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Jun 16, 2021

When Antonia Mercorella first turned her back on a career in law to pursue a life in the arts, she couldn’t have imagined her job title now - CEO of the Real Estate Institute of Queensland.

“I got a clerkship at a highly regarded commercial law firm in Adelaide. But I really didn't enjoy it. And I left to join the State Theatre Company.”

“I remember people saying to me, you're mad. And a few times in my career that's happened, where people have judged me and said, ‘What are you doing? You're all over the place.’"

As the first female CEO of the REIQ, Antonia is determined to right the gender imbalance in leadership and thrives on settling the disputes that inevitably brings.


“I feel a responsibility now as a CEO, I have women ask me, how did you do this and how do you manage it? And I try and be really honest about the fact that it's a real challenge. You know, juggling everything is a real challenge. And there's no perfection in any of it.”

“I have mixed feelings about it. At one level, I feel extremely privileged to be the first female in 103 years. And at another level, it really disappoints me that it's taken that long for a female to lead REIQ.”

“We were labeled anti-tenant, and we were labeled as heartless. And that was challenging because I actually have a very strong social justice slant.”

“Why are you apologising for being pregnant? There's no need for an apology. And I think it's really disappointing that that occurs, and yet I've been there myself, I'm guilty of it.”


  • From private practice to the C-Suite and industry-shaping    
  • Authentic leadership, parenthood and quotas  
  • Diversity, inclusion and organisational change
  • Traditional legal career path vs a flexible/divergent path       

This podcast tackles the topic of quotas for women.  Visit Developing Talent if you are looking for fun and innovative ways to build confidence and capability around these issues of diversity and inclusion within your organisation.     

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Host: Alex Correa - Career Coach in Law

Brought to you by Alex Correa Executive  

With thanks to our guest : Antonia Mercorella

Friends in Law is edited and engineered by Cold Ghost (aka Fletcher Babb)  Produced by Bern Young