Kylie Ostle: Mum Society
Kylie turns her job loss into an inspiration for mums
Sales and marketing manager Kylie Ostle was on maternity leave when her office delivered the bad news. Her role had been made redundant four weeks before her scheduled return to work.
“My confidence was completely shattered,” says Kylie, a mother of three girls aged one to six years.
But Kylie sprang quickly into action, founding the Mum Society and connecting with other mums via Facebook.
“I thought, what if I bring women together to do something lovely and try to champion change in the workplace.”
Nearly six years later Kylie is helping thousands of mums feel less isolated through her special networking events and Facebook page. Many have transformed their careers with her help.
Kylie organises a brunch with a well-known guest speaker every month. Past speakers include Jessica Rowe, Sally Obermeder and Mary Coustos. So far, Mum Society has hosted just over 4,000 mums at the brunches.
“It’s a family friendly environment but it really is very much about these women being the best version of themselves,” says Kylie.
“We have had women struggling with postnatal depression and it gives them a purpose to get out and shake things up a little bit.”
Kylie recently received a thank you email from a mum who was inspired to set up her own business after attending an event.
“She said it transformed her life. It’s a really lovely endorsement of what we do.”
The Mum Society has also helped 450 mums into more flexible jobs through its networking capability.
“We’ve had lots of businesses come along searching for help and we’ve managed to share those opportunities among our community.”
Kylie says it is humbling to be voted a Westfield Local Hero but feels it acknowledges all of her hard hard work.
The Mum Society will use its $10,000 Westfield Local Heroes grant to fund an online maternity leave program to help women make the most of their family time while keeping in touch with their work and on top of opportunities for promotion. It will also be used to give free access to events for disadvantaged Mums.
A legal fund will also be established to help women who suffer workplace discrimination while on leave, says Kylie.
“Establishing this fund will better support women to know exactly where they can turn.”