Gabrielle King: Supporting women at Inspiring Rare Birds

Photo of a woman with short light hair, wearing a black shirt. She is smiling at the camera.
Gabrielle King speaks passionately about Inspiring Rare Birds , an organisation supporting women entrepreneurs and emerging leaders through mentorship, education and professional development.

Rare Birds also provides mentoring programs to corporate organisations to drive greater impact for their diversity and inclusion strategies.

Having worked at Rare Birds for two years, Gabrielle has recently stepped into the role of General Manager - a position that sees her wearing many hats including operations, team development, stakeholder management and product development.

Prior to her promotion she was the Program and Partnerships Manager, but her career first began in commercial law.

“I was a commercial lawyer for 15 years in litigation,” she explains.

“I started moving away from that as a career path when I had my two children in my mid-30s. I found the juggling act fairly unsatisfactory and started to look at other opportunities which were more in alignment with my values.

“I had met the founder and CEO of Rare Birds through women’s networking events and I started working with them on an Office For Women program, then moved into a bigger role as time's gone on.”

Gabrielle reflects on the fact her story isn’t that different from other women she works with, or even those she supports through her work.

“We’re really supportive of flexible work and we let women work the days they want and where they want, at home or in the office. When we advertise a job, we get inundated with wonderful, high-calibre women applying for the role, just because there isn't that flexibility [in other organisations].”

“It breaks my heart they're not being taken up in the talent pool elsewhere. I want to be a part of changing that.”

Gabrielle’s passion for her work and her eagerness to contribute a more rigorous theoretical framework to the programs she runs, led her to apply for a Graduate Certificate in Social Impact with the Centre for Social Impact at UNSW.

“We often get asked to provide data around the impact that our programs are having,” Gabrielle says.

“I wanted to be able to ensure we're designing programs and collecting data around the impact of our programs in the best way possible, so that we can provide that information to our supporters and grow the work that we're doing.”

“I was thrilled to receive a Robin Crawford Memorial Scholarship with CSI to help me do the course. It validates the work I'm doing, my involvement in social impact and the programs we're running. And it gives me a platform to talk about Rare Birds which I'm really passionate about.”

Gabrielle has enjoyed the face-to-face intensive weekends as part of her learning with CSI, especially considering most of the networking events and workshops she’d usually attend as part of her work have been conducted online in recent months.

“I got to meet all the other people going through the course, which was great. Everyone's coming from different backgrounds and can provide different insights,” she says.

This curiosity about others and Gabrielle’s drive to communicate impact seems to underpin much of her work:

“The business is continuing to grow and have a huge impact in the gender equality space. I really love hearing these stories and seeing the ingenuity, innovation and resilience of these women.”