Five A Side is a new series that spotlights exceptional women in the music industry through a five-question interview.
In part one of our series, we interview Women In Music Sydney founder and CEO of Jaxsta, Jacqui Louez Schoorl.
What led to the formation of Women In Music Sydney?
I read a book by Sheryl Sandberg called Lean In, which I found tremendously inspiring, and thought, wouldn’t it be great if we had a networking group in Sydney where women in the business could get together and just shoot the breeze as to what’s happening: “Could you help me with this”, “I’m stuck on this situation”, “What would you advise”, etc.
I discussed the idea with girlfriends in the industry and was overwhelmed with their positive response.
It’s an opportunity for us to get together, because a lot of people in the industry work in silos of either their own consulting company or the company they work for. This can mean it’s either showcases, gigs or the APRA AMCOS, AMP or ARIA awards where we get an opportunity to see each other and catch up. Hence the idea was, we’d have four events a year where we could all just catch up, and it all stemmed from reading Lean In.
Who is someone you draw inspiration from, male or female?
Oprah, ‘cause she’s the queen! Oprah inspires me on every possible level. She’s all about living your best life, whatever that is for you, which I think is exceptional. Oprah’s book ‘What I Know For Sure‘ is one of the best on life lessons. It’s one of my most treasured books.
Arianna Huffington, because of what she’s achieved throughout her career, and how she continues to push the envelope in her business The Huffington Post. Her books are some of the most thought provoking and inspiring I’ve read. Check out ‘Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom and Wonder‘ and ‘The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time‘.
On the male perspective both Richard Branson and Jamie Oliver. What inspiring human beings. Richard for his passion and zest for life and the fact that he is not afraid to try new things. He lives by the motto ‘if you fall flat on your face, at least you’re moving forward. All you have to do is get back up again and try again.’
These four people inspire me no end. There are many more to list but this is a good starting point.
What obstacles do you think face women in the industry today?
I think one of the biggest challenges we have is facing the fear and doing it anyway. And just hustling. This is an industry that requires a phenomenal amount of of hustle, and endless persistence. Because for every fifteen times you get knocked down, one amazing thing happens. That certainly feels like the ratio from personal experience. It’s not fifteen awesome things and then you get knocked down once. I wish it were :).
So it’s hustle which I think requires massive confidence, persistence and feeling the fear and doing it anyway. Leaning in, as Sheryl Sandberg says. Getting a seat at that table. Let’s get seats at those tables, Ladies.
What does Women In Music Sydney mean to you?
Everything. For me, most importantly it’s a space of brilliant women of all ages with varying levels of expertise that I can go to, lean on, ask questions, get advice, and also stay in touch with what’s happening in the industry.
From the young members that have their finger on the pulse to our mavens that have seen it all, there isn’t anything that you can’t go to the group with and get an answer on, and I really appreciate that knowledge base.
Who would you like to be the next Five A Side and why?
The amazing Mel Price from the incredible location Oxford Circus. Mel is one of the hardest working women I know. Mel and her partner Aref have supported Women In Music Sydney and the music industry in general. To a point, they opened their second venue Oxford Circus (they also have Low302) in Sydney so people would have a location for showcases and gigs. I mean, if that’s not love and passion for the music industry, I don’t know what is. They’ve always supported us and I think they’re amazing.