“When I think about the thing that gives me the most joy and energy, it is about supporting other staff on their leadership journey and assisting and empowering them to be the best they can be”
Westbourne Grammar School
Jodette Cleary is the chief people and culture officer at hipages Group, assuming the role in 2015.
Her career ambition was to become a barrister, but during her studies at the University of New South Wales, she accepted an internship at Ranger Uranium Mine in their personnel department as an employee relations officer. This was a turning point that opened Cleary’s eyes to a new path and led her to complete a Master’s in Labour Law and Relations at the University of Sydney.
From there, she took on roles as an HR leader for large multinationals to small start-ups, including Lucent Technologies, Honeywell, Atlassian and Campaign Monitor.
In her current position, a large focus is on turning strategy into results.
“It’s working with my colleagues and the CEO to ensure we have the best business strategy for growth and success, and then ensuring we have the best possible team to bring that strategy to life,” she says.
Attracting and developing talent is another of her key initiatives.
“When you have the ‘right people on the bus’ who are being invested in to develop so they can continue to be their best, you are already 80% of the way there to achieving your business goals.”
Cleary’s overall value to hipages is evident, as she was a key player in the successful initial public offering of the business in 2020.
She also plotted the firm’s course through the pandemic and bucked the trend of HR leaders in the tech sector who tended to favour fully remote operations. Cleary advocated for 50/50 and that has proven a successful strategy, with hipages achieving the Best Place to Work top 3 award in the past three years.
“I’m a direct communicator for sure. Partly cultural as Australians are known for being direct, but also my country upbringing has amplified that, I think. The good aspect of this is that people know exactly what I mean, and the negative is it can be a bit confronting to some personality types at times, so I’m a constant work in progress.”
After 30 years in the industry, Cleary has been able to identify her strengths:
Level 10, 255 Pitt Street, Sydney 2000
Chief People and Culture Officer
“I do everything in my power to become an expert at whatever it is I am pursuing”
Westbourne Grammar School
HR Manager ANZ at Lucent Technologies
APAC HR Director at Honeywell
Managing Director at We Know HR
Chief People and Culture Officer at hipages Group
Non-Executive Director/Board Observer at Hear For You/Work Ventures
Assistant Vice President and Senior Broker at MJ Hall & Company since 2018
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Despite being a committed HR and business leader, Cleary is cognisant of the need to create a balanced working environment.
“My attitude to my career and role has always been to work smart and hard and to exceed others’ expectations. It is important at the same time to have fun and enjoy what you do whilst at the same time, delivering excellent results for the business.”
Being named one of HRD’s Global 100 in 2023 is recognition for an outstanding previous 12 months and is also the culmination of a career filled with achievement.
“It is an honour to be at the stage of my career where I can champion creating environments where both people and the business can thrive.”