On Thursday the 27th of April, we proudly hosted our first FABWA event of 2017.


In case you’re not yet in the loop, our very own FABWA stands for French-Australian Business Women’s Association. This association provides a space of support for international business women with cross-cultural endeavours.

This quarter’s topic explored “how to be a successful business woman in the Arabic region.” Who better to present this interesting topic than Arab Region Cultural Guide & Social Impact Entrepreneur Fiona Hill? With her wealth of knowledge, Fiona opened up the topic and investigated broad cultural themes.

We took to the Hall & Wilcox office in Collins Street, Melbourne to see our FABWA event spark a fascinating talk. The audience comprised of both men and women from a range of different cultural backgrounds. Despite this diversity, the whole audience was engaged in Fiona’s discussion. Fiona’s all-embracing approach meant everybody was able to relate to the subject at hand.

Fiona recounted her own experience as a young (and at times, naïve) Australian woman entering the Arab region. As a result, Fiona provided wonderful tips and insights into navigating this experience, such as learning from a faux pas.

“‘Faux pas’ is an interesting expression, as it refers to the idea of ‘stumbling’, and when you misstep, you readjust yourself and calibrate,’ said Fiona.
‘As you all know (you’re all in business), it’s one of the best things that can happen, because it makes you recognise that it was a bit of a problem, [and thereby highlights]… the need to readjust.’

Of course, Fiona dedicated some of her discussion to being a woman in cross-cultural business. She drew on the benefit of having an innate tendency to form connections with other women. At large, she discussed her perception of “empathy” as a way to better understand a new culture (in a way that’s mutually beneficial).

“There are all sorts of ways to be successful… [but] from where I stand, I see empathy as a major sublimation of your own ego,” she said.


“There are all sorts of ways to be successful… [but] from where I stand,
I see empathy as a major sublimation of your own ego.”


At large, Fiona’s story was empowering and engaging with some intriguing insights. Moreover, this captivating talk was delivered in the most humble way.

Thank you to everyone following our invitation and special thanks to our principal sponsor Hall & Wilcox and for hosting this event. Also, special thanks to Pain et Chocolat for supplying the catering and delicious French delicacies.

Keen to get some visuals? Check out our Pixieset photo gallery from the night!

Are you an advocate of women in global business? Are you a Francophone and supporter of gender equality? Then please join our FABWA LinkedIn group!

Our next quarter’s FABWA taking place on the 27th of July. We hope you will join us at this upcoming event for another thought-provoking talk!

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Jacqueline is a talented content writer. Mesmerized by the power of words, Jacqui's passionate about sharing our team's greater knowledge so as to help individuals all over the world with their HR challenges.
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