In the lead-up to International Women’s Day on 8 March, TIQ celebrates women succeeding in Queensland trade.

Kim Parascos, CEO, iVolve Industrial Technology
iVolve provides technology and tools to small to mid-tier miners and contractors around the world. Ms Parascos won the Tom Burns Award for Women in International Business at the 2019 Premier of Queensland’s Export Awards.

What does your job involve day to day?
Listening to team members and customers, then helping them make the best decisions they can.

What is your biggest success in your working life?
My proudest achievement over the past 5 years is the survival of iVolve during the mining downturn, when both suppliers and customers commented, ‘How are you surviving when most companies your size no longer exist?’, and then successfully growing the business by an average of 50% each year for the past 3 years.

I learnt that you have little control over your market environment but you do have control over the relationships you build with your customers and partners. Ultimately, they are the ones who will see you through difficult times. Being honest and open with your staff when you are making tough decisions and explaining the ‘why’ builds a solid team that helps you weather a storm. Choosing your time to grow and time to stabilise matters more than anything else, and diversifying your markets helps to minimise the peaks and troughs. Persistence is what wins in the end.

What’s something you know now that you wish you could tell your younger self?
Mainly I would say that small increments lead to big change. Be patient, value your persistence and keep things turning over.

I would also encourage my younger self to build a network. I believe in the power of peer mentor groups and I am a member of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization. Spending time with fellow business owners who are striving to grow their businesses has offered me a wealth of experience and learning opportunities. I have been introduced to the power of a morning routine to help set up the day. This enforces regular effort on big tasks, which sees results.

I also have an excellent support group of businesswomen who meet semi regularly. These women share their experiences in mixing an active work life with family and helped me understand that different things work for different people and finding the mix that works for you is okay.

Your top 3 tips for succeeding in the workplace?

All clichés (but true)!

  • Listen to learn not to answer.
  • Don’t try to be the smartest person in the room.
  • Keep things ticking over. Constantly.