Career Advice Working Women

Disney's queen of all trades

As executive counsel of Disney's Asia-Pacific channels and media distribution team - a job that often sees her jetting across the region - it's hard to imagine that Bobbi Campbell has time for much else in her life.

Nevertheless, the seasoned attorney, who recently gave birth to her first child, continues to make room for friends, family, yoga and her flourishing organisation, Women Media Networks, which she founded in 2008.

"A lot of people feel that you can't do everything and can't have everything. But I think you can," Campbell says. "It's just a matter of being realistic and deciding how you have it. It's about prioritising and delegating."

In her capacity at Disney, Campbell oversees a team of lawyers operating across the region. The scope of their duties spans a broad range of areas - from contract negotiation to intellectual property - a sizeable portfolio that sometimes requires her to be a "jack of all trades" as she puts it. In terms of splitting her time among the segments, Campbell notes that it's largely about allocating the right amount of resources where needed.

"There are certain regions that, every now and again, require a lot more support than others," she says. "Australia, for example, is a very sophisticated jurisdiction, so it may not necessitate as much support as, say, Southeast Asia would."

As for stress, Campbell says it really all comes down to managing expectations. "If there's one thing I've learned in my career, it's that once you can manage people's expectations, you can eventually get to a point where you're comfortable with spreading yourself."

While she hasn't encountered any specific challenges pertaining to her gender per se, Campbell does feel that women approach their careers differently compared with men. "That's sort of why I started Women Media Networks. We have a different way of thinking about things," she says.

"At the end of the day, women don't want to go off and sit in a bar and network over a few drinks. They want to go home to see their family, see their husbands. With Women Media Networks, we try to provide a support network that recognises that."

As such, the organisation usually hosts mostly breakfast or lunch sessions, all of which tend to be more focused on career development issues. "There are a lot of organisations out there for women, but only a few that are actually about women," Campbell says. "I wanted to see if I could create something that provided support and mentoring in a more professional capacity."

In addition to her professional organisation, the accomplished solicitor also started a group for new mothers, following the birth of her son.

"They are a fantastic bunch of new moms and we keep each other informed and inspired, and provide some light-hearted relief during those late-night feeding times," she says. "Joining a mothers' group is definitely something I recommend for all workings moms."

As for the actual raising of her child, Campbell does employ some help at home, but regularly reserves quality time in the mornings, as well as after work and on weekends.

When it comes to taking a load off, she enjoys yoga, cooking for friends and hiking with her husband - with both taking turns lugging their baby son.

Laws of balance  

  • Try not to stress about it
  • See if others can help
  • Don't take things personally
  • Live each day like it's your last