From surfing to search engines: all the best bits from the Vogue Codes In Conversation breakfast in Sydney

Home / From surfing to search engines: all the best bits from the Vogue Codes In Conversation breakfast in Sydney

The Sydney Harbour Bridge proved the ultimate backdrop for the city’s Vogue Codes 2019 In Conversation breakfast, as presented by Audi. Held at the iconic Café Sydney, Google’s Managing Director of Australia and New Zealand, Melanie Silva, and seven-time surfing world champion and Audi ambassador Stephanie Gilmore took to the stage to talk through all things performance, productivity, and positivity.

Hosted by Vogue’s editor-in-chief Edwina McCann, the panel discussion flowed from females in tech, to equal pay and quotes both women lean on during times of stress. As it turns out, elite athleticism and mammoth global tech companies actually draw some similar conclusions – namely the importance of gender equality, and the importance of growth and resilience.

Served alongside breakfast, the morning was a warm welcome for the Codes events to come later during the week, including Sydney Summit, and Vogue Codes Live. For all of the best moments and takeaways from the day, read on.

“Personally, I’ve had a wonderful experience in tech. I’ve found it was almost easier for me, as a woman, to start in the industry early on because no one knew anything, whether they were male or female.” – Melanie Silva.

“It’s the uncomfortable parts of work and life that inspire growth and teach us to dig deep.” – Stephanie Gilmore.

“When it comes to productivity, I remind my team we’re only human. But a high performance team is all about getting the most out of every individual. If I win, you win.” – Melanie Silva.

“I was a tomboy when I was younger. My version of flirting was to just surf better than the boys. Now, all sports have come a long way for women. We’re more prioritised, and we have people standing up for us.” – Stephanie Gilmore.

“I try to look for ways to give people stretchy, uncomfortable opportunities – it’s the best way to promote growth.” – Melanie Silva.

“I think to myself what’s the value of these world titles – how can I use the platform to do some amazing things? That’s what’s important to me, especially in my life post-surfing.” – Stephanie Gilmore.

“At Google, we essentially serve humanity, half of which are women. We would never be able to do our work properly if we didn’t foster gender diversity in our teams.” – Melanie Silva.

I love the motto ‘let go, connect, and commit.’ It’s played a big part in my professional life. When I’m out in the surf, I’m a part of something much bigger than myself. I also am there for a reason: to win. I stay committed to that.” – Stephanie Gilmore.

“After a career low, I had a few months off – in that time it was crippling to me how I had defined myself through that job. Ultimately though, a connection in that job was what referred me to Google, showing me that it did indeed serve a purpose.” – Melanie Silva.

“For a long time, women succeeding in the surfing industry was always seen as taking from the men – it was competitive. But now it’s celebrated because female surfing is different – it’s beautiful in its own way.” – Stephanie Gilmore.

“When I’m stressed, I ask myself, ‘what would Beyoncé do’? Seriously though, I try to stay calm and remember that we’re not saving lives. At the end of the day we’re just trying our best.” – Melanie Silva.

“I qualified for the world title in my rookie year, and I just kept winning. It was all I knew. When I was attacked*, it was the first dramatic event in my life. It was the first time I lost trust in my intuition and my confidence. I was so shaken up, but the only thing I could do is decide to move. Now, I’m grateful I did have that strength initially or I might not have bounced back.” – Stephanie Gilmore.

*Editor’s note: In 2010, Gilmore was attacked by a man wielding a metal bar at her Coolangatta home. She suffered multiple injuries, including a broken wrist. More significantly, the attack scarred her mentally, changing the course of her surfing career in the years that followed.

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