My Story

Michelle Caterson

Meet Michelle

I knew I had something special to give when I spent time with other women in business and could see that my experience has given me some very unique insights and skills.
It was during the financial crisis that I was employed by an international Construction company as a Graduate Accountant. I really thought I was fighting a losing battle with my applications because I was a single mother of 3 beautiful boys and I was years older than all the other applicants for the positions I was applying for. Most companies dismissed my applications out of hand, too old, too many kids, not going to stick it out and give 100%…. Of course, I cannot prove that those were the reasons but I know that the person who fought for me to be given the job had to fight those arguments.
One of the reasons my future boss fought to have me on his team was because of my experience in the police service. I had been a police officer in Central and North West QLD and had been studying with small children on full time shift work for years. I think he saw some determination and resilience there. It was true, my experience in the field of law enforcement and dealing with Government bureaucracies did give me a unique skill set not seen in the typical ‘straight from high school to Uni’ graduate. Plus, considering this role was thought to be ‘high pressure’ the policing experience gave that a whole different feel. No-one was trying to actually physically hurt me at work so I really didn’t feel the supposed pressure of the role like others did.

The Roller Coaster of Small Business

The next 4 years was a roller coaster of learning, failing, picking myself back up and dusting myself off and trying again, getting some wins, learning some more, nearly breaking from exhaustion, learning some more…. You get the picture. I recently came to the conclusion that even though I loved my Manufacturing business, it was time for me to move on. I am still in the process of moving it and getting it set up with it’s new owners in Byron Bay but since a lot of that process is waiting for approvals and agreements that seem to be taking forever; I started to venture into discovering what my next thing is.
Way back when Juzcit was still a baby, I won a competition called the Passion Test where I got up on stage and I passionately spoke about how I wanted to impact the world by supporting women to be empowered to drive equality. I see the disparity of pay, the discrimination of women and the injustices against women as being problems that both men and women have to step up to fix. Empowered women see men as equals and see themselves as equals and as such have strong boundaries against unfair treatment. Disempowered women remain victims to the system of patriarchy that we are all involved in and do not enforce their boundaries against inequality.

Getting Clear On My Mission

Someone once said to me, the biggest issue he sees in women going for things like pay rises, finance for their company growth or other things is their lack of confidence. This is a excerpt from a Forbes article from 2018 “Men are not exempt from doubting themselves—but they don’t let their doubts stop them as often as women do. A Hewlett Packard internal report found that men apply for a job or promotion when they meet only 60% of the qualifications, but women apply only if they meet 100% of them. What doomed them was not their actual ability, but rather the decision not to try.”
My mission is to change this. Women have a huge contribution to make to our world and it is just not ok for women to deny their full potential and play small because they are discriminated against. Revolutions do not happen because of many people fighting the system but from a few passionate individuals being brave enough to stand up against injustice.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead