Spotlight on women in leadership: Kate Sherburn, Head of Legal at Who Gives a Crap

Phoebe Pincus
July 2, 2024
In our Spotlight series, we’re introducing you to our first ever cohort of Ladymates Leaders.

In our Spotlight series, we’re introducing you to our first ever cohort of Ladymates Leaders.


We reckon they are just about the most incredible bunch ever to come through a Startmate program: they are smart, pioneering, natural leaders who have already achieved enormous amounts and will go on to change the face of this ecosystem. 


So - meet Kate!

Tell us a little bit about your career so far and your role now.

I'm the Head of Legal at Who Gives A Crap.

I knew I wanted to move in-house but the consensus (at that time) was you had to get enough private practice experience before you moved in-house. Even though I don't actually agree with that idea anymore (in the right team, you can start your career in house), even based on that conventional wisdom I had 'enough' experience well before I made the move. I just didn't have the confidence in my ability. The irony is, I gained that confidence once I started in-house because I felt so much more comfortable there.

I've built the legal function from scratch over the past 5 years which has been a massive adventure, incredibly challenging and lots of fun! It's never dull because our rate of growth means the nature of our business changes each year. Turns out toilet paper is a lot more complex than I thought, especially during covid! 

Why did you apply to join LL?

I'm particularly passionate about helping overcome the barriers that females in particular face. There is an amazing pool of talent out there, and I wanted to learn from those that have gone through it, or are going through it

What's been the best part so far?

The best thing has truly been meeting the amazing cohort of women. In terms of the content we've covered, it would be hard to pick just one thing - but I think the top two would probably be learning about my saboteurs and the workshop on difficult conversations. I've printed out the problems vs possibilities image and have it next to my computer as a reminder!

What are you reading/watching/listening to at the moment?

Reading - Power by Kemi Nekvapil. Kemi is absolutely incredible!

Outside of work I love

Outside of work, I have two primary school-aged children who keep me on my toes. We all share a love of lego, puzzles, musical theatre and reading so our weekends can be lots of fun. I'm not very good at doing nothing, so to relax I do pilates, go running, or do epic cross stitch.  I am particularly passionate about sharing my experiences balancing lawyering and motherhood because when I was starting out it seemed like an impossible feat! 

Favourite quote?

"Whatever you're meant to do, do it now. The conditions are always impossible" (it was this quote that prompted me to take up piano lessons again!)

Kate sharing at a Life Story night


Ladymates leadership is ANZ's first highly vetted, mentor-driven community for women leaders in tech. You’ll get exec coaching, peer-to-peer mentorship, exclusive workshops and a powerful women-led community.

We can’t wait to help you on this stage of your journey 💟

>> start your application for our upcoming intake HERE.

Itching for more? Read more here.

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