Q&A with Wendy Bunby
We're acknowledging the progress women have made - in every facet of life - by highlighting women who have helped lead the way.
Peter Sheppard Sales Associate for 25 years
Can you tell us a bit about you, your experience at Peter Sheppard and how you got to where you are now?
I moved to Australia in 1978 from England and have always worked in the footwear industry. My first experience at Peter Sheppard was as a customer, when the Melbourne store was on Elizabeth Street! I walked through the door in 1994 and I was instantly impressed with the service I received from a special lady called Lorna Sheppard. Lorna made a lasting impression on me that day. When I went on to complete my Retail Traders Course there was a big map on the wall where we had to write what we wanted to do. I put working at Peter Sheppard Footwear as my goal. As part of the course, we were required to do work experience which I decided to complete at Peter Sheppard Footwear. Following this, the Manager offered me a job and I never left!
Do any women in particular inspire you?
There are two women who inspire me. Lorna Sheppard is the first, for the reasons above. She challenged me but it gave me the resilience I needed to succeed. Once I had proved myself as a hardworking employee, I remember her telling me ‘you could work anywhere.’ The second woman was my first Manager at Peter Sheppard. While I’ve always worked in the footwear industry, at the time I hadn’t ever had a Manager like her. She was a wonderful leader who guided me through the beginning of my career. I also think Ash Barty is an incredible woman – she is a successful and modest example as a role model for all young women.
How do you think society has changed their perception towards giving women opportunities in the workforce?
I think society has certainly changed in a positive way. Women have many more opportunities now than they used to have. Working at Peter Sheppard Footwear is amazing because a large portion of the employees are women. We support each other, alongside an incredible team of males too. Peter and Chris Sheppard have given women working in the business great opportunities, inspiration and encouragement.
This year’s International Women’s Day theme is #EachforEqual. What does this mean to you?
To me #EachforEqual means raising awareness around improving working conditions for women and also celebrating women’s achievements. We are much better at acknowledging the achievements of women and International Women’s Day is the perfect opportunity to celebrate who we are and what we do.
What is the most important message you want to send out to women thinking about working in the footwear industry?
Firstly, pick the right shop to work in! If you love the business you work for, the rest comes easy. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you do your best and love your job success will follow. I’ve always loved working at Peter Sheppard Footwear because it’s a beautiful shop and the team is amazing. Working here for 25 years has enabled me to make the most of opportunities sent my way and made a career for myself in an industry that is forever changing. As they say - love what you do, and you’ll never work a day in your life.