BLOG IMAGE Trina Hockley

Female Leader, Trina Hockley, Board Chair & Owner L & M Group

Trina Hockley BHMS, GMQ, FAICD is a woman who wears many hats, and who contributes to and cares about many causes. She’s a successful, respected business owner operator of the L & M Group of Companies. She’s the recipient of a 20 year Leadership Award from the City of Gold Coast in recognition of her community leadership, and has also been awarded as an Outstanding Volunteer to the Indigenous Community. Trina’s strong advocacy for women in trades has seen her as an instrumental force and Founding member of Women in Power, where she holds the role of President, and works to connect, inform and empower women across the electrical industry.

An accomplished, experienced non-executive director whose career spans the electrical, education, training, retail and sporting industries, Trina’s also a past Chair of the Australian Institute of Company Directors Gold Coast chapter. Trina’s current board directorships include Chair of Arcadia College and Ohana for Youth and Director of the Spot Academy, The Gold Coast Sporting Hall of Fame and Gold Coast United FC.

Tell us how you’ve grown the L & M Group over 28 years in business. 

Obviously there are no secrets to success, but I am a big believer in embracing change. To me, if you are not changing the way you do business then you are going backwards. Our businesses evolve everyday, I try to adopt as much new technology as possible, ensuring it aids in a “frictionless” experience for our customers, staff and suppliers.

We continue to diversify, however, I was once told “the main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing” and I try to remember that when new opportunities are presented. I also take advantage of being a medium enterprise. We can move nimbly and quickly and most importantly I am believer in life long learning – I just passed my JP (Qual) course!

How do you stay current across the electrical, education, training, retail and sport sectors?

You have to stay current across industry trends in all sectors. I attend conferences, I read and most of all I network. A lot of issues are similar across industries, it takes time to immerse  yourself in a new industry and I would safely say it is a good 12 months before you have a handle on it and 3 years to be immersed in the idiosyncrasies of each sector.

What are the biggest challenges facing Board Directors today?

I recently resigned as Chair of the AICD Gold Coast, however I will still be attending their legislation updates as well as their education sessions. The biggest challenges are arising out of the APRA report and their recommendations around governance, culture, risk and accountability.

What needs to change to encourage more women into trades?

Women in Power‘s anecdotal research has highlighted the need for role models at a young age. Kids need to see women in high vis, attending call outs in their home and places of education. The all male trade sites will eventually become more balanced. But that will take time, as will the cultural change in the workplace. We are looking longterm, “be the change you want to see”. 

With that in mind two of our “Women in Power” members spend their time in kindergartens, in their high vis, with their modified electrical training and hard hats and encourage all the students to recognise the “normalcy” of women in trades and of course, try to inspire that next generation into trades.

Your Greatest Challenge?

My greatest challenge is ensuring that my businesses can continue to support all of my staff and their families, now and into the future. I take the role of the provider to my staff very seriously. If my businesses should fail, then I have failed all those families who have been dependent on me – yes it keeps me awake at night.

What are you most proud of?

I am most proud of the fact that I am part of a family business that I can now pass onto my sons. I had a hard rule that they had to spend 10 years out of the business – learning their own way, working for others. Now they are back, they have brought great new insight into the business, they are future focused and are slightly less risk averse than I.

Advice for future female leaders.

To me they are just future leaders. All of the fantastic changes that have happened over the last 10 years, 5 years and yesterday have bought about a culture that will embrace future leaders for their diversity of thought, their continuing education, their compassion and their leadership skills. You have had the door open to you so open it wide, step through with conviction and leave it open for the next great leader to follow.

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Posted by Jade Collins - Femeconomy Director

Jade Collins has 20 years’ global experience in corporate executive Human Resources and management consulting roles in the Mining, Energy and Aerospace industries, leading large scale, complex multi-million-dollar change management programs. Jade finds the combination of her HR, Psychology and MBA qualifications and her leadership experience is invaluable for increasing gender equality in leadership across industries. Jade was a member of the Queensland Government's Strategic Advisory Group for the Toward Gender Parity: Women on Boards Initiative and the 2019 CQU Alumni of the Year for Social Impact for her work with Femeconomy.