Besides playing footy as an AFLW star, Moana Hope is inspiring young women to act on their ambition.
Proving no hurdle is too high to jump, she spends 20-hours a day juggling her time between running her small business, training for footy and caring for her disabled sister, Lavinia.
Moana’s accomplishments are encouraging, especially in a climate where young women feel challenged to act on ambition.
According to our CGU Ambition Index, an alarming 7 in 10 Australians, and 78% of women, believe women face more barriers than men in chasing their dreams. And nearly half of all women say they worry too much about fear of failure to chase their dreams – compared to just over a third of men.
It also seems that working towards a goal is a more stressful experience for female business owners. Women are 10% more likely than men to say they feel nervous, and 7% more say they feel pressured.
An inspiration for ambition
Moana wasn’t without her fair share of barriers and says it was her parents’ strength that helped develop her own ambition.
“My mum worked to put food on the table and a roof over our heads. And what my parents did for us is what drives me,” she says.
Having been a full time carer for her father – who later passed away from cancer – Moana missed most of her high school education. She could have walked a different path in life, but instead, worked tirelessly to reach her goals.
Beginning her career as a traffic controller, she worked her way up to supervisor, then manager, and now runs her own business – Utilities Traffic Management – managing 80 employees.
“Starting in traffic management, I was the only female in the office. There were some people that didn’t like me, but that just encouraged me to know more.”
Turning her battles into strength, Moana is a flawless example of a resilient female breaking through barriers and dictating her own future.
“We’re the only traffic management company in Victoria that’s ran by females – and were doing a pretty good job,” she says.
“Growing up how I did, sometimes we couldn’t afford to eat. So, for me to run my own company and be able to take care of my family is pretty awesome.”
Moana certainly didn’t let the opinion of others taint her ambition.
“I wanted to learn. I wanted to know how it all ran. I became a sponge, and Google became my best friend. I didn’t care about what anyone thought. I’d read. I’d learn. I had no regrets. I just did whatever I could to make it work.”
According to our report, women are 6% more likely than men to say they feel intimidated when trying to reach their ambition.
Moana says she never thought she could even work in an office but proved herself wrong. And says when it comes to working towards ambition there will always be setbacks, but taking risks is an important must.
“I’ve met a lot of people who could take another step forward in the ‘ambition’ area. And I encourage that. Whether they’re kids or adults, whether they want to play sport or start a company, it’s important to have no regrets and take those risks.”
Her advice to women struggling to reach their ambition is to “just go for it”.
“Look at me and where I’m at. I just gave it a go. And now I’ve got a very successful company that’s still growing,” she says.
“Live with no regrets. Give it a go and give it everything.”