’re ‘supposed’ to do or taking the job you’re ‘supposed’ to take. Ask yourself if you should take an opportunity, if the answer’s not ‘hell yes!’ don’t take it. Your career should be a series of ‘hell yeses!’ and anything else is just a distraction.”
Off-duty activities: “Even though I’m very much Mrs Future, I love nothing more than getting offline. I love Jane Austen novels and visiting historic properties.”
Why she’s on our list... “We’ve watched Kate’s influence as a digital innovator grow and grow, particularly through her work with thefetch.com. It has become a must-read for anybody in the media, digital and creative fields, and we were proud to include Kate among our annual list of Melbourne’s 100 most influential, inspirational and creative people for 2011.” - Angus Holland, former editor of The Age (Melbourne) Magazine.