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Club and Community | 04 March 2023

#EmbraceEquity - Jess Corones

This International Women’s Day, Swimming Australia is joining the millions of people worldwide collectively seeking to #EmbraceEquity. The 2023 theme asks us to Imagine a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. A world that’s diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated.

One of the many avenues through which to #EmbraceEquity is to celebrate women’s achievement and, while Australian swimming is fortunate to have countless examples, both past and present, of incredible female achievement in the pool, we also have a number of inspiring female leaders driving the success of the sport out of the water.

In the lead up to International Women’s Day, Swimming Australia is going to highlight those women forging change in the workplace. The fourth woman to feature as part of the #EmbraceEquity series is one of the most respected and experienced members of Swimming Australia’s High Performance team, Swimming Insight & Olympic Campaign Lead, Jess Corones.

Who did, or continues to, inspire your leadership style?
I try and take something and learn from everyone. In swimming we have so many great leaders, but I try and look outside swimming for inspiration as well. Our coaches are fantastic leaders on the pool deck, such as Michael Bohl who has so much experience leading his teams to success year after year.  Tamara Sheppard is leading the Swimming Australia high performance team. Both have different styles but great qualities to lead those around them. Outside of swimming I have been reading material from Simon Sinek, Jeff Bezos and John Wooden. One of the great lessons is your style has to be adaptable and you never stop developing or being inspired by others.

 What brings you the most satisfaction in your role?
Easily the most satisfying part of my role is seeing athletes develop into a great people in and out of the pool. Seeing them set goals and work hard to achieve them. When they achieve those goals the smile on their face is priceless. Second to that the people I go to work with everyday. They are driven, passionate and have a positive attitude to being better everyday. It’s not just satisfying, it’s inspiring.

What more needs to be done to foster the pathway for female leaders?
I think it’s just about opportunity. Giving females a go at all levels. Through exposure and experience people will develop the skills required. The power of experiential learning is so much greater than the textbook.

What advice would you offer yourself if starting your career over again?
Don’t turn down opportunities. Believe in yourself, I know I will make mistakes but that is ok because you will learn from them. Also, don’t take it too seriously. You have to have fun doing what you do.

What does #EmbraceEquity mean to you?
Embracing equity is about creating ecosystems for development and opportunity for all people. To do this it requires us embracing diversity and inclusion. It also means progress, that the world is working towards being a better place and people are committing to leaving it in a better place than they found it.