Lara Gray (MBA Exec '14) is the winner of the 2015 Anita Prabhu Women Leaders in Business Award. The annual prize, established by Anita Prabhu (MBA Exec '05), recognises successful business women and leaders from the AGSM community.
Lara is Product Director at Michelle Bridges 12 Week Body Transformation. Here she leads a high performing team of 15 staff including dieticians, exercise scientists, video producers and user experience specialists, to deliver a unique online experience for the organisation's members. Since taking up this leadership role, Lara has built a highly skilled team where staff morale is paramount. A key achievement is her establishment of successful product development and delivery processes that have seen the business exceed expectations.
Lara says empathy and drive are key components of good leadership.
"The ability to inspire and motivate a group of people who may have different backgrounds, opinions and perceptions than yourself is critical," she says.
"It's a leader's responsibility to remove barriers to getting things done and provide the best possible example of behaviour to those you lead."
Prior to her current role, Lara worked as a Product Director at Fairfax media where she oversaw platforms including RSVP.com.au and thevine.com.au.
Technology and digital strategy are key passions that have underpinned Lara's career.
At Michelle Bridges 12 Week Body Transformation, she enjoys playing a key role in a product that has the power to change lives.
"The chance to use a mixture of technology, data and content in the right measures, and at the right time, in order to make behavioural changes in our members' lives – this is what I most enjoy," she says.
"To know that these changes have a lifelong impact on people's health, wellbeing and attitude is incredibly satisfying."
Lara began her MBA Executive while at Fairfax and completed it during her first year at Michelle Bridges.
"The MBA has opened my eyes to see opportunities both inside and outside of work," she says.
"It equipped me with multiple ways to solve problems and has given me the confidence to tackle bigger and bolder opportunities in my career."
Past winners of the Anita Prabhu Women Leaders in Business Award include Anneke van den Broek (MBA Exec '02), founder, Rufus & Coco; Emma Lo Russo (MBA Exec '13), CEO and co-founder, Digivizer; and Maria Ioia (MBA Exec '12), Director, Market Intelligence Agency.