Inspirational Women Series: Deborah Hutton
Deborah Hutton epitomises style and professionalism through and through.
She is the woman many of us aspire to be on so many levels, from her warm nature to her approachability, her beaming smile to her astute business acumen.
Beginning her career at the age of 16 as the cover model of Cosmopolitan magazine, she went on to become a top international model working in Germany, Italy and New York before transitioning into one of Australia's most respected and well-known media personalities.
Her CV is extensive and very impressive. As a television presenter, she has hosted programs including Looking Good, Location Location, Amazing Homes, Stage & Screen and Celebrity Overhaul and was the editor of much-loved magazine, the Australian Women's Weekly, for over a decade.
You may even have come across this savvy businesswoman's simple yet stylish homewares brand "Living with Deborah Hutton" at Kmart or her optical eyewear brand.
Always one to follow her passions, she has authored two cookbooks and undertook a mammoth home renovation to create her dream abode this past year. The results...utterly breathtaking of course!
Biz Gals: What is your greatest achievement?
Deborah: I can’t single out one specific moment but I’d have to say that considering I started my career at 16 with the cover of Cosmopolitan in 1978 and I’m still working in media 40 years later...It’s probably resilience and the ability to reinvent.
Biz Gals: What is the greatest lesson you have learnt?
Deborah: It’s a simple one and I learnt it way back when I started in the media business. I think overall it’s the basis with which I have always worked. Be fully prepared for the job at hand, be punctual and treat others how you’d like to be treated. Basic stuff!
Biz Gals: What is the best bit of advice you have been given?
Deborah: Surround yourself with smarter people than you. I’m fortunate to have attracted a solid team of advisors over the years that help guide me on all aspects of my business. It’s critical to have support especially when you’re working for yourself. Know your strengths and fill the gaps with people and skills you respect.
Biz Gals: What or who inspires you?
Deborah: I’m inspired by passion and perseverance. The biggest success stories are mostly born out of hard work and self belief, but never giving up is a message I hear time and time again. I’m reminded of this when I listen, interview or read about someone hugely successful or a business that’s smashing it.
Biz Gals: What is your biggest hope for women in the future?
Deborah: One word - equality. The world will only ever function on a higher level when the voice of women are heard and respected throughout the global community. We need more balance right across the business spectrum, importantly being recognized for our ability to greatly contribute. By the way, I don’t agree with the quota system in big corporates, I feel it demeans our value. What we need is more men in management to pave the way forward and open the door...if it’s ajar we have no problem walking through it!
Biz Gals: What advice would you give your younger self?
Deborah: Even though you started working at such a young age, without finishing the HSC, try and believe in yourself and your capabilities. It’s not about what you don’t know but more about saying yes to opportunity and figuring it after. Your ability to connect with people will hold you in good stead.
Words: Natalie Kessell